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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump Win: Victory or Defeat for Diversity

Donald Trump is now the U.S. President-elect, but his victory has sparked protest actions in many cities across the country and struck a fear in the hearts of minorities and women.

Those who protest are stunned, appalled that a man who spewed incendiary remarks so easily during the campaign period – against immigrants, Muslims, people of color – as well as uttering offensive remarks about women - is now going to be the country's president; hence, the trending “#NotMyPresident” hashtag.

A wave of hate crimes has followed Trump's upset win and is engulfing the nation targeting African Americans women, and other vulnerable sectors.

Many people from minority groups are now afraid, and their fear of being persecuted for their race, nationality, skin color, religion, and sexual identity, is not unfounded nor speculative, as stories after stories are being told of this sad, dangerous aftermath of one of the most divisive election campaign in the history of the American nation.

With that, it has to be stressed that this is what happens when people's mindset is not aligned with the values of diversity & inclusion. This is what happens when ignorance, bigotry, racism, misogyny, sexism, and intolerance continue to rear their ugly pangs even well into the 21st century America. This is what happens when the very person who will soon lead the world's most powerful nation on earth is himself embodying these attitudes, inciting hatred and sowing division among the diverse groups that make up today's America.

Stories abound recounting “racist episodes just a day after Trump won were tweeted. 

Of students shouting gay slurs, the n-word, and other hurtful phrases, such as Build the wall

Here are some images and more stories here and here– all depicting the same theme: Trump has polarized the nation and emboldened racists, sexists, and haters (from children to adults) to hurt others.

As one feminist writer said, racism and misogyny is embedded in Trump's victory.  

And the question that remains not only for America, but for the rest of the world, where is the country heading to? Is the Trump win a defeat or victory for diversity?

Leadership by Example
All these show how essential it is for leaders to embrace diversity and inclusion -- through their concrete actions and words of peace and unity.

Leadership by example. To walk the talk by building a strong inclusive environment – in the schools, in the church, in communities.

Leadership by example is important in business. It is how leaders in organizations influence their team members and ensure that the principles and values they believe in – necessary to grow their businesses -- are emulated.

As it is in business, as well as in other sectors of society, leadership by example is more so important in governing a nation. It sets the direction to which a country will move. History is replete with examples of how leaders can either guide their nations to greatness or destruction.

Thus it is clear why people are getting afraid of the looming Trump presidency.

One glaring character flaw of the next president is his open denigration of women.
In public and private, he’s made clear that women matter to him not as people but as sex objects. Even with women whom he supposedly likes and admires, he’s made clear that he values their looks above all else.[...] He called comedian Rosie O’Donnell "a big fat pig," "disgusting," "a slob," and "a very unattractive person." Bette Midler was "ugly." Heidi Klum is "no longer a 10."
The individual insults, though, are just one facet of Trump’s broader attitude toward women. Anecdotes spanning decades make clear that Trump considers it his right to be surrounded by "beautiful" women.

It is disheartening how it seems to some males this is open season to disrespect women. In fact, as can be gleaned from all the reports, many think to hate anyone different is okay; to conquer and divide is fine.

More surprising too and disturbing to many in the feminist movement is the percentage of white women who voted for Trump, said to be 53%, according to reports.
"It is not just the Trump win but the fact that Republicans now control Congress that bodes ill for progressive politics …reproductive rights, minimum wage … policies against sexual assault, marriage equality … healthcare - all are likely to be overturned," said Sujata Moorti, feminist studies professor at Vermont's Middlebury College.
"As for women's rights, Trump's victory has in effect legitimised misogyny - the sexism, particularly the violent imagery directed at Clinton, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia that characterised so many Republican campaigns have now been authorised by voters," she said.
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But a country to be truly great, the shackles of patriarchy should be broken. One step towards this is for women to strongly stand up against any form of gender discrimination and denigration, be it at home, in the workplace, in the general society. To never ever give up the fight for their right to be respected, to be heard, and to be included.

Women are equal partners in nation-building. Yet today, many women still face the daunting task of shattering the glass ceiling and warding off sexism.

Hillary Clinton, in her concession speech, acknowledged this painful truth – at the same time, offered encouragement to young girls and women: "Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will and hopefully sooner than we might think now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams."

Hope in Trump
As for the controversial victor, still we place our hopes in the man. Donald Trump should be given his chance, as both President Obama and defeated Hillary Clinton have urged the nation to unite behind him.

It remains now to be seen whether President-elect Donald Trump will be true to his statement that he will be “a president for all Americans.” That he will eventually grow into his new role with dignity, respect and statesmanship. That he becomes a shining example of a leader who can rally his people together despite their differences and truly "make America great again."

If all these hopes can be fulfilled, then Trump's win at the polls is a continuous triumph for diversity.

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