Donald Trump Shuts Down A Guy Carrying A Poignant Message We Can All Get Behind
During a rally on Sunday at Iowa's Muscatine High School, Trump gave us a new controversy to discuss. In the midst of the avid Trump supporters, a man in a red turban stood up, holding a sign that read "Stop Hate." Upon spotting the man, and clearly not reading his message, the presidential candidate paused his speech to make a comment.
He wasn't wearing one of those hats, was he? And he never will, and that's OK because we got to do something folks because it's not working.
Accounts of which "hat" he was referring to vary. And quite frankly, determining the man's cultural or religious identity is frivolous in comparison to his universal, human message. Some have said Trump pointed to a supporter wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, coyly suggesting that the protester will never wear one.
This is a better alternative to the equally probable case scenario. Others claim he directly referred to the turban as "one of those hats," stripping it of all religious symbolism. Regardless, Trump mocked a man who simply suggested he stop speaking hatefully. To be clear, the turban is not solely a Muslim symbol, either. Most Sikh men and some Muslim men wear them.
The unnecessarily aggressive mockery, regardless of the man's religion, is especially dangerous coming from the mouth of a potentially influential leader, who is meant to serve as a role model to Americans. Based on the polls, Trump undeniably holds some major influence, but he might want to reconsider the way he employs it. Instead of embracing the diversity and considering the peaceful message, he brought his audience closer together by demeaning the man's efforts.
According to the New York Daily News, Trump had just finished speaking about the San Bernardino attacks, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and Islamic terrorism before the incident occurred, saying:
When planes fly into the World Trade Center and into the Pentagon and wherever the third plane was going. When people are shooting their friends in California...
He pointed towards the protester as audience members chanted, "USA, USA, USA." As the Trump dissident was escorted out of the building, Trump said "bye, bye" repeatedly and elicited another roar of "USA" chants from the crowd. Most troubling is the association between America and the ease with which a crowd can exclude a man for peacefully displaying an opposing opinion. It's moments like these that surpass politics by violating human decency. As a result, the Republican party itself is experiencing a deep divide between those who believe Trump is a viable candidate for the party and those who believe the candidate is a threat to Republican ideology.
Then again, why should we be surprised? The harbinger of intolerance was apparent even in September 2015 when a man fatefully stood up at a New Hampshire Q&A with Trump. He said, "We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims."
Trump didn't say a word in response.
Passivity evolved into an absolute disrespect for all dissidents, not just those who are Muslim. Hopefully, the incident serves as a lesson against tolerating Trump's complete intolerance of a person or group of people. We've already seen what "not saying a word" can turn into.