I don’t often quote George W. Bush – I don’t have a lot of respect for the man or his intellectual prowess but this resonated with me:
“Our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”
I believe that. The ethos of any nation or organisation comes from the top. They set the tone and it enters into the zeitgeist of the nation.
In the USA Trump is putting out an arrogant, uncouth belligerence with shades of racism, misogyny and contempt.
In the UK Brexit has created division that has resulted in extreme unpleasantness and given succour to xenophobes and racists.
The result of this wave of nationalistic populism on both sides of the pond has empowered those with fascist tendencies to feel empowered. We have a resurgence of fascist groups, a big rise in hate crime and a return of racism to our streets and terraces.
This needs opposing. You don’t destroy hate with more hate. You have to use love and reason. But you do have to speak up and not be afraid to be heard.
The tide is turning. People are speaking up. Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, trolling and nationalistic populism is despicable.
What George W Bush said was true. We don’t want bigotry or cruelty. We want compassion and tolerance.
Time we all stood up and said so. That’s what this blog has always stood for!
“you can either exploit the anger, incite it, or you can come up with ideas to deal with it.”