Opinion | Muftic: Trump’s success in killing polite speech
Donald Trump has succeeded in one very important way. He has given a permission slip to Americans to be openly and publicly disrespectful of one another. Political correctness is a sin. Polite speech is a relic. In fact, he has succeeded so well, that respect of others unlike himself or his core supporters is no longer required.
He won over the GOP because his anti-immigration rhetoric and policies resonated with so many in his party and he has continued his crusade against “others” in word and deed in his campaign rallies, evidenced in “build the wall” and “fine people” in the white Nationalist marchers in Charlottesville. He painted Mexicans and Central American refugees as murders and rapists and attempted to ban Muslim immigrants as potential terrorists. He sneered at a rival, calling her “Pocahontas” and his administration plowed under Native American protests opposing a pipeline they believed damaged their water and tribal rights.
The confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial the other day is a case-in-point.
Listening to the various YouTube tapes of the event, and also reading a follow up report by USA Today of what they saw in the YouTube videos, clarified the situation. Three different marchers, demonstrators converge to make confrontation an ugly scene. A group of Black Hebrew Israelites with their own specific agenda had hurled insults at Native Americans for not supporting their version of God. They then began damning Trump and Catholics shouting at young men from a Kentucky Catholic High School marching in support of their anti-choice beliefs, wearing MAGA caps. The Catholic high schoolers verbally confronted the Black Hebrew Israelites. An Omaha elder beating his drum stepped in between the two groups to diffuse the situation. The red-capped high schoolers then turned their ire on the Native Americans, telling them to go back to the reservation, doing a tomahawk chop, and performing their own football team chant drowning out the drumbeats of the elder of the Omaha tribe.
The glare of the MAGA youth’s looking into the Omaha elder’s face was the media picture worth a thousand words. However, who posted the Twitter picture is mysterious and Democrats want to look into it since it appeared to be an example of someone stoking hate and division in the United States.
In any case, the Omaha elder felt threatened surrounded by what he saw to be the mob mentality of the red MAGA hatted youth.
Certainly the black Israelites deserve a great deal of blame, but what I found dismaying is that so many posting on local social media could not understand what was wrong with those young men in red MAGA hats acting as they did. That lack of understanding and respectful use of words is the legacy Donald Trump will be leaving our country and passing on to the next generation.
Once upon a time, respect of those other than those like themselves was an ethic that had some resonance and in places still does. I have had three grandchildren attend Arapahoe High in Centennial, whose 2,200 students draw from one of the most politically red suburban areas in the state. Their logo was a full feathered head of a chief and their sports teams were named Warriors. In fear of being disrespectful, Arapahoe High reached out to the Wind River Arapaho Reservation for their blessing to use the logo and team nickname and, began volunteering to help with the needs of the tribe. To this day, the respect is a two-way street. At every Arapahoe High School graduation elders of the tribe in full dress speak to the attendees, inspiring them with their words of wisdom.
Now that is respect.
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