Surprise, surprise. Donald Trump has done it again. He continues to promote discrimination and vulgarity, as the 2016 Presidential process brings great dissent among Americans. At a recent rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, for instance, Trump encouraged a woman to repeat invective against Ted Cruz, current U.S. Senator from Texas. “She just said a terrible thing,” Trump said, smiling. “Shout it out” (Johnson). Trump encouraging his supporter to call Cruz a “pussy” is simply unprofessional and immature; his vulgarity and rudeness is not a quality presidential candidates should condone.
This harsh invective contradicts American public school’s efforts to mitigate bullying. When political leaders direct insults at one another, it signals to younger generations that it is okay to direct vulgar language at others. One can argue that young people don’t vote, and therefore, their political opinions don’t matter, but children are likely to reflect their parents’ attitudes. For instance, nine-year-old Ava Lovely shed tears of joy after her mother told her they were going to see Donald Trump in person (Mills). Regardless of your political affiliation, would you want your president to be someone who uses invective to make his candidates feel inferior to himself? You don’t have to be a supporter of Ted Cruz to understand that what Donald Trump did at the New Hampshire rally is not an attitude our future president should reflect.
While invective against other GOP presidential candidates is encouraged at Trump rallies, peaceful Americans have often been escorted out of these events. These people are notably followers of Islam and Sikhism. For instance, at a rally in South Carolina, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab was escorted out of a rally while conducting a peaceful protest (Diamond). Similarly, a group of Sikh men holding a banner that read “Stop Hate” were also asked to leave (Wang). “You don’t have to be a Muslim to stand against anti-Muslim bigotry,” they argued. Why should an American who is shouting vulgar language at a Trump rally be encouraged to repeat her insults, but peaceful attendees be asked to leave? And why should we amplify the voices of those who condone vulgarity but suppress the voices of peaceful religious groups?
This issue is a divisive matter of race and religion that does not align with American values of peace and justice. It scares me to know that, as a Muslim, I would be forcefully escorted out of a Trump rally because some people wrongly associate my religion with the words “un-American” and “dangerous.” Contrarily, if I were Caucasian, like the majority of Trump supporters, I would be a welcome guest at these rallies. President Barack Obama said, “There is not a white America or a black America and Latino America and Asian America. There is the United States.” It’s unfortunate that the 2016 Presidential process has served to divide us as Americans. We continue to promote prejudice and bigotry while forgetting the values that built this nation, such as justice, equality, and liberty for all. Let’s think about those last two words: “…for all.” American rights and values are not limited to any one race, gender, religion, or nationality, and the framers of our Constitution did not intend for them to be exclusive. So while thousands of Trump supporters may have laughed with the woman who called Senator Ted Cruz a “pussy,” we certainly should not smile at the fact that our American values are in jeopardy because of the widespread bigotry and discrimination that politicians promote. Don’t accept bigotry as a norm in America. Do something about it. Say something. Otherwise, America will remain divided. We will forget what it’s like to be truly united as one nation.
Diamond, Jeremy. “Silently Protesting Muslim Woman Ejected from Trump Rally.” NBC News. N.p., 11 Jan. 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2016. <http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/08/politics/donald-trump-muslim-woman-protesting-ejected/>.
Johnson, Jenna. “Donald Trump Repeats Crowd Member’s Ted Cruz Insult: ‘He’s a Pussy.’.” Washington Post. N.p., 8 Feb. 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/02/08/donald-trump-repeats-crowd-members-ted-cruz-insult-hes-a-pussy/?tid=sm_tw>.
Mills, Emma. “Young Girl Cries with Excitement about Meeting Donald Trump.” The Telegraph. N.p., 27 Jan. 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2016. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/donald-trump/12124464/Young-girl-cries-with-excitement-about-meeting-Donald-Trump.html>.
Wang, Frances Kai-Hwa. “Sikh-American Protester Removed from Trump Rally.” NBC News. N.p., 25 Jan. 2016. Web. 9 Feb. 2016. <http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/sikh-american-protester-removed-trump-rally-n503971>.