Friday, December 23, 2016

Trump Supporters Must Denounce White Supremacists like Dylann Roof

A radical Christian white supremacist went on trial last week for the nine murders he committed June 17, 2015. That’s not the phrasing you’re likely to hear from ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox. There you’ll hear that Dylann Roof is accused of 33 counts of hate crimes for the murders he committed that night at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. You’ll probably hear or read that he wanted to start a race war but unlike the Muslims who killed so many in San Bernadino later that year no one wants to talk about how Roof was radicalized.

Now think about how many Americans react to such violence perpetrated by Muslims, too many of us want to throw them all out of the country. President-elect Trump on the campaign trail said he thought it would be a good idea to register all Muslims. We all know how well that worked out for German Jews and Americans of Japanese ancestry. Many Americans screech that if Muslims don’t believe in such violence then their religious leaders should speak out against it. I don’t hear them calling for Christian churches like the one Roof attended to speak out in condemnation.

Analysis by the Southern Poverty Law Center suggests that Roof was a reader and commenter on The Daily Stormer, a white nationalist news website. Roof cited the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens as his gateway to white nationalism. The Council’s president Earl Holt issued a statement saying that Roof had some "legitimate grievances" against black people. Harold Covington, the founder of the Northwest Front called the attack "a preview of coming attractions". These groups like to refer to themselves as the alt-right as if they’re just another variant of conservatism and the media generally lets them get away with it.

Roof’s horrendous acts occurred well before Trump began his run for the presidency yet he openly courted the alt-right/white nationalist vote and their campaign donations. Since last year numerous media sources have reported on drastic increases hate crimes yet the soon to be leader of the most powerful nation on earth has not thought to condemn these acts instead he tweets insults at the Saturday Night Live cast in the middle of the night.

When you’re out Christmas shopping somewhere you’ll see a sign that says “You break it, you bought it.” It’s time for those who voted for Trump to own the racist remarks he’s made. It’s on you because you’ve given him a green light by knowingly casting your ballot in his favor. You are in part responsible for the hate crime spike because your support and your vote for Trump gave permission for racist speech and as we know from Roof having permission to speak such ugliness turns into ugly acts.

If you think you’re a good person and voted for Trump because he’s a Republican it’s time for you to step up and condemn his racism and that of many of his supporters. It’s time you prove you’re a good person by running the racists out of the Republican Party once and for all. While you’re at it you need call out those that think it’s OK to make fun of the disabled like Trump did on national television when he demeaned a journalist who offended his tender feelings. You also need to intervene when you see some misogynist in the work place grabbing a woman or sexually harassing her as Trump so proudly stated he did. You need to step up or you’re just another racist, misogynist and not a good person. So which are you?

Published in the Seguin Gazette December 16, 2016 

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