Racism won't stop in a day - but I suggest a good place to start | Wis.Community

Racism won't stop in a day - but I suggest a good place to start

August 6, 2019 - 2:35pm
Resolute desk and occupant

It has been an overwhelming week personally and as a citizen. 

Mass shootings continue in the US, and this week's were particularly senseless. One was driven by yet another white supremacist male who decided that the world would be better off if there were fewer Mexicans in our country. And he traveled 600 miles to El Paso, where he'd be likely to find a lot of them, whether they were citizens, here legally, or not. Going out to shop for school supplies for your kids? Spending an afternoon just shopping for household supplies? It just didn't matter.  They were the wrong color and might "mix races" with the rest of us, so they needed to die.

I realize racial animus always exists and probably always will, but we seem to be living in a period where somehow this has become more acceptable to some people. Sadly, one of the most visible people spouting off about immigrants from our southern border sits behind the Resolute Desk. And every time he does so, he tilts the tone of the country a little more toward anarchy.

The world has been a-twitter (so to speak) about whether the continual statements coming out of the White House are racist. Real-real racist, or maybe a little racist-sounding. It doesn't matter. I have one set of expectations for how a random guy in a small-town bar talks, and how the President talks. I was only a little shocked recently when my wife and I were waiting for a chemotherapy appointment to have one of the patients be on the cell phone trying to report someone for being in the parking lot of the hospital while black. He was afraid his big fancy car would be damaged, and why would a black person be at a cancer treatment facility anyway? Again, a deplorable viewpoint, but he was not a national leader, just a poor frightened old guy.

We're talking about the ostensible leader of the free world. I've given up on the concept of expecting Mr. Trump to sound presidential - that ship has long since sailed. All I ask is that he stop making statements guaranteed to whip easily-led people into a frenzy. Or a plan for slaughter.

We are a nation of immigrants, and the President's continual attacks on immigration, women, people of color, the handicapped, and anyone else who would not fit in well at Mar-a-Lago are unforgivable. The events of the past weekend make it clear that we need leaders who will bring all of us together rather than set us all at each other's throats.  So I have one piece of advice: Mr. President - STFU. And stay away from El Paso and let its citizens grieve in peace. 

Steve Hanson
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Downsville, WI