Back in April, a local news outlet in upstate New York reported that Democratic mayoral candidate for the town of Binghamton, Michael Treiman was forced to drop his bid against GOP incumbent Richard David when the sitting mayor’s supporters began issuing death threats against him and his family – and even attacked him physically.
Welcome to Trumpworld. Of course, we all saw Donnie-boy’s bullying behavior while he was on the campaign trail – including his public mocking of a disabled reporter. His inexcusable and reprehensible behavior has been legitimizing similar behavior among his lower-order primate supporters across the board – and the poison is even affecting children. In the months since the election, schools have begun seeing an increase in bullying behavior in the name of Donald Trump.
In a report first covered by BuzzFeed earlier this week, researchers found a total of 54 bullying incidents in which bullies from kindergarten to 12th grade were tormenting and attacking other children while invoking President Donald Trump’s name and popular slogans like “build that wall.” The bullying incidences occurred from Blaine, Washington to Miami Florida and from San Diego, California to Brookline Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, the victims have been children and young people of color – primarily African-American or Hispanic, while the perpetrators are invariably white.
School personnel are at a loss. Amanda Mead, who has taught in the Spokane, Washington area for over a decade, said she had started to notice changes in behavior during last year’s presidential campaign. She said students now “say things that I have never heard kids in my school district say…far more vitriolic.”
Richard Emmons, a principal at Oregon’s Hood River Middle School expressed similar observations. “This is my 21st year in education and I’ve never seen a situation like this before,” he said. It puts him in an awkward position. “It’s not my role to tell people how to think about political policies, but it is my role to make sure every kid feels safe at the school.”
In one of the reported incidents, a third-grade boy chased a Hispanic girl around their classroom, chanting “Build the wall!” Another incident involved an eighth grader telling an African-American classmate: “Now that Trump won, you’re going to have to go back to Africa, where you belong!” In Louisiana, a Hispanic high school sophomore who voted for Hillary Clinton in a mock election was mobbed by a crowd of other students, who told him to “go back home,” chanting “build a wall!”
It’s not just children of color. In Dallas, a Jewish eighth-grader was taunted with “Heil Hitlary” and told “one million of your lives is worth less than 30,000 deleted emails.”
When educators attempt to respond by holding assemblies and issuing statements, they draw fire from these ignorant brats’ enabling, psychopathic parents as being “heavy handed.” And what do these newly-emboldened bullies have to say about it? Pretty much what you’d expect:
“Why can the president say it but I can’t?”
Not surprisingly, Trump has been completely silent about all of this – just as he has been silent about the growing number of racially-motivated hate crimes committed in his name across the country.
There is a far more troubling aspect to all of this. By the next presidential election, many present-day high schoolers will be eligible to vote. By 2024, most of today’s school children will be ready to cast ballots. It bodes ill for that nation, the motto of which has been “E Pluribus Unum” (“One From Many”).
But in the end, it is the adults around these bullying children – including Donald Trump – who bear the responsibility. In the words of Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim: “Careful the words you say…children will listen.”