“Part of the bigger problem with Donald Trump is, when you sit and talk to him one-on-one, he’s reasonable, he comes across as caring, he’s open-minded, but then, all of that just is thrown out the window when he tweets and when he communicates with the media – and when he communicates at all.”
– Mark Cuban, American businessman and investor
When the head of state and head of government and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces becomes a baggywrinkle cockaballo tyrant, living outside of the U.S. one could easily justify one’s response by saying that this is an American issue and they should be able to handle it themselves. But it isn’t as simple as that! His blatant and contemptuous comments, coupled with his actions in degrading and humiliating people have implications for all of us, irrespective of where we live, our religion or nationality.
This week so far, two obnoxious statements came forth from this individual’s mouth.
One, concerning the mocking of Christine Blasey Ford’s alleged sexual assault testimony. And the other relating to the verbal insult directed at female journalist Cecilia Vega, a White House reporter for ABC News.
In the case of this individual’s never-ending abusive and cruel comments, my first reaction was, “I wondered why the citizens of that great country aren’t up in arms- oops, I didn’t mean it in the American way- but protesting vigorously against his vulgarity?”
Someone once said, “It’s easy to say we would be willing to risk everything to do what is right.” Yet, when push comes to shove, are the American people actually morally brave? Is all their proud self-aggrandizement, only goes as far as singing the words to Katherine Lee Bates’ lyrics in America the Beautiful?
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.”
Brotherhood? What brotherhood? And who are all those “white” people standing behind this individual, many cheering him on, while others look extremely stressed when he makes his obnoxious comments about folks who are not present to defend themselves? Does the desire to be accepted socially in a group surpass the desire as a decent human being to stand up to this abusive individual?
As Paul Bloom, a psychology professor at Yale explains: “The desire to be accepted by others socially can have an ugly side. If you can earn respect by helping people, that’s great. If you can earn respect by physically dominating people with aggression and violence, that’s destructive.”
Yet, why should all of this be of our concern? To get to the crux of this matter, I came across an article published last June by VOX Media titled “Why humans are cruel.” In it, Paul Bloom explains why humans are so terrible to each other. It’s certainly worth reading. In essence, he says in part, “The point is that we don’t behave in stressful situations the way we think we would or the way we would like to…”
Bloom remarked: “We have this horrible tendency to overestimate the extent to which we’re the moral standouts, we’re the brave ones. This has some nasty social consequences. There was a great article that came out in the Washington Post last week about people who say, ‘I’m confused about the people who have been sexually assaulted, because if it happened to me, I would say no way, and I would put the person in their place, and I would speak out.’ This attitude is oftentimes scorn towards people who get harassed. They’re somehow morally weak, or maybe they’re just not telling the truth.”
Bloom refers to one of his colleagues, Marianne LaFrance, who “did a study a while ago in which they asked a group of people, how would you feel if you had a job interview and someone asked you these really sexist, ugly questions?”
He added: “Just about everybody says, ‘I would walk out. I would give the person hell,’ and so on. Then they did it. They did fake interviews where people thought they were being interviewed, and people asked the sexist, ugly questions, and all of the women were just silent.”
Many bullies feast on people’s silence. The American people have much to be proud of. Their achievements in all sectors of society are something to be bragged about. Yet, their overwhelming silence to act as one primary group against one individual remains inconceivably irrational to us outsiders.
As Elie Wiesel said: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
What say thee America?