Trump’s rhetoric doesn’t just affect adults

Donald Trump is Making America Meaner. The New York Times, August 13, 2016.

A disturbing and thought-provoking article about how Candidate Trump, through his penetration into the lives and psyches of many Americans via the media, has turned up the dial on bullying in many schools around the country.

image-by-gage-skidmore

Image by Gage Skidmore

The author of this article selects a small town, just west of Portland, Oregon, as its focus. In Forest Grove, Oregon, many high school age White kids have taken up the hateful banner of racism in their interactions with Mexican American fellow students. These White youths, stoked by chants of “Build a wall! Build a wall!” have terrorized their Mexican American classmates who fear for their well-being.

The language of Trumpian hatred includes talk of having Hillary Clinton killed by a firing squad. Many of his followers shout: “Hang the bitch.”

This sort of cruel and frightening language spews from the mouth of the candidate at his rallies and then goes viral via many media sources. Kids absorb this, and it becomes their language and their call to action, in this case in the form of bullying and threatening.

As some experts on the subject of school bullying have noted, much good work done by well-meaning counselors and advisors to schools is now being undone by this foul-mouthed candidate who is an expert in tweeting and using the media to his advantage.

The casualties are the social fabric of America and the psyches of our children, who emulate this hate and spew it back, often on their non-white classmates.