We’re living in a new day and age of information where young children are exposed to stuff they probably shouldn’t be simply because it’s nearly impossible to shield them from a lot of it with today’s technology.
So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that many young children today are being exposed to political rhetoric that’s clearly not suitable for them to hear. Especially when it’s the hateful, bigoted, racist and vile drivel that often spews from the mouth of Donald Trump.
“They said things like ‘you’ll get deported’, ‘you weren’t born here’ and ‘you were born in a Taco Bell’,” Tracy Iglehart, a teacher at Rosa Parks elementary school in Berkley California said. “They may not know exactly what it means, but they know it’s powerful language.”
“Berkeley is not an area where there are Trump supporters. This is not the land of Trump,” she added.
Ms. Iglehart said these comments following an unexpected visit by Trump to the school prior to the California primary.
Sadly, this wasn’t just an isolated incident. According to a new survey done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, bullying, fear and anxiety are up among many students ages K-12.
“We mapped it out. There was no state or region that jumped out. It was everywhere,” said Maureen Costello, the study’s author. “Marginalized students are feeling very frightened, especially Muslims and Mexicans. Many teachers use the word ‘terrified.’ The children who did the taunting were echoing Trump’s rhetoric. Bad behavior has been normalized. They think it’s OK.”
As reported by The Guardian:
More than two-thirds of the teachers in the survey reported that students – especially immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims – have expressed worries about what might happen to them or their families after the November election. More than half reported an increase in uncivil political discourse, and more than a third observed an increase in anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiment.
Yeah, all of that’s a huge problem. It proves that Trump’s hateful propaganda is actually leading children, especially minorities, to be anxious, fearful and get bullied in school. Other children hear what he says and believe it’s okay – since, you know, a presidential candidate for a major political party is saying it all the time.
Even if these children are too young to fully grasp what it is they’re saying and doing, they’re still old enough to mimic and follow things they see and hear. When their parents are huge Trump supporters, and they see the person their parents support for president attacking minorities, they think it’s okay for them to do the same to their minority classmates.
I think Hillary Clinton put it best during her speech on Tuesday when she said that this election isn’t really about Democrats or Republicans, but what kind of country do we want to be going forward. Do we want to be the United States of America with a president like Trump who belittles women; vilifies minorities; mocks war veterans; throws embarrassing temper-tantrums on Twitter; and has built an entire “movement” on racism, hate and bigotry? That’s what will happen if we let Trump win.
Now we have actual evidence from this survey, as well as firsthand accounts from teachers, that Donald Trump’s bigotry has been impacting how minority children are being treated by their peers.
The bottom line is this: We cannot allow Trump to win this November. Not only is there far too much at stake to let that happen, but the damage he will do to this country I’m not sure could ever be undone.
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