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Scottish Campaign Manager Nicola Hay shares her thoughts on the U.S election results

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Many of us across the globe are still recovering from the shocking result of the U.S Presidential election. This is a difficult news story for me to write, as to a large extent, it feels like the wind has been knocked out of me and I am yet to catch my breath. Sadly, many will still be celebrating Trump’s victory.

Similar to my reaction to Brexit, I am at a loss for words and I keep asking myself how we got here?

Both Trump’s campaign and the ‘Leave’ campaign were based on hate, discrimination and the blaming of ‘different’ others. They both fed off of the fears and frustrations of disenfranchised people. In the U.S in particular, we watched people have their human rights stripped away based on their race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

It makes me wonder whether, as a lesbian migrant, I took for granted the human rights I have enjoyed over the last three years living in the U.K. The events over the last six months have been a painful reminder that equality is not guaranteed, and all of the hard work we have done in creating a more equal and inclusive society can be changed by thoughtless people and their policies.

The saddest part of both Brexit and yesterday’s U.S Presidential result was that millions of people soaked up this hate and ran with it all the way to the voting stations.

What is even sadder, is that ‘migrants stealing jobs’ isn’t even the real problem. The problem is the current system and the alarming disparity between the rich and the poor. But let’s not get in to that – we could be philosophising for months.

I will however, leave an interesting point I read this morning that stated:

“Few politicians dare tell them that increased automation may take more jobs than immigrants. You can’t deport a driverless truck.” (Mark Mark Mardell, link below)

My heart is still breaking today for my ethnic minority, LGBTQI, religious and female friends.

Yesterday, our Education Worker Gillian Eunson walked in to the office and broke down in tears because of the election result. She turned to me and said ‘how do I explain this to children, how do I explain that so many people agreed with hate?’ While I was sad to see Gillian so distressed, her reaction to the result reminded me that there are still so many good people out there in the world. People, who care for the well-being of others.

So in these turbulent times, go out there and tell children just to love. Tell children that it doesn’t matter what someone’s ethnicity is, it doesn’t matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity is, it doesn’t matter what their religion is. All that matters is that they meet every person with love and goodness.

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