Because I don’t want to think of them as “those people”

Well designed protests can be very simple.  Rose Hamid is a Muslim American who recently attended a Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina and dressed in simple Muslim head dress and with a T-shirt which said “Salam I come in peace.”  The crowd turned ugly and she was shouted at until the police came and escorted her out.

RoseHamid Trump Muslim Protester

There is a telling moment in her CNN interview when the interviewer said

CNN: Why would you even put yourself in that position, Rose, why would you want to be with those people?

Rose: Because I don’t want to think of them as “those people.”

So the first thing to point out is that CNN is actively participating in the division of the country here.  It may seem subtle, a genuinely curious question asked by an empathetic reporter, but it is not.  It normalizes the us vs. them mentality: there are good people (like you, Rose) and there are bad people (those at the Trump rally.)

Rose spent much of her time talking about what the real problem is, which is crowd effect.  She spoke about the people around her who were “very nice” and supportive of her, but when the mood of the crowd turned, people (including those around her) started to get more ugly.  Rose represents the best of America, a genuine desire to embrace differences and live together in tolerance.

jewish_star_350.jpg

This is rich intellectually.  Her donning of a yellow badge similar to the Star of David with “Muslim” written across it reminds us that if we follow the Cruz or Trump plans for national registration of Muslims and banning their immigration, we will be mimicking the early stages of the Nazi treatment of homosexuals, jews and gypsies.

silence versus death.gif

But there is something else going on here which is even more important.  Like many, I have watched in disgust and amazement as Trump has gained further popularity with his incendiary rhetoric and embarrassing policy proposals.  But there is a weakness in this campaign strategy that Rose has pointed out to us.

While there are many in the minority Republican party who support these racist and sexist proposals, this view does not reflect the view of the majority of the electorate.    What this means is that this type of protest is potentially incredibly powerful.  If the average voter keeps hearing about people being thrown out of rallies because they present as Muslim, this will be a racist turn off.

politically correct cartoon

Anyone can walk into a Trump rally looking a lot like Rose.  Only women would be able to wear the Hajib, but anyone could wear a yellow star and a printed T-Shirt.  Either Trump has to allow the crowd to throw them all out (alienating moderate voters) or he has to tell his supporters to permit these people, undercutting his strong base of racists.  The worst for Trump would be a supporter throwing a punch.  And this is completely possible, crowd effects are very powerful.

I am often cynical about US Americans and the governments we choose.  And while I am impressed with Trump’s ability to control media for free, I think the message won’t work after he wins the nomination (if the Republican establishment cannot wrestle it from him).  And these simple powerful protests might just be one of the exit ramp from this toxic candidacy.

 

 

 

 

 

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

3 responses to “Because I don’t want to think of them as “those people””

  1. milo says :

    convention delegates (democrat and republican) are chosen by the party, not the electorate. the purpose of the primary campaigns is to make money for the campaign industry and to work out how they are going to package and market the candidate. the dnc has already designated all of it’s super delegates for clinton. they are using sanders to whip up the populace so they can throw them to clinton. the rnc has already chosen it’s extremest (probably bush. he is controllable) they are using trump to make him look moderate. when the media was more constrained this process lasted less then a year. now, with the internet, americans “communicating” with less and less information(texts, tweets etc.), and every yahoo with a blog (nothing personal) calling themself a journalist, the campaign industry can milk it for over two years.

    boycott the campaign, but not the election!

  2. richard lisko says :

    like!

  3. leavergirl says :

    “anyone could wear a yellow star”

    Yeah, anyone who is trying to step into the shoes of a victim by pretending that their treatment is just like the Jews in prewar Germany. And by the way, did you know that the yellow star was invented by Muslims who insisted that unbelievers under Islam wear these markers? Yellow for Jews, other colors for Christians and whoever. Ah, the irony.

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