I’ve been hesitant to post about hate speech and the reality of it in America. It tends to be a sensitive subject. But you would think in 2017 there would be a feeling of unity in America, right?
Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case. After Donald Trump’s election, there have been over 1,000 biased-related incidents that have taken place across the country, according to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Trump didn’t make America great again, he just made hate speech safe again (according to the Washington Post).
Days after Donald Trump was elected, minority groups around the country received hate speech, and threats. In Southern California, several mosques received anti-Muslim, pro-Trump letters that suggested the idea of genocide.
President Trump is partly to blame for this. During the campaign Trump was known to have little couth when it came to speaking about minority groups and making xenophobic comments. Trump even hired Steve Bannon, who was an executive chairman of the right-wing website, Breitbart News. Bannon became the CEO of Trumps campaign and is now the counselor to the president. During the campaign, Trump was also praised by a far-right political group, known as the Alternative Right (alt-right), who’ve been known for their hate speech.
CNN describes the alt-right group as, “white nationalist, anti-Semitic and racist ideologies”. The SPCL also notes that the alt-right groups core belief is “white identity” and believe that its under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization.
Milo Yiannopoulos, an outspoken alt-right editor for Breitbart News has been one of many who’ve taken advantage of the new presidency by touring and campaigning at colleges around the country. His goal is to persuade a generally liberal crowd of young Americans to speak up against political correctness.
CNN spoke with Yiannopoulos about why he’s speaking to college students, “I am speaking on college campuses because education… is really what matters. It’s a crucible where these bad ideas are formed. Bad ideas like… progressive social justice, feminists, Black Lives Matter… that I think is so cancerous and toxic to free expression.” (If you want to listen to the whole interview click the hyperlink).
Protesters have pushed back against Yiannopoulos. This past week, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley when over 1,500 protesters gathered in downtown Berkeley and protested against the event, holding signs reading: “No safe space for racists” and “This is war”. The protests cancelled Yiannopoulos event, but the school was put on lockdown because of the violence. Six people ended up injured there was $100,000 worth of damage to the campus.
There is a growing group of Americans who aren’t allowing the alt-rights idea of America. Thousands have protested against Trump’s stances and policies, like protesters demonstrating at airports against the Islamophobic travel ban, state attorney generals and federal judges striking down the travel ban, the delay on Trump’s cabinet nominees, and the Women marching in Washington D.C. and all over the country the day after Trump was inaugurated.
Hollywood has even added their own critique towards politics. Actors have used their platforms to critically address Trump and the alt-right groups. Actress, Meryl Streep who stood up against Trump with her speech at the 2017 Golden Globes. Aziz Ansari used his opening monologue on “Saturday Night Live” to address different groups reactions to Trump’s election. The “Stranger Things” cast also used their acceptance speech, at the Screen Actor Guilds Award show, to address the presidency of Donald Trump and the alt-right groups.
And it’s only been fifteen days since Trump has been elected. I have a feeling that the protests aren’t going to stop anytime soon. Trump has to start addressing all Americans, not just the conservative or alt-right groups, but to liberals and the minority groups as well. To allow bigotry, and xenophobia into America’s political mainstream is unacceptable, and should set off alarms for those who live in the land of the free.