Photographed by Elizabeth Colombini
We have all been following the car crash that is our presidential campaign. While some of us are appalled by the disturbing comments made by Donald Trump, others are unaffected. Mr. Trump’s statements about assaulting women was yet ANOTHER clear indication that he is unfit to be the person leading our nation. He is an embarrassment as a candidate, and would be an atrocity as a president. People always say, “Hillary is a crook”, “Oh, but how about that thing with Benghazi?” “The emails!!!” The people who say this, for the most part, are just regurgitating what they hear from ultra conservative news shows. Frankly, many do not know what they are talking about. But the deplorable things that Trump has said is not so much what bothers me. What bothers me is the acceptance of this damaging hateful rhetoric by people in my community. My stomach turns when I see a neighbor’s yard displaying that small red and blue Trump/Pence sign. By staking that sign on their lawn they are pledging their allegiance to a xenophobic ideology and declaring, I support the bigotry, misogyny, and the racism promoted by this man. Yeah, Trump tells it like it is. But don’t we teach our children the opposite? Think before you speak. This is a lesson to our children from an early age. Little children have always strived to be the president of the United States. But if children wish to emulate Mr. Trump, that is a step backwards for our country. There are consequences when we don’t think about what we say to others. But in the case of Donald Trump, the things that he is saying is creating a real danger for the people he speaks ill about. His “locker room talk”, his non educated view of immigrants, (particularly when he called Mexicans rapists and murderers), and his disturbing ridicule of people with disabilities are either ignored or praised. He’s just shaking things up. His campaign should have ended when he made offensive remarks about women, but it didn’t. It should have ended when he said those truly racist remarks about Mexicans, but it didn’t. We have allowed this demagogue to promote his hateful speech. If you still are on that Trump train, think about this: The KKK has even endorsed him. Mr.Trump keeps glamorizing “Make America Great Again”. Was he talking about “Great” when slavery was legal or perhaps, and not too long ago, during Jim Crow laws. Maybe he was talking about “great” when the United States took the lands of many indigenous people living here and exploited and murdered their people? As a Latino women living in this country, I am not only disappointed with neighbors who have waved the Trump flag, but I also fear for the lives of all Latinos and people of color. Trump has painted a target on the backs of all of us. Regardless, of who wins the election, lines have been drawn in the sand. We will constantly live our lives looking over our shoulder. Mr. Trump said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters”. He has pulled that trigger. His words are the bullets and his supporters help him reload.