‘Trump’ the Bully

 Emily Fata  August 14th, 2016   

Written by: Vanessa Liegghio

It is difficult to decipher which is more terrifying: the fact that a big bully like Donald Trump is even eligible to run for president of the United States, or how large of a following he has generated. Since the start of the American presidential campaign and Trump’s official declaration of candidacy in June 2015, there has been a whirlwind of media coverage surrounding this highly controversial character. For most, the idea of Trump running for president was laughable initially, an unfathomable albeit entertaining candidate in the midterm; however it quickly formed into a shocking and unpredictable future.

What Trump’s campaign has illuminated most is the shocking amount of racism, sexism, and heterosexism that has been alive and well in the Americas for many years. Donald has provided a platform that encourages hate speech and, at times, even nods at Nazism when using a similar kind of rhetoric that encouraged and provoked one of the most horrific events in our world’s history—the Holocaust. This time around, Trump has chosen one of the easiest targets to help generate popularity for his campaign: the Muslim community. Since the tragic events of 9/11, the Muslim community has increasingly been targeted and labeled as ‘terrorists’ as time goes on. With the rise of ISIS and the countless terrorist attacks they have taken responsibility for around the globe, Islamophobia has become a prominent issue in our world today.

Mr. Trump’s platform is based greatly on ignorance, discrimination, and most of all, hate speech. Imagining a future world with one of the biggest bullies the public eye has ever been exposed to as President of the United States is a petrifying thought. As a parent and educator, it is quite common to hear a child express their great enthusiasm to be president one day, a figure that has been considered one of the most crucial role models to look up to for decades. The question then becomes, what will happen when we have our world’s youngest and most impressionable minds looking up to Donald Trump as someone that they aspire to be? “Monkey see, monkey do” is a long-standing phrase when commenting about children’s behavior, as it is often an accurate observation. One cannot be born evil; a child does not enter this world with hate and prejudice in their heart, but rather, they learn by example. So what exactly will children, teens, and susceptible adults learn from Trump’s presidency campaign? Let’s take a look at some of the bullying rhetoric Mr. Trump has employed in the past.

It is clear one of the most favored forms of verbal attack Trump has utilized is racism towards a number of minorities, comments that are meant to be malicious attacks on specific groups of people (particularly those that are already considered a threat to white America). One of his earliest offensive statements during his campaign was included in his declaration of candidacy speech, categorizing him as a racist since day one. On June 16th, 2015 at the Trump Tower in New York City, the now official GOP nominee declared,

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! … It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably from the Middle East. 1

This is the comment which sparked what has now become the reasoning behind his promise to build a wall between the border of the United States and Mexico, with the latter footing the bill.2

In one swift motion, Trump denounces the people of entire continents and geographical areas based on lies and deceit in the hopes of gaining more popularity, which unfortunately worked well in his favor. According to experts of psychology, Trump’s appeal is directly linked with his strong character presence and simple, straight-forward solutions. As the Washington Post suggests, voters resonate with Trump because they too hold these ignorant and bigoted beliefs, particularly those surrounding immigration. This is reflected by his notion that if you don’t like immigration, build a wall, and if you’re suspicious of Muslims, track them in a database. These ideas may have been inspired by the same values Adolf Hitler once held, as this rhetoric echoes the hate-speech spewed by the Nazi-party leader before his massively ‘successful’ pursuit of the “master race.” A particularly shocking social experiment, drawing upon this comparison was conducted by a comedian in Los Angeles. He interviews Trump supporters while inquiring their feedback of what is believed to be quotes from The Donald himself, yet in actuality are declarations Hitler once proclaimed in the wake of the Second World War. 4

Trump’s response to the terrorist attacks in San Bernadino, California also assimilates one of Hitler’s policies—creating records of the Jewish people and their capture after being forced to be visibly identify their race by bearing the Star of David on their chests. On December 7th, 2015 the Republican nominee’s campaign announced, “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”5 As the NY Times reports, Mr. Trump responded to the idea of having a database to track Muslims with, “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.” He also failed to dismiss or reject the question by Yahoo reporter about implementing, “a form of special identification that noted their religion.”

Trump is a highly prominent example of an adult exemplifying bullying rhetoric and tactics to pronounce his popularity and spread his unfair and inaccurate presumptions regarding general groups of people. This bias-based form of hate-speech is a significant category under the wide umbrella of bullying, something that is common in countless schools world-wide. Two of SUP’s own team members were singled out in their grade school years, one based on their visibly minority status and the other because of their mixed ethnic background that did not fully comply with the community’s majority culture.

The biggest issue with Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign is the complete lack of repercussions he has faced for the hate-speech and racism he has encouraged and promoted. If we as a democratic society allow and support such a well-known public figure to continue with these abusive methods of seizing power, how can we ever expect to make a difference in our communities and in children’s lives? Take a stand and join SUP in our plight to prevent bullies like Trump from existing at all.


References

1 Walker, Hunter. “Donald Trump Statement about Immigration.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 06 July 2015. Web. 22 July 2016.

2 “Pay for the Wall.” Make America Great Again! Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., n.d. Web. 22 July 2016.

3 Jeff Guo. “Why Is Donald Trump So Popular?” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2015. Web. 22 July 2016.

4 SoFloComedy. “Would Donald Trump Fans Support Hitler?” YouTube. YouTube, 01 Mar. 2016. Web. 22 July 2016.

5 “Muslim Immigration Prevention.” Make America Great Again! Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., n.d. Web. 22 July 2016.