Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Resist Not Only The Individual. Resist The Entire System.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n April 6, Thursday evening, Donald Trump launched nearly 60 tomahawk missiles in the direction of a Syria-government airfield. Trump’s rationale behind it? Syrian president Bashar al-Assad had “crossed the line” with his chemical attacks in Syria, killing dozens of people–including children. Trump saw these “heinous” acts and decided that somehow it was his responsibility to step in and let Assad know his actions did not sit right with him. While Donald Trump has absolutely no right to determine what “crossing the line,” is (see some of Trump’s own heinous acts here) it is exactly this type of rhetoric that his supporters feed off of and sympathize with, causing him to be perceived as a hero to the American people. There is nothing like a good ole “not on my watch you don’t” narrative to get the Trump supporters forgetting that the same people Trump is now claiming to protect from Assad’s heinous acts are the exact same people who would have been denied access into America had Trump’s Muslim ban gone through. As if everything prior to this moment was not evident of the contradictory monster America has elected into office, Trump continues to outdo himself and has now initiated an act of war.

The system is not concerned with the racial identity of the political figure that leads it. It has no reason to be. As long as the system continues to exist, its oppressive values will continue to prevail.

“Resist Trump” has been a phrase voiced and endorsed by millions of people nationwide since Trump was elected into office last November. And while it is critical that we continue to resist Trump’s presidency and his entire administration through exercising our first amendment right, calling our senators and expressing our disdain with Trump’s policies, or merely reading and sharing honest journalism, I feel like people are failing to realize something. While Trump is indeed a part of the problem, he is not the actual problem. If we are going to be completely honest, bombing Syria was inevitable, whether either Trump or Hilary Clinton was in office. And as much as we may love (or hate) former President Barack Obama, he deserves a wide array of scrutiny for when he launched 2,800 strikes on Iraq and Syria without congressional approval. So among the good (Obama), the bad (Clinton), and the ugly (Trump), Syrian lives were liable to be threatened–one way or another.

It is possible you are asking yourself “But how? How come under any president, the lives of innocent Syrian refugees would have been at risk? Is Syria THAT bad?”

No. America is just awful–specifically, America’s system.

In a system where war is romanticized and capitalism is recognized as the “American way of life,” the poor continue to grow poorer and the United States continues to believe it has the authority to police other countries through militant force. But it does not stop there. The American system is also home to systematic racism; it’s a system devised to shackle the prosperity of black and brown people while keeping intact the privilege for white people to remain oblivious to their social surroundings because the system will not affect them (mass incarceration, school system, banking along with many others). And while presidents come and go, the system continues to exist. So it should not be of shock when we continue to see black lives being taken by the police even though a black man is in office. It should not be of shock when the gap between the rich and the poor continues to intensify drastically. And it surely should not be of shock when we continue to see presidents sticking their nose in foreign affairs that do not concern them. It is the system’s job to assure these things happen, no matter who is in power.

The system is not concerned with the racial identity of the political figure that leads it. It has no reason to be. As long as the system continues to exist, its oppressive values will continue to prevail. The system just waits for the next person up. And it surely does not hurt when the political figure leading the system embodies the characteristics the system was meant to benefit.

Let me tell you something–if your resistance stops at the presidency of Donald Trump, then you accept the system that prioritizes profit and property over the equality and liberty every individual in America (and across the globe) is so rightfully entitled too. Trump should not be the sole reason for your dissatisfaction with American policy. It is time we go deep beneath the surface and uncover the truths as to WHY an authoritative figure like Trump is able to put the people in these wretched predicaments, rather than to stop our analysis at the individual holding office. It cannot be just because Trump is Trump that we criticize him. American imperialism should have no tolerance in our country, regardless of who is president.

By no means am I saying take it easy on Trump; in fact, we must stop at nothing until he is no longer our president. But similar to how we are comfortable voicing our disdain towards his presidency, we must voice this very same disdain towards our system. Because the bottom line is this: If it is not Donald Trump today, as long as the system exists it will just be somebody else accomplishing the system’s goals. And while you may be thinking “no way anybody can be worse than Trump,” keep in mind that they do not have to be. Evil is evil no matter how candid or insidious it may be. And as long as evil is around, it will always pose a threat to the greater good.

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