There is a restlessness in America that cannot be ignored since the horrific terrorist attacks took place in Paris last November. I've watched this nervousness unfold in media headlines, TV debates and Twitter commentaries from various US politicians.
That tension came to head this evening when watching entrepreneur and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump call for a "complete shutdown" of Muslims entering the U.S live on TV. His comments come in the wake of an attack on a health center in San Bernardino where 14 people were killed by radicalized extremists. In front of a crowd in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Mr. Trump defended his Islamophobia, stating that a survey from the Center for Security Policy found that there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population and "25% of those polls agree that violence against Americans is justified by Muslims", also adding for prosperity; "51% of Muslims living in this country want to be governed according to Sharia."
The rapturous applause from the crowds during his speech was disturbing. Live on camera, they went wild with cries of support and also gave a standing ovation to what is at its very essence, and I do not use these words lightly, extreme bigotry. I don't know what shocks me most - the fact that Mr. Trump's beliefs could potentially help his bid for the Presidency or that people who share his principles still exist in 2015/2016.
His irresponsible rhetoric may have enthralled a small gathering in this local town but the danger that these words have on the lives of the American Muslim community and civilian rights in general across America and overseas is incomprehensible. It is as if Mr. Trump does not understand that he has given terrorist cells an early Christmas gift of propaganda - a dangerous monologue that will undoubtedly feed their ideology and violent agenda.
I began imagining my best friend and her young family being denied 'permission' to visit me in my home of New York solely because of her Islamic religion. It would stand to reason that additional control factors would be then introduced under this new hypothetical regime. First comes faith, and then comes race. I wonder when a person's gender would also become a threat to national security too. Although the US constitution would never allow this to happen, the fact that an individual who wishes to lead a multi-cultural nation in political affairs and yet would boldly display such a high level of intolerance for a community that is part of said nation is beyond worrying.
Taking his lead as an example, should I request actions that could diminish other societal fears too? For example, let's lobby to put a halt on all submissions to the Police Force by Caucasian males to prevent violence towards minority communities. Ridiculous demand isn't it? You don't have to be a politician to know that an action based on unjust profiling is simply wrong.
A spotlight should also be placed on the processes and public inaction that allowed an individual with such extreme prejudicial views to achieve this level of prominence. His views have been entertained and rebuffed on various occasions this year but now the joke has gone too far.
It's time to put a firm stop to this fueling of hatred taking place on a mainstream stage. If history ever taught us anything, no good ever comes of it.