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Meryl Streep responds back at Trump’s remark of ”over-rated actress”

Veteran actress Meryl Streep voiced her strong opinions regarding the current President's actions again and responded to his earlier "overrated" tag in a way only she can

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Donald Trump and Meryl Streep, wikimedia Commons
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New York, February 12:  Meryl Streep has replied to US President Donald Trump’s comment, where he deemed the Oscar-winning actress “over-rated”, following her speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony last month.

Streep said: “Yes, I’m the most overrated and over decorated actress”.

 The actress made the remarks while speaking at the Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Greater New York Gala Dinner on Saturday, according to Variety.com.

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Assailing Trump as bellicose and thin-skinned, mounting a rousing defence of LGBTQ freedoms, and bucking up a crowd that might have been otherwise dejected by America’s rightward turn towards conservatism, Streep argued that Trump’s election imperils gay rights, women’s rights, and other civil rights.

“If you think people got mad when they thought the government was coming after their guns, wait until they come and try to take away our happiness,” Streep said to a two-minute long standing ovation.

“We’re not going to go back to the bad old days of ignorance and oppression and hiding who we are.

“We owe it to the people who have died for our rights, and who have died before they even got their own.”

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Streep, who received the gay rights organisation’s Ally for Equality Award, said that critics of the new President have one thing to be grateful for.

“If we live through this precarious moment,” she said.

“If (Trump’s) catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is.”

Streep slammed Trump while accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” at the 74th Golden Globe Awards on January 8.

Trump later lashed out on Twitter, calling Streep an overrated actress.

In the event, Streep reflected on gay and transgender teachers who helped foster her love of the arts and of theatre.

At one point, she broke in song to treat the audience at the New York City gala to a rendition of the Emma Lazarus sonnet that lies at the base of the statue of liberty, saying the words were taught to her by a transgender teacher during a field trip.

Streep closed her speech with a call to arms for the people who may feel dispossessed and upset over Trump’s election.

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“We have the right to live our lives, with God or without, as we choose,” Streep said.

“There is a prohibition against the establishment of a state religion in our constitution, and we have the right to choose with whom we live, whom we love, and who and what gets to interfere with our bodies. As Americans, men, women, people, gay, straight, LGBTQ. All of us have the human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (IANS)

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Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West?

"This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied."

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Police Chief David Brown. Image Source: Twitter
  • Kamal Al Solaylee’s book Brown highlights the problems of ‘brown’ people in Trump’s rule
  • Donald Trump is often accused of malingering the image of brown people
  • this book cites many examples of discrimination which brown people go through

Title: Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone); Author: Kamal Al Solaylee

All our social development and our technological advancements don’t seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints — as proved by the recent intemperate comments by US President Donald Trump on immigrants from a certain set of countries.

Trump’s thinking, as seen in his off-the-cuff remarks, underscore that the questionable classification of race, expressed by the obviously evident and inescapable feature of a person’s skin, is well alive — and extends beyond the white-black binary. What about the yellow, or rather, the (as necessary for the global economy but far more exploited) brown?

Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Trump is only one leading manifestation of the malaise facing brown people — which include West Asians, Latin Americans, North Africans, and South and Southeast Asians — and far beyond the West too or from the “Whites”, says Yemeni-origin, Egypt-bred, Canadian journalist-turned-academician Al Solaylee in this book.

Trump’s victory “largely (but not exclusively)” rode on demonising Mexicans, galvanising sentiment against Muslims and championing white nationalism, the vote for Brexit was mostly pioneered by those with a restrictive view of Englishness, the record of Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — all these are obscure racial conflicts brewing in the US and Europe for decades now.

Also Read: Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

“Examine these tensions closely and you’ll find a strong anti-brown sentiment at the core,” says Al Solaylee as he traces the response to, as well as the experiences of, the residents of Global South, who are forced to migrate to — and much needed in — the Developed North for various reasons, not least of which is the latter’s colonial record.

“Brown as the colour of cheap labour continues on a global scale… brown bodies undertake the work that white and older immigrant Americans refuse to do (and those black slaves were forced to do in previous centuries).

These are low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in unforgiving climates,” he says, but also that these are not limited to the Western nations but also in the more affluent parts of Asia itself too.

“This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied; our presence as Muslims or religious minorities is offered as an example of the tolerant, diverse societies in which we live, but we continue to be feared,” says Al Solaylee.

And there is no difference whether this is deliberate or mistaken as he goes to cite the cases of the racist slurs on Sikh volunteers feeding the homeless in Manchester in the wake of the May 2017 terror attack, or the fatal shooting of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US in February 2017 by an American who thought he and his friend were Iranians and screaming at them to “get out of his country”.

Al Solaylee contends we think of brown as a “continuum, a grouping — a metaphor, even — for the millions of darker-skinned people who, in broad historical terms, have missed out on the economic and political gains of the post-mobility, equality and freedom”. They are now living, he says, among former colonial masters where they are “transforming themselves from nameless individuals with swarthy skins into neighbours, co-workers and friends”.

You may also like: List of 50 People who have affected Hinduism in a Negative Manner 

And it is their story he tells — both in their homes from the Philippines to Sri Lanka and workplaces from Hong Kong to the Gulf as well as Western Europe and North America.

Al Solaylee, however, starts with first recounting his own childhood experience on learning he is brown after seeing an English movie featuring a white child and coming to terms with “brownness” in his journeys around the world and interactions with other browns (fairness creams figure largely as well as the concern that he settle down) as well as Brown’s significance in nature and culture.

He then takes up the human obsession with race, despite the concept being debunked, except in politics before his exploration of the experiences and consequences of being brown around the world.

A stirring travelogue, incisive social and political comment and a passionate cry to rise above unavoidable consequences of geography and genes, this invaluable work rises in importance beyond its subject to be a seminal guide to the world today — and what it will soon be — particularly the US. IANS