By Bryan Paz
*The opinion on this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of Latino Giant.
For months, many pundits and media personalities did not take presidential candidate Donald Trump seriously. As the polls consistently had him on top, more and more began to take him seriously. As of this week, he’s won solid wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, confirming his frontrunner status.
He was a threat to freedom the day he announced he was running for President. However, now more than ever, he is a legitimate, dangerous threat to the freedom and fundamental rights of millions of Americans, many who are already marginalized.
Why? For two reasons. First, he will likely be the Republican nominee. As long as he is in the race and goes on to the general election, his dangerous, toxic rhetoric will continue to permeate our national conversation. His candidacy will further normalize hate and racism into our national psyche.
Since Trump openly does it, racist people will feel more comfortable openly spewing hate. Worse, this environment has the potential to spur violence against the people Trump is talking about.
Secondly, there is something to be said that he has won three primaries. The fact that he had strong wins in three states confirms and highlights the indisputable fact that racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia is alive and well in our country. Thousands and thousands of people have already casted a ballot for him. He won 45.9% of the vote in Nevada (34,531 total votes). In New Hampshire, he received 35.3% of the vote (100,406 total votes). Lastly, he received 32.5% of the vote in South Carolina (239,851 total votes).
Many activists have fought back against his racist, xenophobic comments and harmful policy proposals, such as building a wall on the southern border and banning Muslim immigration. As they continue to do that, I encourage you to be a part of that conversation. We must embolden and strengthen our fight against every toxic comment he and his supporters make, protest his rallies, and if he wins the primary and goes on to the general election, we must continue to make a clear message everywhere: we will not stand for this hateful rhetoric.
If you know someone who supports him, explain to them why their support is dangerous and can lead to further marginalization and injustice. On social media and in person, push back against his dangerous ideas and his candidacy.
It’s beyond official at this point: he is now an incredibly real, imminent threat to the
freedom and rights of many of us.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @BryanPaz_