Make no mistake: we live in dangerous times.
On April 12, President Trump posted a video on Twitter in which he took Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s words out of context and spliced them with footage of 9/11. Since the tweet, Omar has experienced an increase in threats to her life and safety. This is hardly the first time the president has targeted Muslims, but it’s the first he’s used propaganda to single out a sitting member of Congress.
Islamophobia remains an issue in this country because the president demonizes people from Muslim-majority countries with his racist Muslim ban even when all recent terrorist attacks in the United States have been carried out by white men.
He’s said that white nationalism isn’t a threat to the United States despite a marked increase in white supremacist propaganda efforts and number of hate groups in the country. This is a president who — after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville — said there were “very fine people on both sides.”
Words have power, especially the words of the person in charge of the country. These are all separate incidents, but when you start to add them together, it’s language that empowers white nationalism and violence against marginalized groups in our society.
Don’t dismiss the danger we are in merely because “it’s just words.”
Lindsay Bergman-Debes is the secretary of the Cecil County Democratic Central Committee and Cecil County Democrat Club.