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Minority groups working to assess reality of Trump presidency

Last Updated Nov 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm PST

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The reality of a Trump presidency is likely difficult to take for some people who belong to minority groups. One expert who believes this is part of a wider, global phenomenon.

Several of Donald Trump’s policies, including deporting illegal immigrants, building a wall between the US and Mexico and prosecuting women who try and access abortion services, will strike fear in some.

Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies at UBC Ayesha Chaudhry believes Trump’s win will be difficult. “I think though for a lot of people of colour, the rhetoric was not surprising. This was rhetoric they’ve heard before. They were aware of this type of deep, simmering white racism that they have experienced in various ways in their lives. So it wasn’t surprising, but it was deeply, deeply depressing to see that tens-of-millions of people, over 50-million people, left their homes to vote for this person who had made a campaign based on hateful conversations about and hateful remarks about undocumented immigrants, about Mexicans, about Muslims, about women, about torture and about restricting freedom of expression and against journalists… I think it was like being in a nightmare.”

Chaudhry points to other recent political decisions like Brexit as evidence this sentiment is strengthening worldwide. “People have been comparing what happened with Brexit and how it feels a lot like Brexit. What we know about Brexit is that hate crime against Muslims, for example, went up five fold in the UK after Brexit. But those people were not armed. The fact that there are so many arms in the United States makes this whole conversation very dangerous as well. I think about Muslim children. My nieces and nephews who live in the United States, children of colour and Mexican children, black children, who are now going to be living in a country where their president has said really hateful things about them.”

She adds while Canadians see themselves as more inclusive, Trump’s election should serve as a wake-up call. Chaudhry says anti-immigrant rhetoric was there during our last federal election and a prospective Conservative party leader Ontario MP Kellie Leitch has already pledged to bring Trump’s message to Canada. She says Canadians should be vigilant to avoid going down this road.