March 12, 2016

It's not okay

So with the protests and violence spilling over in Chicago and actually canceling a Trump rally there, Rachel Maddow did a piece (non-autoplay video link here) on Trump's escalating rhetoric and the relationship it has to this violence that we see at his rallies and no other candidate's.
"Anybody who tells you that there is no connection between the behavior of the mob at these events and the behavior of the man at the podium leading the mob at these events is not actually watching he's been saying from the podium. What he has been saying, and the way he has been egging it on, it has been escalating," Maddow said.
Back in Reconstruction South, the KKK exploited the fears of the poor white sharecroppers who were seeing freed slaves competing to take their jobs. The race-baiting led thousands of Southern (and some Northern) whites to lash out at blacks and institute Jim Crow laws in an attempt to maintain what they perceived as their superiority.
Hitler did a similar thing with the Jews of Germany (and later all of Europe) in convincing the poor, uneducated electorate that their economic predicament was due to "terrible" Jewish business practices.
Now we are seeing it with Donald Trump. He's whipping up fear of Mexicans and Muslims and dismissing blacks. He's tarring all protesters as thugs and encouraging (wink wink) his rabid followers to treat them as such. He offers to pay legal fees for anyone who "accidentally" roughs one up. He laments the era of "political correctness" which requires him to treat fellow human beings as human beings. He notes that back in the old days, it was okay to beat a protester and in the next breath expresses a wish to return to those halcyon days when white folks got to beat black folks at a whim.
And then he blames the protesters. And the media. And Bernie Sanders. And the Trumpbots parrot all that and add Obama and Bill Ayers and George Soros. In 1963 a lot of uneducated poor white people were saying it was all Martin Luther King, Jr.'s fault that 1200 Birmingham, Ala, students were arrested and hundreds injured when the police used water cannon and attack dogs to disperse the peaceful marchers. At Kristallnacht, many Germans believed the destruction of Jewish-owned businesses was something that the Jews had brought on themselves.
I don't know if Donald Trump believes even half the crap that comes out of his orange-tinted lips as he waves his stubby fingers about while ranting from his podium, but even if he doesn't, he's making it implicitly okay for others to act on their fear with violence and that will Make American Hate Again.

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