It doesn’t matter who you voted for, if you are listening to the stories from schools, you can’t feel good. The so called “Trump Effect” the empowering of bigoted and hateful bullying in schools has radically increased since the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center highlighted this in a recent report, The Trump Effect: The Impact of The 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools.
The results are disturbing, and present for Trump a golden opportunity to be presidential, forcefully rebuking the rhetoric and actions, but so far, uncharacteristically from this candidate, we have heard very little.
The cost paid by children
Many of us personally have heard stories about anxious children, fretting about the effects of a Trump presidency, the breadth of this was verified by the SPLC survey. The findings are painful,
Over 10,000 teachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools have responded. The survey data indicate that the results of the election are having a profoundly negative impact on schools and students. Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families.
Also on the upswing: verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, and disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags…
Over 2,500 educators described specific incidents of bigotry and harassment that can be directly traced to election rhetoric. These incidents include graffiti (including swastikas), assaults on students and teachers, property damage, fights and threats of violence.
You can look online and see hundreds if not thousands of these stories.
A Tepid Response and a Missed Opportunity
Trump’s response has been tepid at best. The guy who held the stadium rallies, led the chants and bombasted on everything from beauty queens to trade deals, can hardly raise his voice against real crimes against America.
He could show leadership and at least allay some of his opponents worst fears.But when asked to stand as man or mouse, we got barely a squeak.
Here was the response when he was informed about these rises in hate crimes on 60 minutes
The President-elect said he was “so saddened” to hear about vitriol hurled by some of his supporters against minorities.
“If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it,” Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
That’s all you got? No “lock them up”?
The new Nimrod
Beyond the pure moral argument of protecting the physical and emotional safety of children, you would think that just as a marketing issue, nobody would want their name associated with bigotry. If only to protect his “brand” you would think he would not want a “Trump Effect.”
Do you want your name to go down with Nimrod (you know the great grandson of Noah) now defined in the urban dictionary as “Originally … a mighty hunter, it has come to mean socially inadequate.”
Being linguistically enshrined in the insult log and joke bin of history, but in a darker way tied to bigotry.
For a candidate that came in like a lion in bluster and brashness, it’s a missed opportunity to meekly play the lamb on an issue of such importance.
It increasingly looks like Trump will be the president, it’s time for him to start acting like it.