Won’t somebody please think of the children?
Apparently American schoolchildren are being terrorised by the thought of Donald Trump winning the presidency.
The presidential campaign is stoking fear and anxiety among children of color, according to a survey released Thursday of about 2,000 teachers.
The report, “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation’s Schools” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), puts much of the blame on Donald Trump’s comments about undocumented immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the U.S., and building a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Even though the survey questions didn’t identify any candidates, out of 5,000 total comments more than 1,000 mentioned Donald Trump. Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, or Hillary Clinton were named less than 200 times.
“My students are terrified of Donald Trump,” said a middle school teacher with a large student body of African-American Muslims. “They think that if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.”
More than two-thirds of the teachers reported that children of immigrants and Muslims expressed concerns about what might happen to them or their families after the election. More than one-third reported seeing an increase in anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment.
“Students are hearing more hate language than I have ever heard at our school before,” said a high school teacher in Helena, Montana.
Another teacher who responded to the survey said a fifth-grader told a Muslim student “that he was supporting Donald Trump because he was going to kill all of the Muslims if he became president!”
But who is actually at fault here?
Is Donald Trump really to be blamed for the fact that American liberals, in their impotent anguish, have concocted all manner of exaggerated lies about Trump, and made any number of disjointed extrapolations between what Trump has actually said and what they think he would do in office?
Let’s be clear – Donald Trump has said some incredibly stupid and offensive things. But the closest he has come to announcing a plan to kill all American Muslims was his declared intention to halt all further Muslim immigration into the United States. Now, one can argue that this is a fear-based, prejudicial, unworkable and unconstitutional proposal (it is), but this still comes nowhere near suggesting that Trump plans to “kill all of the Muslims”.
So where are these terrified schoolchildren getting their ideas, I wonder?
The answer is obvious. They are not being scared by Donald Trump himself, or by any of the things which the presidential candidate has said. They are being scared by the things which other people – typically Trump’s most vehement left-wing critics – are saying about him. These are people who hold their own political views in such high esteem (and the truth in such low regard) that they are comfortable telling children lies about the intentions of a presidential candidate as a means of whipping up public opposition.
A responsible adult would reassure these children that the president lacks any constitutional power to deport African Americans anywhere.
A responsible adult would point out to these children that Donald Trump has never once suggested that he wants to deport black people or kill all Muslims.
And a responsible organisation would be more concerned that young schoolchildren are being grossly misled and misinformed by their parents and other authority figures, and make that the focus of their report rather than Donald Trump.
Unforunately, we are now witnessing a (hopefully) small number of parents and teachers effectively terrorising their own children and students with an entirely false vision of Donald Trump, a caricature even more cartoon-like than the real thing. This is not a tremendously responsible way to raise children, and all the more surprising coming from the side of American politics which perpetually claims to be so concerned for the “mental safety” of students.
So before we even get to trigger warnings and safe spaces, perhaps the first rule for protecting the mental safety of children should be that grown adults – including parents, teachers and those in the media – refrain from telling scurrilous lies in pursuit of their anti-Trump political agenda.
There are enough genuine reasons for America to reject Donald Trump without the Left waging their own psychological war of terror against their own schoolchildren.
Top Image: slate.com
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