When Trump was elected, I felt so many things. My emotions ranged from anger to overwhelming sadness to fear of the future.
Ever since he became the president of the United States, I have noticed a drastic change in society. Hate crimes, more racism, and people seem to be angrier than before.
When Trump was running to become the president, his saying was “Make America Great Again.” We heard this repeatedly in his speeches. That was the promise that Donald Trump made throughout the presidential campaign of 2016. His pledge was to return the United States to an era of prosperity and world leadership which he claims has been lost.
I have read, watched, and seen stories of people being mistreated because of their nationality and the color of their skin. I have even had people tell me, “Go back to Mexico, you don’t belong here.” This is not the first time someone has told me that, but it seems like acts of racism and hate have increased since Donald Trump became president. Racism has always existed and unfortunately, it will never go away, but in the past year, it seems like these kinds of instances are happening more and more.
This is the “The Trump Effect.”
Now, almost two years into Trump’s presidency, The Trump Effect has expanded to include religious and racial bullying by adults as well as socially unacceptable behaviors.
Trump characterized a whole country by alleging that Mexican immigrants were criminals and how “we” are very bad people. Ever since, a lot of us have been discriminated against more than before, telling us we need to leave and how they are going to “build a wall.”
I gathered some of the comments that Trump has made in the past:
To a protester at one of his campaign rallies: “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
“Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and Nigerian immigrants will never “go back to their huts” in Africa.
“If I were running ‘The View,’ I’d fire Rosie. I mean, I’d look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I’d say, ‘Rosie, you’re fired.’”
“80% of all the shootings in New York city are blacks — if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%, 1% white.”
“Laziness is a trait in blacks.”
“John McCain, he’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
These are awful comments that came from the 45th President of The United States of America. Now, you see, he made fun of a veteran, insulted women, said all immigrants were criminals or had diseases. Muslim newcomers have been deemed as a national security threat. Blacks are thugs and lazy.
Trump’s actions are devastating. He is causing more bullying of minority groups, especially those who are singled out by the president’s statements and actions. Bullying is even being spread in schools. New studies show that since Trump’s election, ‘bullying’ in schools has increased.
I am not blaming everything on Trump.
The United States is a big country and Americans were managing to be assholes to each other before this. But it’s not hard to realize that something has changed, particularly since this kind of naked expression of people’s ugliest feelings is something the president has encouraged since he was elected. We saw it with the rash of hate crimes that were documented on social media the day following Trump’s election when 202 incidents were reported.
I am aware that Donald Trump does not make people do “hateful” things or be “racist,” however, his actions have caused a negative shift in society. Trump has licensed the dark side of the American psyche. Trump seems to passively condone these types of feelings, now some Americans feel empowered to act on their prejudices.
Hate is like a disease, it’s contagious and is spreading through our the country like rapid fire.
He has failed his promise to “Make America Great Again.”
He is, in fact;
“Making America Separated Again.”
Now, America has become even more polarized, meaner, and biased. Now, we see so many Americans say and do things to people that, in a different time, would have been unthinkable.
They say, “Well if my president can say whatever, why can’t I say whatever?”
“Well my president said so, therefore I believe it.”
Trump has given them ‘the license.’ Heck, if someone of ‘power’ can say those things, then they feel like it’s okay to act that way.
Trump supporters felt emboldened by his victory. The ‘Trump Effect’ gave them permission to vent their feelings, and not in a nice way either. For Trump and his supporters, ‘Making America Great Again’ depends upon excluding those they see as inferior or dangerous.
Donald Trump could potentially make positive changes for America’s working class. But it does not have to be at the expense of insulting and disrespecting women, veterans, people with disabilities, and other minorities.
All he is doing is setting an example that validates hatred of others.
We have become separated as a country. Now it’s something like this:
Well, if you don’t like Trump, you are a stupid liberal/Democrat, or you’re probably illegal or love illegals.
We all are in separate groups now, Whites with Whites, Mexicans with Mexicans, Blacks with Blacks, and so on.
We need to be united. Isn’t that what The ‘United’ States should be about?
The United States of America was built on diversity and immigrants.
This isn’t about one race. We are part of one world. We are a part of one country. We need to open our eyes and realize that The United States is a beautiful country filled with beautiful people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. If there is anything I’ve learned through the years that I have lived in the US, it’s that we all are similar, yet we are so different.
We need a President who leads with compassion, kindness, and inspires hope, not hate, not racism, not violence, and a President who addresses conflicts, not one who starts and escalates them.
Regardless of who you voted for, there is a change that needs to happen.
We need to be united and we need kindness more than ever.
This is our chance to step outside of our comfort zones, challenge our beliefs, and come together to support equality for all humans.
The most important thing is to do something. It doesn’t matter what it is. Too often, people just don’t do anything. They don’t get involved. This is not the time to not do something.
There are millions of people of different religions, sexual orientations, and genders. People with disabilities, and yes, even opposing beliefs.
Rather than point fingers, we need to support each other. We need to do our best to understand others’ perspectives. After all, yes, we may all be different and come from different places, but at the end of the day, we are all humans. We need to stay engaged with people from other cultures, backgrounds, and different preferences.
We’ve experienced enough violence in the past to know that it doesn’t solve our problems.
We refuse to be bullied by the American President. And we refuse to act the same way as those who discriminate us. Just as some now feel inspired to act on their prejudices, we should feel inspired to express kindness and understanding.
Now, all we can do is hope for the best and to rise above the Trump hate with kindness and love.
Be open-minded and most importantly, stay kind.