Time Magazine’s Acceptance of Hate Speech, Fighting Words, and The Unpredictable Future Part 1” by Sharece Naomi Thomas

By December 12, 2016 voices No Comments

After a campaign that shocked the world and various unacceptably disrespectful statements towards minorities and women were made, Donald Trump (hereinafter Trump) won enough electoral votes to afford him the opportunity to be the next President of the United States of America. A man with no political experience, who has proven to not keep his promises personally and professionally, thought it not inappropriate to run for the most powerful seat in the nation, if not the world. Do I think Trump is deplorable, evil, or anything of the sort? No. I do believe that his sociopathic strategy of throwing gasoline onto the flames of fear and hatred will cause unprecedented destructive trickledown effects towards the majority of Americans.

Recently, Time Magazine (hereinafter Time) named Trump 2016 Person of The Year. While I have my reservations, the first issue is whether Time is glorifying hate speech by promoting a man who has manipulated his way into the oval office while offending and insulting citizens of the United States.

I. What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits[i]. For example, Trump states:

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. It’s true. And these aren’t the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with [to] us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists — and some, I assume, are good people.” [ii]

A dumping ground for everybody else’s problems? A nation that was united by people who fled their own countries due to internal turmoil and were also brought here with criminals from other countries has, in essence, always been a dumping ground if that is the term he wishes to use. He no longer sees the US as a place of refuge from the binds of oppressive governments, possibly due to the fact that we have worked our way to the top of the food chain and he cannot seem to realize that it is the downtrodden, and their slaves, that worked to make America great. The very statement “dumping ground” is offensive to the founders of this country, as well as to the individuals who are fleeing their countries for survival and a better life for their families. The statement shows inconsideration and a complete disregard for the history of this great nation, and for the people who need our help now.

When Trump states, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you.” he is making a clear distinction that the people here are better than the people who are in need of refuge. He is making a misinformed generalization of one group while in the same breath creating an air of superiority towards another group. Both acts are not just foolish, but highly offensive to the seemingly lesser than group. What makes a people better than another? Education or access to it? The value of their life in a certain part of the globe? As the President-Elect of the free world, Trump should cognize the vital importance of all lives mattering at the same level. To create a hierarchy based on national origin and demean the ones who are being made to feel inferior is both unfortunate and insulting.

To add injury to ignorance, Trump states, “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists — and some, I assume, are good people.” To know, without presenting any quantifiable data, that they (notice the subconscious awareness that Trump has separated himself and those who agree with him, from the individuals he is referring to.) bring drugs, increase crime, and are rapist is quite shocking. The reason for needing quantifiable data is because Trump is known for being a sociopath and a liar. Therefore, to make these kinds of allegations without any proof shows a lack of thought, care, and consideration on Trumps part. In addition, Trumps conduct of consistent underpayment or nonpayment of his employees, and his multiple bankruptcy filings does not afford him the privilege to speak of anyone else’s alleged poor conduct.

Also, Trump should consider silencing himself with regard to anyone’s alleged inappropriate behavior considering he is being charged with sexual assault after a recording of him boasting about assaulting women surfaced during his campaign. In addition, even if Trump was an upstanding citizen, to generalize a group of people without thinking of the facts and the consequences of making such statements is repulsive. Trump is speaking from a place of privilege towards people whose only wish is to be free and safe. A lot of Mexican immigrants have already been dehumanized; that is probably why they are leaving their country. To come to a place that is supposed to bring some sort of order to life, and be faced with condescending remarks from a man that says he wants to lead this country and make it better disheartens me for their sake and makes me ashamed to say my tax dollars are going to support such leadership for the next four years. Therefore, because the statements made by Trump were made with a lack of care, consideration, or regard for the individuals, and were directed towards a group of people based on national origin, the one of many examples provided shows that Trump perpetuated hate speech in order to manipulate his way into the oval office.

Here, Time decided to give Trump the honor of being 2016 Person of The Year. The magazine, in essence, declared that it agreed with Trumps beliefs. If Time does not agree with the beliefs of Trump, it does, at the very least, not think it was poor judgment to glorify a man that has pending sexual assault charges and who openly offends the very people who purchase and circulate their material.  Therefore, because Time provided another platform for Trump to continue to speak without thought or consideration, the message that a lot of Americans are receiving is that Time is in full acceptance of the hate speech circulated by Trump.

To be continued…..Stay tuned! Part two will be released on Friday December 16, 2016!


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