Brexit and Trump bring­ing us back­wards

The Sligo Champion - - OPINION - with Grace Larkin

Are we go­ing back­wards?

I was very sad to read of the clashes in Amer­ica over con­fed­er­ate stat­ues. The ‘ Unite the Right’ move­ment or­gan­ised a rally in Char­lottesville Vir­ginia against the re­moval of the statue of South­ern Civil War hero Robert E Lee.

The event was or­gan­ised by white su­prem­a­cists, white na­tion­al­ists new con­fed­er­ates and neo- Nazis.

One young woman lost her life when a car drove into the anti- racist and anti- fas­cist pro­tes­tors.

Also two state troop­ers were killed when their heli­copter crashed en route to the event. Need­less deaths over an old feud.

But what was more wor­ry­ing was the ‘ leader of the free world’s’ re­ac­tion to it. Con­fed­er­ate stat­ues rep­re­sent south­ern he­roes of the United States Civil War. ‘ He­roes’ who fought for south­ern in­de­pen­dence, which brought with it slav­ery. So in 2017 it is only right and just that th­ese stat­ues should be taken down.

How­ever, on learn­ing of the clashes Pres­i­dent Trump said that both sides were to blame.

There can­not be two sides when it comes to White Supremacy

I think it is a very wor­ry­ing step back­wards. I’m sure Barack Obama would have been very quick to criticise this ac­tion, not be­cause he is a black man, but be­cause he is for­ward think­ing.

His re­ac­tion to the event be­came the most retweeted tweet ever. Quot­ing Nel­son Man­dela he said “No one is born hat­ing an­other per­son be­cause of the colour of his skin or his back­ground or his re­li­gion,” and he cou­pled this quote with a pic­ture of him­self with a di­verse group of chil­dren. Even Pres­i­dent Trump’s press con­fer­ence on the mat­ter showed that with all his hir­ing and fir­ing he ob­vi­ously does not have the cor­rect speech writer in place as my eight year old’s com­ments on the mat­ter would have made more sense.

But it is not only Amer­ica tak­ing the “look af­ter our own” stance. The pro­gres­sion of Brexit is a sad thing too.

Where once na­tions were clam­our­ing to be united, it now seems the wel­come mat is be­ing taken in.

ISIS is also mak­ing the world a smaller place. The ad­ven­tur­ous spirit of many has been cooled by re­cent events such as the ter­ror at­tacks in Spain. I had a friend in a hol­i­day camp just five kilo­me­tres from the vil­lage of Cam­brils.

Here was an Ir­ish fam­ily en­joy­ing a saved for hol­i­day, con­fined to the camp with ex­tra se­cu­rity.

And dare I say it how long be­fore this hor­ror reaches our own shores?

It ap­pears that the free­dom of the 21st cen­tury seems to be fall­ing away some­what. And of course if Pres­i­dent Trump suc­ceeds in his mission of bring­ing Amer­i­can com­pa­nies based in Ire­land back to the moth­er­land then we will def­i­nitely be tak­ing a step back in time.

It’s sad to think that when we should be tak­ing a step for­ward, thanks to the neg­a­tiv­ity of oth­ers we are now tak­ing two steps back.

Pic: Ale­jan­dro Al­varez/ News2Share via REUTERS.

White su­prem­a­cists carry torches on the night of a planned rally in Char­lottesville.

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