What started as a few hateful dots on a map has spread like a virus
The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, reacting to the news and implications of the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:
From the moment he descended the escalator in Trump Tower and slandered Mexicans, Donald Trump has stoked violence and given a permission structure to a group of his most unhinged supporters to plan and commit real world violence.
In 2015, America’s Voice started our Trump Hate Map because Trump seemed to be inspiring so many instances of real-world violence. Little did we imagine that what started as a few hateful dots on a map would spread like a lethal virus.
It started in Boston. Not long after Trump demonized Mexicans in his presidential campaign announcement, two white toughs beat up a homeless Latino man, claiming, ‘Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.’
It happened in Charlottesville, when one of the ‘good people on both sides’ deliberately drove a car through a crowd of racial justice protestors and killed Heather Heyer.
It happened when Trump’s caravans-and-criminals rhetoric inspired Floridian Cesar Sayoc to send pipe bombs to Democratic and progressive leaders.
It happened when a gunman worked up about the rightwing conspiracy theory that Jews are replacing whites with immigrants walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and killed eleven people.
It happened in El Paso when a gunman, having written an anti-immigrant manifesto that sounded like one of Trump’s rally speeches, drove eight hours to kill 23 Mexican-Americans and Mexicans at a Walmart.
It happened in Kenosha, when Kyle Rittenhouse crossed state lines to kill two protesters.
And now, It almost happened in Michigan. A group of terrorists motivated by White supremacy targeted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for kidnapping and murder. Fortunately, the plot was intercepted and thwarted by law enforcement.
Let there be no doubt. There is a direct throughline from Trump’s relentless drive to demonize and dehumanize ‘the non-white other’ and the growth of domestic White supremacist terrorism.
For Trump and his violent supporters, America belongs to white Christian conservatives and all others better get back or get lost – or else. It’s a call to arms. It’s dangerous. And it has a body count.
For the multiracial majority preparing to oust Trump and his cowardly GOP enablers, America is a nation built on the premise of E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. We believe in an America where all of us means just that – all of us. We believe in an America where what unites us is bigger than what divides us. We are determined to build an America that extends and defends freedom, justice and equality for all.