While white politicians on the Hill scramble to beef up security for their staffs and themselves, children and young people in schools across the country are being the targets of Donald Trump’s hateful 2016 campaign rhetoric and his Presidential...idk...blabber.
In an in-depth study conducted for BuzzFeed News, reporters confirmed 50 incidents, across 26 states, in which a K-12 grade student invoked Trump’s name or campaign message to antagonize another student. By 'harassed' BuzzFeed News means, for example, "a white eighth-grader [in Brea, California] told a black classmate, "Now that Trump won, you're going to have to go back to Africa, where you belong," the "third-grade boy [in Louisville, Kentucky who] chased a Latina girl around the classroom shouting "Build the wall!" and that time, on Election Day in Silverton, Oregon where "around three dozen students gathered in their high school’s parking lot, holding Trump signs and waving American flags. When Latino students passed by, teens in the crowd shouted "Pack your bags, you're leaving tomorrow!" and "Tell your family goodbye!""
By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor
With House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who helped whip votes for bills like the AHCA, in the hospital and in critical condition after a BernieBro for vague political reasons shot at a field of GOP congressmen and staffers earlier this week, liberals and conservatives alike have been standing next to each other (gasp), insisting that their diverging ideologies don’t prevent them from having a bipartisan family dynamic and that, in reality, they truly care about each other and blah, blah, blah. But who gives a shit?
The hand holding kumbaya is admittedly an attempt to tone down the political rhetoric that Trump’s presence ratcheted up, but politicians on both sides of the aisle don’t seem to get politics, nor relationships between citizens, are about friendship. They’re about humanity. And political differences that disrespect or disregard someone’s humanity are not negligible in a way that calls for unity.
Being friendly with people who are actively working towards to oppress you is like throwing a rug over a pile of trash and then admiring the rug. Donald Trump’s hateful words verbalized GOP policy and removed the rug so he could lay in the trash. And now we’re all laying in it with him.
T White people who elected Trump, and the politicians that supported, endorsed, or held-their-nose-to-vote-for him, co-signed and legitimized the hateful words he spoke on the trail. They can chock it up to being about the party, but it should be clear that this then turned into a prioritization of party over family; over kids. Kinda like when Sandy Hook happened and Congress refused to enact any type of legislation that might be relevant in stopping such a horrific event again.
During the campaign, ewe had a public conversation about how to explain Trump's hateful and oppressive words to our children. Republicans like Jason Chaffetz publically lamented about how they could justify voting for Trump to their daughters...before ultimately voting for him anyway. Like Chaffetz, white voters told the babies that it didn’t matter.
The election of Donald Trump signified a dark transition into an era where the neighbors and co-workers of black, non-black POC, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQIA, disabled, and mentally ill Americans told us that they either hated us or just didn’t care about us. And for the past 8 months, (white) society via political commentary and a zillion thinkpieces have tried to make the admission that the people not being cared for were reasonable casualties of political war. And coming from whites and cishet men, this was unsurprising. People with dominant identities, like whiteness or being cishet will sacrifice those they believe to be marginal within society on a dime. But now it’s time for everyone to admit that the carnal, hostile vote for Donald Trump was a hostile action against our children, too.
No amount of congressional hand-holding, baseball games and joint interviews can erase what Trumpism has cost our young people.
Photo via Time Magazine
*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK's editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at email@example.com.