The streets are flooded with masses of signs that read we care and stop the hate each held up high by children, adults, men, and women of all races. These are citizens that stand chanting by one another pleading for the U.S. to step out of the ignorance that the country has fallen into.
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At this point the concept of not repeating the same mistakes in history would seem wise, but they have been overlooked. The President has provoked citizens to discriminate against other racial groups and each other by expressing his personal opinions; although they are platforms of free speech, Trump has taken advantage of those rights. Therefore, citizens should not pay much attention to his extreme views.
After Trump’s presidential campaign, there has been an increase in harassment due to the manner in which Trump has persuaded many. While these cases are more common in adults, the tension has also spread into the lives of many children. Dr. Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist who specializes in violence, has introduced The Trump Effect, which is the increase of bullying in schools after Donald Trump’s presidential campaign (42). The President’s name has been used as a chant by other children to evoke fear onto classmates as if mentioning the boogeyman.
This leads many parents to worry about the criticism that they receive due to their heritage, and introduces them to the prejudice of American society. On the other hand, there are adults justifying their hate crimes against minorities with the hostility that Trump introduced in his campaign. In a statement by the Southern Poverty Law Center, it reports that, in the two-week period between Election Day and February 9, 2017, there were seventy anti-Jewish incidents and thirty-one anti-Muslim incidents, the majority being bomb threats (Lee 44).
Although, the President has never directly told his supporters to kill anyone, he has definitely conveyed to many that they may manipulate his words for their own convenience. To say nothing of the topic would inevitably lead to further issues that the President would then put aside. Not to mention, the President does not shy away from his personal opinions. In fact, he actually encourages others to follow in his footsteps during his rallies. For instance, during the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s campaigns started with yelling Get’ em outta here! (Trump qtd. in The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump). Even though he did not mention who, many can assume that the reference was towards Mexicans and Muslims due to his stance on immigration.
After all, he made it clear in his campaign that his priority as president would be to deport all the “dangerous” people. It seems that his campaign was a preview of what his presidency would entail with the derogatory remarks. Not only was Trump’s criticism addressed towards citizens, there were also some directed to President Obama. In particular, Trump’s discontent with President Obama’s victory led to the Birtherism conspiracy, which was solely based on the idea that Barack Obama was not born a U.S. citizen. Although the conspiracy was introduced in the 2008 presidential election, Trump brought it up during the re-election and Lee argues that he uses it, as a jumping-off platform to launch his presidential candidacy (261).
Such ideas were debunked by President Obama himself but many did not believe it to be true for the simple manner that he looked different from the other presidents. It only emphasizes how President Trump was very cunning with his remarks in discriminating. Not only was he attacking a Former President, but he was also carelessly putting him in harm’s way without thinking of how others may react. At the time Trump may not have been in office, but his reputation was definitely building up. Without a doubt, the President has taken advantage of the position that the people of the U.S. entrusted him with. Consider when he managed to pass a ninety-day travel ban deceiving many Muslims and brought a new fear into Americans, that he is going to use executive power (Lowery).
The act was so sudden that many citizens could not leave airports because they had to go through security checks, which held up many travelers. Refugees that were arriving with the hope that the U.S. would take them in were disappointed with the news that help would not be offered. Many thought it to be an abuse on the President’s part since his reasoning behind the ban were accusations towards the Muslim community. After some time the ban dissolved, but there was residue that left many Americans fearing excessive power in the government. Similarly, President Trump revoked Jim Acosta’s press credentials when a presidential press conference started getting heated and some false accusations were made. Later a federal judge ordered for the recovery of Acosta’s credentials.
Although, the case is expected to go on, Trump has decided to impose rules on future press conferences to avoid disagreements. However, Nancy Gertner, a formal federal judge and a Harvard Law School professor, remarks: This ruling is not saying that what Acosta did was the right thing or the wrong thing. The judge ruled that the president can’t revoke his credentials without due process: a statement of what he did wrong, an opportunity to respond, a final decision. The ruling leaves those issues and his First Amendment challenge for another day. (Grynbaum) Even though Acosta filed a lawsuit and recovered his credentials, the possibility that Trump could revoke credentials in a matter of seconds is what impacted many. Not only because they were credentials but mostly because it was an attack towards someone that went against what he said.
Many were also angered because President Trump acted out of emotions instead of taking the lawful steps when revoking press credentials. It should also be noted that Trump’s messages have gone farther than expected with the help of social media. Notably, the neighboring country, Canada has conducted studies that have proven, a 600 percent increase in the amount of intolerant hate speech on social media by Canadians between November 2015 and 2016 (Racists misogynists). This is more commonly seen with the use of hashtags as a movement created by extremists.
The internet is a place to express one’s opinions, but when someone with authority does so, they should know the amounts of views it will receive. That very number may be what fuels the President. As a result, easy access to technology means that everyone knows what the President has done in a matter of seconds. Therefore, the U.S. had to make a tough choice during the election. Up until Donald Trump’s presidency, there has been a long streak of fear accumulating among immigrants, children, and Americans. Since the campaign, there has been an increase in bullying at schools and the use of racial slurs are starting to be thrown around like confetti.
Even before the inauguration the President was very vocal on immigration and was insensitive towards the topic. There are many platforms that the President has access to, but that does not mean that he should excessively use them as much as he has. When the boundaries set in place are overstepped, it results in a rift between the civilians. The worst part is that the President has awoken this hate and is not doing anything to stop it. On the contrary, he is fueling it through his words and actions in office. Friends and families are being separated by the very person that was elected to unify and strengthen the country.
Grynbaum, Michael M., and Emily Baumgaertner. “Judge Orders the White House to Restore a CNN Reporter’s Credentials.” New York Times, 17 Nov. 2018. Global Issues in Context. Accessed 23 Nov. 2018.
Lee, Bandy. The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. St. Martin’s Press, 2017.
Lowery, Wesley, and Josh Dawsey. “Early chaos of Trump’s travel ban set stage for a year of immigration policy debates.” The Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2018. Global Issues in Context. Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.
“Racists misogynists do not deserve a platform – anywhere.” Toronto Star, 9 Sept. 2018. Global Issues in Context. Accessed 30 Oct. 2018.
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