“We have an obligation to protect children from violence”
The 2016 primary election is byfar the strangest and the disturbing. Between Hillary Clinton doing the Nae Nae on the Ellen DeGeneres Show to appeal to millennials and the Bernie “Hey Girl” memes, I seriously don’t know whether to laugh or be skeptical.
But what seems to be clogging up my social media newsfeed is the antics of Donald Trump. Trump is a businessman and candidate for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States in 2016. Unlike the other Republican candidates, Trump seems to be getting all the media coverage one way or the other. Now, there isn’t a day that I don’t see a plethora of think pieces, memes, videos and skits focusing on this man alone. Of all the Republican candidates, Trump is the most popular while leading in the polls at forty-four percent and has recently been endorsed by former candidates Sarah Palin, Dr. Ben Carson, singer Aaron Carter, and other celebrity Republicans.
This is completely different from four years ago when he could barely get press due to his ridiculous accusation that President Barack Obama is a non-U.S. citizen, demanding that the current Commander in Chief show his birth certificate. But this time around, President Obama is not the focus of the Trump campaign but certain demographics of color. At every rally, the Republican candidate is not only telling his predominately White supporters that Mexicans are raping and stealing here every time they cross the border. He is also telling them that Muslims need to be deported or wear “special ID badges” and the Middle East should be blown up. When anti-Trump demonstrators show up at his gatherings to protest, Trump encourages his supporters to “beat them up,” watching while angry White men shove protesters out the auditorium.
But what disturbs me about Republican candidate is how his violent inducing rhetoric affects the most vulnerable populations: our children.
Called the Trump Effect, this use of oppressive rhetoric is more likely to cause trauma among young kids–especially immigrant children. Mostly Hispanic and Middle Eastern children are now being targeted by their peers, causing the former to fear their environments. Case in point: there is one story about a young Muslim girl named Sofia who hears Trump’s speech about deporting all Muslims. She soon goes into her room and begins packing her bags and checking the locks on her door, thinking that she and her family are going to be targeted by soldiers.
Another example involves Trump supporters taunting Latinos at Dallas Center-Grimes High School during a basketball game. The former not only chants “Trump” as the students play, but “U-S-A” after the game is finished. This act of racism stems from the runner-up’s promise to build a wall at the Mexican border to prevent migrant workers from entering the United States.
When NPR’s Cokie Roberts asks Trump during an interview if he is proud of his actions, Trump responds “Well I think your question’s a very nasty question.”
But the question is far from nasty. I have to say that it’s completely valid and fair. For one, let’s talk about the fact that not only are children of color are being targeted due racism and xenophobia, but are victims of fear mongering that leave them extremely confused. They are watching Black Lives Matter protesters being attacked by White strangers at Trump rallies and wondering why this is even happening.
So imagine my anger at the cognitive dissonance of those who defend Trump’s supporters and the actions of Trump himself, arguing for their “First Amendment rights.” Look. Everyone has the right to speak and express their ideologies, so that’s not the issue here. The problem is that there’s a difference between freedom of speech and using speech to incite the physical, emotional, and psychological harm to entire demographics of people. When Trump is encouraging his supporters to attack protesters and people of color, his words and actions are no longer protected by the First Amendment. It’s officially hate speech and adults aren’t the only ones affected.
So what am I getting at, Dear Readers? That our children are paying attention to the election. They are watching the anti-Trump protest rallies unfold on their streets and their peers reacting to those who attack them. They listen to Trump’s speeches about building a wall to keep Mexicans out of the country, how the BLM members are trouble. They hear the lies about how Muslims are nothing but terrorists. Our children see it on the news, YouTube and catch the conversations on the city bus. They are aware and are becoming afraid. Don’t believe me? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmylREVCULo
So whether you “Feel the Bern,” consider yourself a conservative or radical, please do all you can to protect the children who are negatively affected by Trump’s foolishness and that of his supporters.
P.S.–Do not come at me with the “Bernie is better” nonsense. Not only does that misses the ENTIRE point of my post, but his being in the White House will neither erase historical trauma caused by White supremacy or the trauma caused by Trump’s ignorance and the disturbing acts his supporters.