The election of Donald Trump as America's 45th President took many of us by surprise. Living as an American expat in Japan and being so far away from home where so many are fearful of the future, it is hard not to feel isolated, despondent, disappointed, and extremely sad. President-elect Trump's use of fear mongering, demagoguery, misogyny, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, manipulation, dishonesty, and general bullying does not represent the ideals of my family, friends, or so many of my fellow citizens. Many are advocating for a "wait and see" approach to the new administration. I am willing to wait and see about specific legislation and policies (although I take seriously the regressive and often scary campaign pledges made by Mr. Trump to his supporters), but we must prepare for likely statements and actions by a Trump administration that will require a response by those who oppose his values and those he empowers with his style of politics. The recent appointment of Steve Bannon to a senior White House position (giving significant power to his rebranded white nationalist (aka "alt-right") movement) increases the likelihood that vigilance, critical thinking, and activism will be necessary by as many people who are willing to stand up as possible to push back against the hateful propaganda and policies that will likely emerge from President-elect Trump's administration. I am hoping to start a dialogue with others who would like to find ways to be engaged on these issues while living in Japan. Although we may be insulated from many of the day-to-day consequences of Mr. Trump's statements and policies, I hope we can make a difference in standing up for those who are most vulnerable to these actions. In addition, there may be serious consequences for Japan stability in this regions, which will impact the safety and prosperity of everyone living in Japan.
Please send a message if you are interested in this group and would like to discuss how best to move forward.