The Fear Within Americans

Beth Provost

On Nov 9, Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States. There was an immediate uproar from protesters and also a reaction from Trump supporters. Some of the reactions were quite violent and could be categorized as a hate crime as they were aimed towards blacks, hispanics and muslims. An article titled,’Over 200 Reports of Hateful Harassment and Intimidation Post-Election,’ by ABC News, portrays Trump supporters, as a whole, as violent and hate-filled individuals. After reading the article,I believe that ABC News is attempting to use scare tactics to make American citizens not only fear Trump supporter, but their life as well.

The article begins with emphasizing how out of the ordinary these events are and how America has never experienced this type of hate after an election. They quoted SPLC spokesperson Heidi Beirich who said,”It’s way outside the norm. We do not see hundreds of incidents over a couple days ever.” They also claimed that many of the incidents, but not all them, directly referenced president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. The article then began naming numerous examples of horrible hate crimes such as burning rainbow flags, nazi symbolism, and vandalizing buildings with racist remarks referring to white power. So far, the story has not displayed any positive portrayal of a Trump supporter and instead has tied the entire group to the few extremists responsible for the crimes. I myself am not a Trump supporter, but I however know individuals who support him and are not as awful as media outlets describe them to be. Most of these people do not show any signs of anti-black, anti-latino, anti-muslim or anti-gay hate. This article, if seen by the people who are being targeted, could possibly cause individuals to have a negative and fearful opinions of trump supporters.

The article goes on to say that harassment is becoming a major issue in K-12 schools. It quotes that,‘Middle school students in a suburb of Detroit were caught on camera chanting “build the wall” during lunchtime the day after the election,’ and that, ‘A high school in Maple Grove, Minnesota, a bathroom stall door was found defaced with the words “White America,” “Whites only” and other racial slurs.’ Since harassment is happening at schools, parents or even children attending the schools will fear that they or their child will be exposed to hate being spread due to what they are seeing posted by media outlets. The article ends with multiple statements by SPLC stating that they wanted to people know what was going on in the community and the country.

In conclusion, ABC News blatantly uses scare tactics in this article to portray Trump supporters as violent individuals. Bias/fear in the media is very common and can cause negative opinions and perceptions on certain topics.

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