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Trump’s Hate Speech During Election Now Echoed By Bigots In Madison

November 10, 2016

There is a most vile and mean-spirited situation taking place in this country.  And it is coming from the uneducated whites who were a central part of Donald Trump’s election success.

I was talking with a woman who broke down in tears following the election.  The reason was due to her extended family which is diverse and how they are now feeling after this election and the racism and bigotry which was condoned by that segment which supported Trump.

Tonight a local member of our neighborhood association writes how his son’s music teacher was at an ATM on State Street in Madison when the person behind her said “get out of here Chink”.

A classmate of mine from high school wrote from St. Paul that “this morning my dear friend was working out in her building’s gym. Two guys came up to her and snarled, “This is Trump country, now!” She is an American citizen of Iranian descent.

A friend reports that a local Madison McDonalds the day after the election a very rowdy and loud group of teenage boys were chanting louder and louder in the restaurant and as a lesbian she did not feel safe and left.  Her food paid for but not ate remained on the table.

I have heard some stories already about kids at our schools who have acted in ways that can never be accepted.  I have personally heard how some adult foreign students at a local college have been badly treated, some even physically.  A man from the Mid-East even had to pretend to have an American name so to be gainfully employed in our city.

Those are some of the people and stories I personally am aware of, and it pains me.

Nationally we have heard the awful reports of racist, pro-Trump graffiti painted inside a high school. A hijab-wearing college student was robbed by men talking about Trump and Muslims. At the New York University Tandon School of Engineering students discovered the name of the President-elect written on the door to a prayer room for Muslims. Yesterday, two Muslim students on our campus came out of their room to see “Fuck Muslims #Trump2016” on their white board. This happened at Middlebury!

A most sickening and growing number of such violence and hate-speech is being reported all across this nation.  And Donald Trump is the main reason why some now think such behavior is allowed.  It is not of course, and some sensitivity mandated training will be required in schools and places of business.

As for my city where I call home there is only one way to proceed.   We need to start thinking about ways to stand by the people in our community.  These are tough times—rougher and meaner than anything we have seen before regardless of how old one might be.

Let me make one thing clear.  And I know I speak for the majority who voted in this election.  License has not been given with the election of Trump to treat one another in the fashion we are hearing more and more about both in the news and now locally.    We are a great bunch of folks in the city I love and call home.  We must find ways to make sure it does not become acceptable in any way to make someone feel as an outsider or one less worthy of equality and our humanity.

Tonight a former Marine, Eric Campbell, and friend on Facebook summed it up better than I ever could.  I close this post with his words–words to ponder.

I chose to serve because I believe in the importance to serve someone and something greater than yourself – to ensure that all of us had human rights – to stand up for what was right. …I sacrificed years of my life (and my freedom during that time) because I believed it was worth it.

But guess what? I did it with the knowledge there was an unspoken covenant between those that serve and the country they served for. I served to ensure that immigrants felt safe coming to us. I served to ensure my mother, friends, and anyone else would have the same rights as I do, regardless of sexual orientation. I served to ensure that the country continued to move in a direction of improvement for not a subset of the population, but the *entire* population.

On Tuesday, that covenant was broken.

I feel betrayed. I’m hurt, angry, and I fear for many of my friends and loved ones.

And let’s be honest, as a white straight male, my fear is not for myself, but those I love and respect. Friends, family, strangers on the street. If this is what I’m feeling, I shudder to think what they feel.

Trump is not why I served. He represents the opposite of everything I served for. He’s shown himself over and over and over to be a despicable human being. Even if he magically becomes 100% sane and works to better the country now (I don’t believe that will happen for a second), what he’s already done and the way he ran his campaign has opened the floodgates of bigotry, racism, homophobia, misogyny, and xenophobia. The damage has been done.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2016 10:34 AM

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Ed.

  2. Ed Hammer permalink
    November 11, 2016 6:09 AM

    I was not shocked by the election. Throughout the campaign I cautioned anyone who would listen that Trump could win. His rhetoric appealed to the hateful to the fearful. Hate and fear won. We all have post election stories of the hateful voices. The fearful voices have been quieter. Perhaps they will recognize their mistake in time. The hateful will not. Trump played that hate and fear like Hendrix played the guitar. God help us in the coming days.

    My partner was devastated over the results. I told her we just need to hunker down and survive for now. We surely lost this battle, but the war isn’t over. Thoughtful, caring people will win in the long run. We may not win over the hateful. We can’t stand by and acquiesce to it, but we won’t win. We have a chance with the fearful. Listening and understanding their fears as the world changes is a first step. Living in the North, I see many who feel left behind or plain left out. They think Trump and his ilk will bring positive change. They are sadly mistaken. Hopefully, they will see it within the next two years.

    Giving into the fear and hate is not an option.

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