Since its inception, the presidential campaign of bigoted conman Donald Trump has been a frightening microcosm of racism in America.
From his rise to legitimacy following his Birther Campaign, where he ran around the country insisting that President Barack Obama was not an American, to his talk of walls and mass expulsions, Trump is the stuff of nightmares.
For the last year, many of us have sat in watched in horror as people have touted his fiery rhetoric, soaked in racism, sexism and homophobia, as comedy. But as he sweeps state after state in the primaries, the rest of the country is now seeing what we have been so afraid to say aloud: Donald Trump, himself, is not our real problem. He is merely a foot soldier of America’s greatest Monster: the beast of racism, standing tall on the shoulders of a country plagued by fear.
For the past 20 years or so, America has been living in a fairy tale. It’s a narrative that we curl up with at night, pulling up its covers over our heads to erase the horrors of reality.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a mean old Monster called racism. But now, dear children, we no longer see color. Our valiant white princes helped us to fight the Monster and lock it away. We’ve come so far. And here we are, living happily ever after.
Oh, the lies we told ourselves.
The Monster is real. It’s gone from hiding under your bed and being confined to tales of the distant past to staring you down with fiery eyes. It’s crawled up into bed with you. It whispers fearful reminders in your ear — Talk of others and dangers lurking from those who don’t look like you. It follows us around each day, infiltrating our police forces, our school systems and, even now, our leaders.
It lives within us.
And nowhere has The Monster been as evident than the campaign rallies of Donald Trump.
On Monday, 30 black Valdosta State University students were ejected forcefully from a Trump rally in Georgia. The incident was disturbing and a frightening reminder of the existence of The Monster within too many of our people.
But an incident Tuesday, caught on camera during a Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky, was the most frightening to date.
A teenage Black female protester was violently shoved, pushed and assaulted by multiple white men, many twice her age. The terrifying video shows the woman, alone in a crowd of hostile people who clearly wanted to do her major harm. She later explained she was called a “nigger” and a “cunt” as she was cursed and manhandled out of the crowd.
No one in the crowd stopped to help the teen — not law enforcement, nor anyone else. Instead, they relished in their hate for her, basking in its hideous glow.
It appears that the attack on the teen, much like other Trump rally assaults, was prompted by Trump himself encouraging his supporters to attack. He screamed his signature Get them out of here to any who challenge him or represents The Other. He’s fanning the flames and we’re laughing at him. But the joke is on us.
It goes without saying that we have seen this type of hate before — mobs of white men surrounding Black people, reminding them of the vitriol that feeds The Monster.
This attack comes in the wake of Trump refusing to denounce KKK hatelord David Duke, while clinching seven states during the Super Tuesday rush.
At some point, we have to take responsibility for what we have allowed to happen. Stop telling friends that Trump is entertaining. Stop believing the lies that he will make America “great again.” We must take the steps to prevent our great country from dwindling into a wasteland, where a man like Donald Trump can ride The Monster triumphantly, straight into victory.
HelloBeautiful’s Allison McGevna and Keyaira Kelly contributed to this report.