by G. Brown
Saying goes, ‘it’s always darkest before dawn’. By that logic, America in the middle of a long, dark night. Since the President’s recent rally in North Carolina, the chant “send her back” is more than a rallying cry, it’s proving to be an alarm that’s awakening a new level of racism.
In Georgia over the weekend, State Representative Erica Thomas’ clash with another shopper is proving to be a potential powder keg in a state where racism is always bubbling beneath the surface. Thomas claimed that fellow shopper Eric Sparkes annoyed that the pregnant lawmaker had too many items in the express lane began a tirade of hateful language including telling her to ‘go back where’s from’.
The clash has grown from personal into a political brawl. The GOP called for Thomas to step down as a representative and the Democrats have started a “#WeStandWithErica” Twitter campaign.
The escalation in racial confrontations began after Trump’s N.C. rally and the reverberations are being felt far beyond Georgia. In Louisiana, two police officers have been fired because of a Facebook post suggesting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot. Officer Charles Rispoli posted that Ocasio-Cortez is “a vile idiot” who “needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve“. The freshman congresswoman from New York used to work as a bartender and was one of the four congresswomen of color that Trump suggested should go back home if they don’t like America. Of course, Ocasio-Cortez is home–she was born in America along with two of the other congresswomen Trump attacked. Though Rispoli authored the FB post another officer, Angelo Varisco, gave it a “like” and he was fired as well.
Ocasio Cortez turned to social media to fight back tweeting all this racial hatred and vitriol is what Trump wanted—“This is Trump’s goal when he uses targeted language & threatens elected officials who don’t agree w/ his political agenda. It’s authoritarian behavior. The President is sowing violence. He’s creating an environment where people can get hurt & he claims plausible deniability.”
CNN says Capitol Police say threats against congress members are on the rise. But are regular people seeing a rise in threats and confrontations also? Is the co-worker you shared office space with for the last decade now your mortal enemy if you have different color skin? Is the cashier at your corner grocery store now slamming your items into a bag because they see you as someone who should go back to your home country?
Most African Americans were born here and can trace their generations back to slave days. That’s at least eight generations which mean most African Americans belong here and have since that first generation was brought against their will as slaves. Ironically, the man behind the “send her back” chant grandfather was born in Germany and his wife was also born outside of America. It’s a classic Trump move to accuse others of the very thing he’s guilty of. Some will take the time to check out his claims…but sadly those in his base will follow blindly and repeat his venom.
The racist escalation thus far seems to be primarily aimed at politicians. That is unnerving since we are at the beginning of campaigns heading into 2020 elections. Elections that will certainly grow in intensity as candidates get more desperate to win.