By: Kayla Hewitt
I fear a United States run by Donald Trump. Not necessarily because of his lack of governmental experience, not for his apparent lack of knowledge on issues of foreign policy, and not because of his possible ties to Russia. I fear Donald Trump’s America because he has not yet learned a lesson that many of us learn as children: that we must think before we speak because our words have meaning and consequence.
Whether he’s meant to or not, Trump has, and continues, to push America deeper and deeper into the past. Day after day we hear his latest outrageous comments, but we are no longer shocked, we have become numb to his blatant racism and hatred. With his candidacy, Trump has begun to resculpt a country in which hatred is not only more widely accepted, but expected.
It’s no coincidence that white supremacist groups have discovered a new wave of strength as Trump becomes increasingly prominent. In fact, some groups have begun using Trump and his campaign as an outreach method. Trump has created an environment in which an ex-Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan feels compelled to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate because he feels that Trump “embrace[s] most of the issues [Duke’s] championed for years.”
While most of us would view support of white supremacists as a sign to reevaluate, Trump and his campaign have done very little in the ways of distancing themselves from these groups and continue to press on. Where most people would not think twice about condemning the support of a known white supremacist, Trump took a full 48 hours. Where most people in the public eye would ignore tweets from white supremacists, Trump retweets them.
Trump not only spews hatred and bigotry, but amplifies and empowers the hatred of others, and that is what scares me the most. It’s taken 240 years for the United States to get to this point and I’m not willing to take any steps backward, even if it means traveling back to a time when America was “great.” Slowly (and I mean at a glacial pace), we have moved closer and closer to stamping out the voices of bigotry in this country, but Donald Trump’s candidacy has reignited the flame of hatred. As long as he is given a platform upon which to fan the flame, the fire will only grow.