A Sad Time For American Politics

American politics comprises the elements of excitement, tradition and unpredictability, however, could danger follow too? It most definitely is a scary time in American politics, following the violence and division that has been displayed across the nation. The most notable cases have been exhibited at Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s rallies, where several heated escalations have ensued. To exacerbate the already volatile sentiments on both political spectrums, Trump has even encouraged his supporters to intentionally degrade, and in some cases injure opposing protestors. Although he has recently made statements denying his approval and encouragement of violence, the commotion at his rallies say otherwise. On February 1, Trump roused his supporters at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when he exclaimed, “if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of ’em, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.” The front-runner also made another similar statement on March 4 in Warren, Michigan during an interruption when he said, “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do I’ll defend you in court.” Most recently on March 9, Trump recapped his opinions at another rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina. “See, in the good old days this didn’t use to happen, because they used to treat them very rough. We’ve become very weak,” expressed Trump.

Additionally, even more concerning incidents have emerged amongst Trump’s supporters. As Elisabeth Weems, a black college student and protestor, described, “It’s terrifying. I was really reluctant to go in because I wasn’t exactly sure, with the notoriety of Trump supporters in these rallies. It’s almost the same feeling of an undercover black person walking into a Klu Klux Klan rally and feeling like you’re going to be exposed and feeling like you’re in this atmosphere of hatred and negativity.” At the same rally, Trump supporters could be heard arguing with black protestors. As their arguments contained zero substance, racist comments instead emanated from their mouths. Statements such as, “go back to Africa”, “nice weave”, and other comments were chanted. Ed Honeywell, a Donald Trump supporter was heard yelling, “Get off welfare!” before adding, “Dogs!” When questioned about his statements, he denied nothing and stood by his words, beliefs, and Trump.

In summation, it is true that the actions of a few don’t reflect the majority of that given group. However, this doesn’t pertain to Trump and his supporters for the fact that various incidents of violence and racial tensions have unfolded at multiple Trump rallies. In Radford, Virginia, Yasmeen Alamiri (a 31-year-old Arab American) was standing with the press going about her job as a reporter when a Trump supporter notified a police officer about her presence. As a few minutes went by, another Trump supporter confronted her by asking, “Are you there for this terrorist?” Overall, it is the myriad of incidents like these that have kindled a highly divisive and discordant feeling within the nation. The acceptance and popularity of such ignorance is tragic, and is largely seen as not only a slap in the face for this nation’s progress on equality, but also America’s leading role in the world.