Is the use of racial slurs more than a year before? Navigating Trump's America. . .
The unanimous response among blacks, Latinas and women is: Yes, people have become more fearless about using racial slurs than they were a year prior. Facebook and Twitter was alive with incidents of harassment after Trump got elected. See below:
My Sikh friend who is a second generation immigrant reports that her 18-year-old son who sports a beard is often mistaken for being a Muslim. He attends medical school in West Chester, Pennsylvania, population 18, 461. Since Trump announced his candidacy 17 months ago, he says he's been subjected to racial attacks. While working out at a local gym, an older white man turned to him and yelled, "Go back to your country!"
Another time he was turned away from the entrance to a fraternity party. "No brown people allowed," he was told in no uncertain terms. This is a kid who was born and raised in California; two generations of his family have paid state and federal taxes and he is going to medical school, in part, to serve his countrymen better. Pfffffft!
Of course that should come as no surprise when the mayor of a small Pennsylvania town posted shocking, racist memes on his Facebook page. In June 2015 mayor Wasko posted a picture of 5 orangutans in a wheelbarrow with the caption, "Awwww...moving day at the White House has finally arrived."
The posts sparked national outcry for the mayor to resign. But the sad truth is that with Trump's ascent on the political scene, it became permissible for a certain sector of people to say awful things, sexist AND racist.
And now that Trump has won, an ugly reality has merged: Hate crimes are on the rise. The Southern Poverty law Center is one of America's premier organizations for tracking and monitoring hate groups. The S.P.L.C. has reported that there were 437 incidents of intimidation since the election targeting blacks and other people of color, Muslims, the L.G.B.T community, immigrants and women.
One woman in Colorado told the S.P.L.C. that her twelve-year-old daughter was approached by a boy who said,"Now that Trump is President, I'm going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find." A teacher reported that one of her student's aunt had to go pick up her daughter from school because a boy grabbed her vagina. She is ten years old. When asked why, he said that "if a President can do it, I can too." And now come disturbing reports that in Danville, California, racist graffiti stating "whites" and "Colored" on top of two different urinals was scrawled on a High School bathroom wall last week.
Another friend of mine who lived through the 1979 Iran hostage crisis is more sanguine about the future. "The dust will settle," she says with equanimity. She recalls being the only other non-white student at her middle school. She was taunted, she recalls and told several times to return to her country." Instead, her family stayed and flourished. Because, to hide or run has never been the American Way.
As Joe Klein writes in his column this week, "This has always been a dynamic country. It's only possible future is multi-ethnic and globalist. Donald Trump won't succeed until he learns to keep up with it." (ref: Time: Nov, 21, 2016)