During a Donald Trump rally on Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama – already rife with bigoted incitements against Muslims – a black activist was violently assaulted by white attendees.
While Trump was speaking, a protester revealed a shirt bearing the phrase “Black Lives Matter” and attempted to chant it as attendees began booing. Trump responded by yelling, “Get him the hell out of here” as white attendees tackled and began pummeling him:
At least a half-dozen attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event. At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground.
Fortunately, the protester did not need medical attention after security removed him from the event. However, the hate for people with brown skin being ginned up by Trump, and the audience’s reaction, make clear what we’ve been seeing for months now: too many GOP political rallies are becoming hate conventions that are legitimately dangerous for black and Muslim citizens.
Indeed, the thrust of Trump’s speech on Saturday was on the need to monitor Muslims, put surveillance in place for mosques, and create databases of Syrians and those like them who try to cross our border. In short, his overriding campaign strategy, creating a hatred for and fear of those with brown skin, was in full force when the assault occurred.
When Black Lives Matter activists protest at Democratic events, particularly those of Bernie Sanders, nobody is assaulted. Nobody is tacked, punched and kicked. Nobody’s life is in danger.
I wonder what Trump was referring to when, after the protester was kicked out on Saturday, he told the crowd that he’d never let what happens at Bernie Sanders events with Black Lives Matter activists happen at his.
Perhaps he meant that he’d never let a black man get away with it unscathed.
A sentiment his crowds would cheer.
David Harris-Gershon is author of the memoir What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist Who Tried to Kill Your Wife?, recently published by Oneworld Publications.
Follow on Twitter @David_ehg