President-elect Donald Trump has not even taken office yet, but if the first few days following the unexpected outcome of the election are any indication of what America will look like once he does, we’re in very serious trouble. While Trump supporters continue to lament on social media that now is the time to “get over it,” “stop whining,” “respect the process” and come together in solidarity and allegiance with the new Commander in Chief, it appears many of them aren’t practicing what they’re preaching. And it’s scary. It’s very, very scary. In just three short days, reports have begun streaming in about increases in hate crimes and hate speech in the form of graffiti in numerous areas throughout the country. Children are being harassed, some as young as elementary school, and are expressing their true and justified fear of being physically harmed just for simply going to school. This, people, is not acceptable.
Donald Trump “won” the election based on the number of electoral college votes he received, despite more than half the country casting their vote for Hillary Clinton, giving her the popular vote. It’s worth noting that throughout this catastrophic election, Trump used his Twitter account to wail about how our system is “rigged,” tweeting in 2012, “The electoral college is a disaster for democracy.” That is, of course, until the results were in. He has now returned to Twitter to criticize and demean those who have begun to exercise their First Amendment right to peaceful protest in response to his victory, yet not a word about the vile, vicious and hateful terrorist acts being carried out in his name.
What have we become?
On Wednesday, November 9, video began circulating of middle school students at Royal Oak Middle School in Royal Oak, Michigan chanting “BUILD THAT WALL” in the cafeteria, leaving Hispanic students distraught, frightened and worried for their personal safety. The video went viral, having been viewed over five million times so far. The saddest fact in this incident is these young children were taught this type of behavior is acceptable, without any actual understanding of how devastating its effects were, are, and always will be. Their parents should be ashamed of themselves but I would bet my house they aren’t. Rather, I believe they are proud of it and conversations about the backlash of the viral video at the dinner table went something like, “It was a joke! They’re KIDS! Relax and get over it!”
I won’t. Because I can’t.
On Wednesday, November 9, racist and hateful graffiti was found spray painted on a wall in Durham, North Carolina that read, “BLACK LIVES DON’T MATTER AND NEITHER DOES YOUR VOTES.”
On Wednesday, November 9, at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, a Muslim prayer room was defamed with a scrawling of “Trump!” on the door. The perpetrators are college students at New York University. The future leaders and innovators of this country.
On Wednesday, November 9, a student discovered racist graffiti on the bathroom stalls at Maple Grove Senior High in Minnesota that read, “Whites Only,” “Make America White Again,” “Now the white people are going to take over,” “Go back to Africa” and “F*** N******s.” The young man who discovered the graffiti, Moses Karngbaye, told the press, “That’s the first time I honestly felt like crying at school.”
On Thursday, November 10, a group of students at York Tech High School in Pennsylvania filmed themselves walking the halls of their school chanting, “white power” as they held up Donald Trump signs.
Before anyone says these are merely isolated incidents, stop. Even if there had only been ONE reported incident, it should have been met with legal consequences of the strictest kind. And those who claim just because they voted for Trump, it doesn’t make them hateful, racist, Islamaphobic, homophobic, sexist bigots; it’s exactly what they signed up for and by supporting the man, they now support the movement and must accept the consequences of that decision. Not hating is not the same as not caring, and not caring is the exact message any support for Trump sends which, by the way, couldn’t be more unpatriotic for Americans who pledge to love their country because freedom means for all, not “some.”
Lest we forget, unless we are Native Americans, it is US who are the immigrants here so there is no justification for wanting to “take our country back.” It wasn’t ours to begin with.
I have never in my life felt more fearful for my children, my family, my friends and my country than I do right now. How did we let this happen and what are we going to do to stop it?