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LETTER: Political trash talk

Telegram illustration
Telegram illustration - SaltWire File Photo

Well, it’s all over the Twitter world and all over the globe by now.

There are many types of trash talk, some in jest and fun, others not so much.

There’s trash talk in sports which can be vicious and sometimes outrageously funny; then there is the twittersphere where the old adage “curse and swear like a drunken sailor” wouldn’t even turn heads.

You don’t have to be a celebrity, an athlete or a politician to be trashed on Twitter. No one is exempt.

Trash talk is everywhere; it is not restricted to culture, colour, race, religion, politics. Nothing is exempt from Twitter trash talk — it’s as if free speech and social media finally found each other and it can be appalling.

When one can bring together those in the political world with thousands or millions of like-minded individuals in the Twitter world, it can be a lethal and crushing combination for those who are targeted.

In the political sphere our neighbours to the south — more particularly the president — uses the twittersphere to batter Democrats, and to feed and bind his hungry supporters who want much more of the same.

He has been sending out harmful political trash tweets since he was elected. Months ago he opted to cease daily White House press corps questions and discussions (fake news of mainstream media), and replaced it with prolific tweets slamming anyone, including the courts, who oppose his hard-line conservative views and actions.

Many are alarmed that he has given new life and support to far-right conservative groups like white supremacists and other racist groups. President Donald Trump has openly declared by his comments, actions and Twitter rants that he is a racist president while, at the same time, he says “He doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”

His caustic tweets go out daily with a great deal of controversy attached.

This past week his Twitter trash comments reached an all-time low for any leader in the free world, horrifically so.

When an individual in one of the highest ranking positions in the world tweets to millions of his Republican supporters that elected, coloured, female congresswomen should: “ … go back to where you came from...” while adding many other degrading, deliberately hurtful, racially loaded slurs, one has to wonder, where are the voices of our national and international leaders who should be denouncing such abhorrently appalling “presidential” behaviour?

Shouldn’t they be standing up to protect those who are treated with such disdain, even if it is our neighbour to the south of us?

Are human rights, freedoms and human decency eroding before our eyes as we watch in horror at what is and has transpired there in the past year?

Where is the blowback to defend all forms of injustice to people of colour, sexuality, race and religion?

More and more we are noticing that their silence is deafening!

The Canadian government, its officials and the Prime Minister have all heard and read about the disgraceful tweets from the past few days.

Canada is currently and precariously caught between a rock and a hard place in its trade and diplomatic dealings with the United States and with China.

So far, it has not gone well. So what is Canada’s position concerning the blatantly racist tweets by the U.S. president? Well, the PM spoke at a press conference on Tuesday, July 16, and stated that “This is not how we do things in Canada. A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” Shouldn’t we expect a far more powerful denunciation by our democratic leaders or will we turn a blind eye and accept the “new normal” as leaders around the world trash human rights, civil liberties, race, religion, cultures, sexuality, simply because “others don’t fit in, they’re “different”, “they’re not like us”, “they don’t belong here”?

Will Canadians, too, at some point, be asked to leave the “land of the free and home of the brave” because we are different than Americans?

We’re too intertwined, that will never happen! Or will it?

P.J. Dwyer,
Gander


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