COMMENTARY: Despite Trump’s own views, he incited hate
I have taken a lot of time to think about the results of this election and the implications that it has for me, my family, many of my friends and the members of this nation. In the wake of most elections, it has been the norm to accept the winner of the election and move on. Despite all the rallying, protests, campaigning, etc., people are typically able to accept the defeat of their candidate and put their support behind the newly elected president. Is it hard? For sure, but there is usually a mutual understanding that the newly elected president will do good (or at least no harm) for the country.
This time, it’s different. It’s apparent that there is a discord between those who supported Donald Trump in this election and just about everyone else in the nation. People are not ready to accept Mr. Trump as the leader of this country, not necessarily because we were diehard supporters for another candidate, but because we were, and still are, afraid. Afraid for the four-year presidential term of a man who can so easily berate and, yes, discriminate against so many members of this self-proclaimed melting pot of a nation. Afraid because he was so quick to use hateful, violent language towards us. We are not necessarily afraid of Donald Trump himself, since he is only one man, but rather, the power that he now possesses. We are afraid of the millions of people he has apparently given a voice to, people who were watching and waiting for a time when they felt it would be deemed acceptable to come out of the shadows and act on their disturbing belief that minorities are somehow their inferiors.
There are those that can somehow easily dismiss Mr. Trump’s words, actions and the implications of those words and actions as a means of gaining votes from those with whom his sentiment resonated. “He won’t really do any of that, they’re just words” — I’ve heard this so many times over the election cycle that I’ve given up on keeping track. The people who are so easily able to overlook, ignore or dismiss the type of rhetoric that Donald Trump uses are the same ones who will never be marginalized, discriminated against or oppressed. These are the people who will likely never have to fear for their lives just because of the way they were designed. They will probably never know what it feels like to be put down for something as innate as their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability status.
Do I hope that the things Mr. Trump said were just a means to get elected? A sick, twisted way to influence the type of people he knew would support him and show up to the polls? Sure. I could force myself to hope that the words Mr. Trump used were just, well, words. Words that were meant to get him elected and nothing else. Because when it comes down to it, I, too, would like nothing more than a competent, fair and successful President for ALL the people of this nation. However, I realize that even if those were just words to him, they were a rallying cry to so many people, and I cannot condone such hate-filled speech and I certainly will not be silent.
Akash Parmar is a Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy fifth-year student.
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