The rise in white nationalism and nativism due to the nomination and election of Donald Trump is creating a climate of hatred. Those that say that American society has progressed past racism are wildly out-of touch with the reality on the ground.
It seems that no one is safe from harassment from Trump supporters. Today on the debut episode of Senator Cory Booker’s new podcast (Lift Every Voice), civil rights titan and current House representative John Lewis looked back on his long career of confronting racism.
This #MLKDay I'm excited to share with you my new podcast: Lift Every Voice.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 15, 2018
During the interview, he shared about his experiences with racist Trump supporters (via Buzzfeed News):
‘I was coming back to Washington on Sunday night. I was on a flight from Atlanta. And I’m walking down the aisle and the gentleman said as loud as he could, ‘Trump!’ So I didn’t — I just kept walking. I didn’t say anything. And sometimes I’m walking in the airport in different places. I guess [people think] they’re getting to me or harassing me. But they don’t understand… I’ve been called many, many things. But I’m not going to let anything get me down. I’m going to keep walking, keep moving.’
And Rep. Lewis isn’t alone. Other politicians that have faced racist remarks. Since Trump’s election, racists have been emboldened to attack.
House Rep. Maxine Waters received this threat, which was accompanied by several racial slurs (via KTLA):
‘If you continue to make threats toward the president, you’re going to wind up dead, Maxine, ’cause we’ll kill you.’
According to the Houston Chronicle, U.S. Rep. Al Green received threats as well.
WARNING: The threats in the recordings below are extremely NSFW, exceedingly violent, racially charged, and potentially very upsetting.
Sen. Cory Booker, host of the podcast, has also been subject to death threats from Trump fans (via WUSA):
‘He is an ignorant mother******, *******, I can’t stand that mother******. Saying that Neo-Nazi and white people are the problem. I am going to kill that mother******.’
These bigoted threats are not solely focused on well-known figures. Trump has unleashed a torrent of racist aggression on the entire U.S. population.
Although tracking racism is a difficult task, several indicators tell the same story: Trump’s rise to prominence coincides with an outpouring of racism in the U.S. The FBI’s annual assessment of hate crimes showed a five percent increase in hate crimes during 2016. Data has yet to be released for 2017.
Immediately following the 2016 election, reports flooded in of ordinary people being targeted by Trump supporters. Buzzfeed reported on 28 horrible incidents in just the first week after the election. Normal, everyday American citizens are being targeted in public by Trump supporters.
Trump has spoken about "Making America great again," but someone else had a different message recently in Wellsville. pic.twitter.com/YGBFfBXO8F
— Brian Quinn (@brianqwdr) November 9, 2016
— sam ☕ (@samlichtenstein) November 12, 2016
— Philly.com (@phillydotcom) November 9, 2016
Someone spray painted "Black lives don't matter and neither does your votes" on a wall in Durham overnight. pic.twitter.com/Idfm5T8RFg
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) November 9, 2016
Racists are openly threatening people on public transportation (Again, very NSFW):
Trump supporters are physically assaulting people in broad daylight. One family in Michigan has been subject to escalating attacks in their home. An interracial couple in New York were attacked and threatened with lynching. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on.
Trump is trying to drag America back to the “good old days”, when crusaders for justice like Rep. John Lewis were fighting tooth and nail for equal rights. Listening to Mr. Lewis’ interview with Sen. Booker sheds some light on how far we come, and how much we have to lose.
Featured image: Getty/Anadolu Agency