How Trump Creates a Safe Space for Racists

BY: KENNEDY COX

Last week, I came upon a sign “advertising” a Halloween party. The poster was covered in racist images and verbiage against the Latinx community. I live in Clark, and I was shocked not only by the poster, but that the perpetrator chose to put it up in this specific location.

At the bottom of the poster was a quote from Donald Trump. It was extremely racist (surprise, surprise), but not something far from what Donald Trump has said in past or what many of his supporters believe. (NOTE: The poster is provided below, read at your own discretion.)

 (Image provided by Latino and American Student Organization at American University (LASO) via Facebook)

 (Image provided by Latino and American Student Organization at American University (LASO) via Facebook)

I wondered why the creator chose to include such derogatory quotes on the poster, only to realize that the political environment we are in is partly to blame. The quote on the poster something that could have been said by Trump.

This election season has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. After starting off with 17 Republican candidates, we are now down to just one. There has been name calling, hypersexualizing, dehumanization, and countless other derogatory comments made towards other candidates, moderators, supporters, protesters, and pretty much everyone else who is participating in this election cycle.

Donald Trump gives the alt right the confidence to say what they really feel, which is beyond disturbing. There is fear that Election Day results, whatever they may be, will cause Trump supporters to react violently. Trump’s inflammatory language creates a safe space for intolerance. People feel confident enough to act out on their anger and ignorance because they know that it will be supported by those who feel the same, Trump included.

We have already seen instances of Trump supporters acting on what they feel is right. We often hear about attacks at rallies from Trump supporters against protesters, and Trump never tries to deter them from becoming violent.

It is okay to have differing opinions, but it is not okay to promote violence, racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, or acts of intolerance towards people who do not fit into your idea of America. What I fear most about a Trump presidency is not his policy, but the inspiration he provides to people who can do real damage. I fear my neighbors, classmates, and strangers who don’t feel like I should have rights or even be alive.

The comfort that Trump provides is worrying. Trump’s rhetoric against certain groups has caused the people that should support him to speak out against him, and that says something.

This poster, and all other acts of aggression in the name of Trump are disgusting. There have been too many instances where Trump supporters are supported by Trump. Do I think that racism and sexism would exist in America if it weren’t for Trump? Of course, but, like children, aggressors will act out when they know they won’t be punished.

Cover: DON EMMERT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES via CBS News

Jenna CaldwellComment