I thought I was done with politics, but apparently, I am not. And it's events like these that piss me off!
On January 29th, tragedy struck Quebec, Canada when a gunmen opened fired on a local mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, killing six people and wounding eight others during the Sunday evening prayer service. The gunman, 27-year old, Alexandre Bissonnette, was attending Laval University studying Political Science and Anthropology. According to many classmates, he was a supporter of Donald Trump and mocked Syrian Refugees on the internet. Bissonnette was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder on Monday. He did not enter a plea and is currently awaiting sentence.
On January 31st, White House press secretary, Sean Spencer commented on the shooting saying, "We condemn this act in the strongest possible terms. It's a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be pro-active, rather than reactive when it come's to our nation's safety and security." While Trump supposedly called Prime Minister Trudeau and expressed condolences he has yet to make any comment regarding this tragedy to the public. On top of that, CNN hasn't covered the story at all, and no other comments have been made from Washington D.C. on the tragedy. This is possibly due to the overshadowing of Trump's immigration ban against seven Muslim countries, (which surprisingly didn't include Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were born).
This is exactly what I fear would happen when Trump became President. Some may call this vigilante behavior, I call it terrorism. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau called this horrific event a "terrorist attack against Muslims." And I couldn't agree more. This horrific act is a reflection on the negative influence Trump has spread to his supporters let alone anyone willing to listen to him.
As of 2016, there are over 101 anti-Muslim groups in the United States alone, and the crimes committed against Muslims have risen 197 percent. This is a product of fear, induced by both the terrorist acts committed by ISIS, and the Islamophobic ideas coming from Trump's administration.
Many Republicans I know who support Trump constantly defend him. They tell me that he is going to do great things for this country. They tell me that he doesn't hate Muslims, that there were, in fact,Muslims, Gays, Women and Mexicans who voted for Trump. I would like to believe that maybe the press had been fear mongering the whole time, and that I can even possibly give Trump the benefit of the doubt. He seems to be doing a good job establishing diplomacy with Russia.
But I can't... and here's why.
Other then the mosque shooting, there has a major spike in hate crimes within the weeks following Trump's election. The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization dedicated to combating extremist groups and social injustices had collected over 1,034 reports of hate crimes between November 9th and December 12th alone. One anonymous citizen from Florida reported:
"I witnessed an apparently inebriated older white man in the park make an obscene gesture at two women in hijabs in a public park. The women scurried away and the man turned to me perhaps under the assumption that I shared his enmity. He made remarks about Ohio and, to the effect, that Muslims are subhuman and that “President Trump got his work cut out for him." We exchanged words but I avoided an altercation and left the scene."
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a local church received a threatening voicemail (which can be found in the link above):
“I think this is the gay church, that help gays that get kicked out of the country along with all the fricken Mexicans that are illegal that you guys are hiding illegally. I hope Trump gets ya. Trump Trump Trump. Trump Trump Trump. Trump’s gonna get your asses out of here and throw you over the wall. You dirty rotten scumbags. Hillary is a scumbag bitch. too bad waaa waaa. Hillary lost. Hillary lost. Trump’s gonna getcha and throw you over the wall.”
Letters praising Trump and advocating for Muslim genocide were sent to numerous mosques and Islamic centers across 5 different states. These letters referred to Muslims as "children of satan," and that Trump is the "new sheriff in town" who will "cleanse America and make it shine again." It is believed these letters were written by the same person due to their similarities.
Videos of Trump supporters harassing people have also surfaced. One of the most notorious is a video of a group of students surrounding a lunchtable of latino children and chanting "Build a wall!"
There are also many people who have supported Trump. People who are leaders of hate groups. When a President is gaining support from hate groups, that says something.
Andrew Anglin is the founder of the neo-Nazi's, Daily Stormer website. I took a look at this website and was terrified by what I saw. There is a section titles "Jewish Problem." In an article written in April of last year, he wrote,"Jews, blacks and lesbians will be leaving America when Trump gets elected- and he's happy about it. This alone is enough reason to put your heart and soul into supporting this man." He also reponded to Trump's ban on Muslim immigration by writing, "Get all of these monkeys the hell out of our country- now! Heil Donald Trump- THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR!" Then there is Jared Taylor, the founder of American Renaissance, a newspaper forum dedicated to promoting white nationalism. And finally, Richard Spencer, the leader of the Alt-right, who held
The point I am trying to make with all this is... that there is a reason many of us are upset that Trump is President. There is a reason we are afraid. There is a reason we are angry. Before you criticize the Democratic protesters for going out and destroying private property, understand why?
Donald Trump has encourage xenophobic behavior among the American people, and you still look for reasons to justify supporting him. If there was one floater in a pool, does that mean you would still jump in? Justify all this, and then we can talk! Because I am not willing to make America great again at the price of discrimination and violence against others.
For a country that has overcome anti-semitism, moving Japanese Americans into camps during the Second World war, racism in the south, and homophobia, we are really moving backwards in history.
Never in my life have I been more ashamed to be American.