Naming Bannon as Chief Strategist in the Trump Administration is a divisive act.


“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump administration,” the US House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said.

With the new regime gearing up to take control in the New Year, social media and foreign journalists are all standing up in arms at the blatant white supremacist being named chief strategist. How can any of my Trump-supporting acquaintances claim that my fears are unfounded? Because each of those questioning my reactions are white men with incomes. They fear not. They don’t understand what is going on in the heads and hearts of the rest of us. Muslim. Jew. Female. Queer. Immigrants. We are all justifiably nervous, how could we not be?

Last week after winning the Electoral College vote, Trump in  his speech called for unity.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he told cheering supporters at a Manhattan hotel. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” He added that “We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.”

This week he appoints Stephen Bannon, someone with a reputation as a racist, mysoginist and anti-semite. How does the former president of the far-right Breitbart website whose rhetoric is so blatantly divisive aim to help Trump “bind the wounds of division?” The website that Bannon took over has a following of over 21 million hits per month with titles such as “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”
Ben Shapiro, a conservative white male editor,  calls Bannon a “vindictive nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies.” Kind of like Trump threatening Clinton during the campaign you mean?  Is that the way to bring people together? Or is a reminder of -dare I say it-  a dictator?

Bannon was also taken to court in 2007 by his second wife for domestic abuse and anti-semitism. In the records, Piccard stated that Bannon didn’t want their daughters to attend a certain school in LA because of the number of Jewish students.

So what are the supporters seeing that they like so much? A working class background, a navy man, a successful media hound. The methods are irrelevant apparently. For some people. For me though as a woman, working class, queer and an immigrant, appointments such as Bannon scares me, just as I was scared after the Homeland Security Act changed the lay of the land for all immigrants. I’ve been deported once. And it’s hell. To be in limbo like that, waiting for the Embassies to correct the paperwork, to allow me back home to New Mexico.

What will I do about it though? There are petitions in the work, emails to be written, and a vocal condemnation. We can’t take the slide into such a divisive government lightly. Or can we? After two years of total control of both House and Senate with Trump as President, who can they blame if all goes downhill fast?

“It’s important for us to let him make his decisions,” Mr. Obama said. “The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”

I’m not so nice. I’m checking social media, getting updates from the UK media, specifically the Guardian Newspaper online, and fact-checking like never before me. Change.org has a number of petitions worth researching. We have nothing to lose at this point. Stand up and be heard my friends. Stand up, read more, sign and share. Please.

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Author: Sarah Leamy

Sarah Leamy is a freelance writer, a novelist, and cartoonist. She is currently a MFA student at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is on the editorial team at Upstreet, Hunger Mountain, and Wanderlust-Journal. She is writing a collection of short stories and prose poems. She lives in Vermont.

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