There are many reasons why a president does what he does, and it is because he sets the highest example for our nation. For many administrations now, the president has set trends for everything, from foreign policy tones of voices all the way down to fashion statements. Even their wives are not immune to the influence they have over this nation.
So, when a person who is running for office begins to stay silent on issues, such as racism and the rights of individuals, things begin to tilt sideways. Soon, someone is being elected because of individual prejudice instead of their policies. These voices that have always been considered “outlying” and “irrational” now feel as if they have a foothold because they are watching someone vying for the highest seat in office, and not once has that person denounced any of these things.
When President Donald Trump was vying for office, he didn’t denounce the KKK when they endorsed his presidency. He didn’t denounce racism in any of its forms. He didn’t even denounce the usage of the Nazi salute at his inauguration celebration. The organizers had to do it, but not once did President Donald Trump actually speak out about the incident.
He stayed silent on many issues that require speaking out about, even if it is just one single statement made on national television.
What he did do, however, was mock a disabled reporter, cozy up to Vladimir Putin, and flip-flop on many issues his supporters claimed he would be absolutely hard-lined on.
All of this is important because it brings us to what is now currently happening: anti-Trump protesters are being targeted for violence because of their beliefs about the president. All of this talk of “building a wall” and “real Americans” and “giving this country back to its people” have stirred up a formerly silent group of people that feed off the idea that within this country exist two different groups: those who are truly American, and those who are not.
However, the terms of being “truly American” are solely dependent on their definition. That is terrifying given their rhetoric. An Hispanic man in Boston was beaten brutally by two Trump supporters over his stance on anti-immigration and his “travel ban.” An interracial couple was stabbed in Washington by a man who outright proclaimed to be a white supremacist, citing that he had gotten his courage from a Donald Trump rally. Not to mention the thousands of Muslims being sent death threats every single day since Trump’s election.
There was even an instance where a man by the name of Kit O’Connell was brutally attacked at a Berkeley rally by a Trump supporter for touching a man’s flag. The man was so enraged he ran O’Connell into a pole, concussing him and severely damaging his arm.
The kicker? Kit O’Connell was charged with a crime, and the man who originally attacked him was not, citing “self-defense.”
It's true that I was attacked by a Trump supporter today and being charged with my own assault. I don't have bail but do have medical fees
— Kit O'Connell (@KitOConnell) March 5, 2017
Many Republicans ask, “Why is it so important for you to hear all this? It’s common knowledge. Not every Republican thinks this way.”
We are not demanding the denouncement of these issues simply to hear Republicans be humble.
We are demanding the denouncement of these issues because this is what happens when you don’t. People take the silence of President Donald Trump and skew it into some egregious form of consent, and the violence begins “in honor of their new president.”
The single most destructive ideology in the administration of President Donald Trump is the idea that there are “real Americans” and “fake Americans.” Those to keep out with a wall and those to keep safe in their homes. Those to ban from the country and those to allow in. It is this hatred and fear and idea that is misconstrued, causing the carrying out all of the above acts of violence and more that are mounting every single day in the streets of this country.
Not every Republican thinks this way? It’s not about how you think, it’s about what you say.
And it’s about what you don’t.
Featured image courtesy of YouTube video.