Why is there so much hatred in the air? Why does it feel much like “Hellmas”? Even mother-nature seems to be struggling to reignite the Christmas spirit. The past few weeks, hatred and hate speech have filled the airwaves. In France, in Egypt, in India, innocent civilians are killed indiscriminately; here in the United States, hate speech have crushed the spirit of the Hispanics, and the Muslims and everyone in between. Even the weather seems to run away from extending its huge white mantle across the land. Hatred and Hate Speech have taken over.
The fine line between Hatred & Hate Speech serves no purpose, especially during the Christmas season. Is there a difference anyway? After all, for the past few months beginning with the debut of the presidential elections, there have been several occasions when that very subject was the topic of discussion across all news media and social networks, courtesy of the most vocal candidate, the frontrunner Donald Trump.
When Mr. Trump made the announcement he is running for president of the United States, he immediately commanded the attention of everyone in the country. – Well, he has been for a while now; Trump was at the center of “The Birthers” movement – He left no doubt that high on his agenda if elected president is illegal immigration; nothing new, nothing special about that. In fact, one would have to go back 50 years (and beyond) to watch members of the Republican Party debating, opposing and fighting illegal immigration without ever advancing a logical solution. So, it was no surprise that Mr. Trump (and all the other Republican candidates) would want to make it part of the presidential campaign.
However, for reason unknown to all, Trump singled out Mexicans who are here in the country illegally. Interestingly, while Mexicans make up the bulk of illegal immigrants in U.S., – Mexico shares several miles of border with the United States which may help explain the constant flow of Mexican immigrants into the country- 59% according to a 2012 report by Procon.org, the other 41% are a sizable chunk of illegal immigrants Mr. Trump has chosen to ignore. His obsession over illegal immigration is nothing new; in fact, Republicans in general are most inclined to want to get rid of all illegal immigrants, most of which are Hispanic, instead of offering a compromised solution. What’s unprecedented is the language used by an aspirant to the Oval Office to discuss the issue. Such language is nothing short of expression of hatred and bigotry, especially from the affected group’s perspective. The reaction to Mr. Trump’s language was swift and consequential. The Hispanic community organized protests to pressure Trump to issue an apology which he did not do. Univision, the most popular Spanish network in U.S., immediately severs ties with Trump, cancels the 2015 Miss USA Pageant and terminates the contract with the Miss Universe Organization. Talk Radio shows, television programs, and late night comedians were all talking about one topic, Mr. Trump’s eligibility for president in light of the comments.
No one can deny that Mr. Trump’s language is insulting, outrageous and downright inappropriate but is it “Hate Speech”? Is it “Hatred”? Most importantly, does Mr. Trump hate any of the groups he’s lambasted in his bid for the presidency? Did Trump go over the top to grab the headline? Or was he simply expressing his views on the issue? It is fair to say that Mr. Trump does not fall anywhere within the perimeters of the Ku Klux Klan; repeatedly, Mr. Trump denies to be biased towards Mexicans. Maybe, he is not. His deeds are public domain; so, we are certain Mr. Trump bears no hatred or resentment towards the Hispanics. Unfortunately however, his statement regarding the illegal Mexican immigrants falls into the category of “Hate Speech”. According to the English dictionary, “speech that attacks, threatens, or insults a person or group on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability” is considered “hate speech”.
Every so often, our society must deal with issues which require a search of the soul, issues which question our humanity, issues which even question our intelligence. We hail every day the progress mankind has made, from the stone age to visiting Mars and gazing at planets millions of light years away, and yet we still fail to recognize the simplest aspect of life, we need one another. Selfishness, the most lethal weapon, is always behind every action we take to hurt, to oppress, to humiliate and yes even to kill others. Donald Trump’s abhorrent statement is not unique, original or the first towards a group, it is simply a continuation of a lack of understanding that while selfishness may bring immediate reward, it is to be avoided at all cost for sooner or later we will all face one inescapable end, death. What good then would it be to insult your neighbors? What good then would it be to become the president of the most powerful country? What good then would it be for all to turn their back on you?
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, it is appropriate to remember there is no greater gift than to know your contribution to this world is noted and appreciated; hatred is not one such gift, hate speech is not one such gift. Christmas is supposed to be a time for love. Maybe, it’s time for Mr. Trump to display this rare feeling.
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