Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Make America Great Again

I have spent the last few years writing on this page about the state of inner-city schools, violence in schools, and race relations here in the United States. These topics are inspired by my teaching of inner-city, at-risk and special needs students. I've taught in schools where the entire population was African-American. I've taught in schools where the population was all African-American and Hispanic. I've been in schools where the entire population was autistic and/or physically other words I've spent the last eleven years of my life working with kids of every age, ethnicity, culture, and ability or disability. 

We are in the midst of what can be defined as one of the more hate tinged presidential campaigns in our countries history. I've never seen anything like it in my life. Donald Trump has taken something initially seen as a joke and has become the Republican frontrunner. Now that he's won the primary elections in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina he could very well be the GOP nominee.

Trump has managed to do this by pushing a rhetoric of racist, sexist, and xenophobic hate. He directly referenced the size of his penis in a presidential debate; called opponent Ted Cruz a "pussy"; acted like an eight year-old school boy when speaking of Hillary Clinton's bathroom break; and referenced menstruation when complaining about questions from Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly. This is in addition to countless Trump rallies that have been the scene of violence - specifically against African-Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims. 

At one rally, a Hispanic protester was spit on by a Trump supporter. A young black woman was being escorted out of a rally and was pushed, shoved (by a veteran) as well as called a "ni**er" and other things all while Trump bellowed "GET OUT!". At another rally a young black man was sucker punched in the face by a white man, yet the black man was arrested. The man who punched him was proud and also threatened "next time we see him, we might have to kill him". Trump responded by offering to pay the man's legal bills, and also told supporters to "punch" protesters, and promised to pay their legal bills as well.

In addition to all of this, Trump initially refused to condemn an endorsement from former KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke. He re-Tweets quotes from neo-Nazis and Mussolini. He doesn't condemn KKK leaders but he does condemn Mexicans and Muslims. 

At high school basketball games in Iowa and Indiana, teams that were heavily Latino were greeted with "Build The Wall!" and "Trump! Trump! Trump!" chants by opposing fans - who were mostly white. One of the those targeted was a Catholic school and the chants caused an outcry from the local Bishop. But guess what - people are not only voting for Donald Trump en masse - his polling numbers continue to go up - a phenomena that even seems to baffle Trump himself.

The worst part is, Evangelical "Christians" love Trump, and his messages of hate and intolerance. This baffles me. How can you classify yourself a "Christian" and respond overwhelmingly to hate and intolerance? How can you support a candidate who uses fowl and disgusting language? What is "Christian" about this man?

We are at a massive crossroads in America right now. The rise of Donald Trump is representative of something terrible in this country: A message of overwhelming hate and anger that's been in place since the election of Barak Obama. It's scary but worst of all, it's anything but "Christian".