Friday, April 20, 2018

A Reminder for 2018 and Beyond...

Whether Trump is a racist and a xenophobe is left up to each individual to decide for themselves. For many, the number is probably in the many millions, his words as candidate and president are responsible for ushering in an overt and despicable acceptance of these evils among his base and followers.

The following excerpt is from an article in Reveal by Will Carless. It serves as a reminder, for me anyway, that Trump does NOTrepresent the values that Make America Great.

Editor’s note: To provide a full picture of what hate speech victims experienced, we have not edited out offensive language.

It was the day after the 2016 presidential election. Melissa Johnson was walking out of a Trader Joe’s in the heart of San Diego when a shiny BMW pulled up alongside her. The driver was a man in his late 30s. Dark hair. Green eyes. Her first thought: He’s kind of hot.

The car slowed down. Then the man shouted at her through the open window.

“Fuck you, nigger, go back to Africa. The slave ship is loading up,” he said. Then he added an exclamation point: “Trump!”

As the man drove away, Johnson, looked around at the shoppers who had witnessed the attack. She was the only African American in the parking lot. Not one person met her eye. Nobody said anything. So the 37-year-old walked, stunned, to her car, where she sat and wept.

Melissa Johnson was a victim of hate speech in this Trader Joe’s parking lot in San Diego the day after the 2016 presidential election.
Credit: Jamie Scott Lytle for Reveal

Nearly every metric of intolerance in the U.S. has surged over the past 18 months, from reported anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to violent hate crimes based on skin color, nationality or sexual orientation.

This renaissance of hate features something new: xenophobic, racist and homophobic attacks punctuated with President Donald Trump’s name. To understand the scope of the phenomenon, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting identified more than 150 reports of Trump-themed taunts and attacks stretching across 39 states over the past year and a half.

Interviews with the targets of and witnesses to these incidents showed a striking pattern. The abusers had a clear message: Trump’s going to take care of a problem – and that problem is you.

This pattern extended across races, religions and sexual orientation. Two days after the presidential election, a gay man in Michigan heard a taunt from a group of men: “Trump is going to get rid of people like you.” A week later, a Jewish woman in Austin, Texas, said she heard exactly the same threat from a middle-aged white man as she lined up to buy groceries. Two months later, a Latino man in California said he was told by a white ex-girlfriend that Trump was going “get rid of the Hispanics.” By March, a black woman in Houston reported that she was told by a white man that Trump was going to “get rid of all you niggers.”

Immediately after the election, there was a surge in Trump-related taunts. But all last year and into this year, the threats kept coming: An Asian American woman in Hollywood, California, had her hair pulled by an older white woman and was told that she had to “go back to China” now that Trump is president. In the Washington, D.C., area, the Trump-tainted threats got so frequent and so bad that Mohammad Qureshi, a Muslim American man who works at the Dulles Airport Marriott, changed his nametag to John.

These interviews reveal the trickle-down effect of a president who has called Mexicans rapists, proposed barring Muslims from entering the country and denigrated certain nations as “shithole countries.” Sometimes the perpetrators quoted the president’s words nearly verbatim. Other times, they signaled that as far as they’re concerned, the country has changed in their favor now that Trump is in charge.

For most of those targeted, it wasn’t the first time they have heard hateful speech. But dozens of people interviewed for this story said we’ve entered a new era of hate – one of open, blatant shouts, not whispers. And now that hate features a presidential seal of approval.

Racism in America used to be more subtle, Johnson said. As she shopped for dresses and handbags at Nordstrom, she said the security guards would follow her. The old lady in the elevator would clutch her Louis Vuitton bag a little tighter in the enclosed space – never mind that Johnson has five of those bags herself. Neighbors discouraged their son from dating her.

Now, things are different.

SKIP

Most of the victims of abuse by Trump supporters said they’re scared. But their fear isn’t just that they will be attacked again by people emboldened by Trump. They worry that America has taken a step backward after generations of civil rights gains.

Najwa Sebbahi, for example, witnessed a middle-aged white woman’s Islamophobic rant against several customers in a store in the New York borough of Brooklyn three weeks before the 2016 election.

“Trump is going to get rid of all of you terrorists,” the woman said. The attack culminated in the woman pushing a Pakistani American girl and the police being called. Sebbahi, who immigrated to the U.S. from Morocco in her teens, said police refused to charge the woman with a crime, citing her right to free speech.

There is more, much more HERE for those with the stomach.

A visit to rightwing weblogs will provide many examples of the attitudes and behaviors highlighted in the Reveal article. America is, and always has been at its best when united. Given Trump's divisive rhetoric it is no wonder why we see the increase in hate in America since his entry into politics. The kind of hate evidenced in Germany of the 1930's and 1940's. A kind of hate that will rip America apart unless stopped.

12 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I really don't think Trump has caused any increase in hate. The hate was there all along in a substantial minority of the population. Trump's election merely gave those people the feeling that it is now OK once again to express it openly. Hence the great increase in incidents like those described.

    Trump becoming President didn't make you or me any more racist than we were before, and there's no reason to think it would have such an effect on anyone else. But the right wing and Republicanism have long been rife with bigotry expressed in hints and coded language. All that's changed is that some people believe it's now respectable again and need not be hidden any more.

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    1. Your observation is spot on Infidel. tRump's real affect, an intentional one IMO, has been to embolden the racists that already exist in our nation. His "presidential wink and nod" has given them a sense of approval and acceprance.

      tRump is a divider of the highest order, among other unsavory characteristics.

      Delete
  3. 50 million abortions later... the Left develops a conscience. Oh, wait, no it didn't.

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    1. This post is NOT about abortion or the right of WOMEN to control their OWN bodies. So, save your OT comments in the future for a post that is relevant to your desire to post.

      We anticipate your anticipated cooperation.

      Delete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. You are NOT we come to post here , regardless of what you might have to say. So, we suggest you don't waste your time. Not that it is valuable to anyone in any way shape or form.

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Sorry, we do NOT allow OT comments here. Unless approved by me. Your comment is NOT approved.

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    1. Sorry, we do NOT allow OT comments here. Unless approved by me. Your comment is NOT approved.

      Delete

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