The election of Donald Trump has deeply impacted the emotions of many Americans. Some are ecstatic, some are sad, some are frightened. This is to be expected after a hard-fought election like the one we have all just been through.
With feelings still running high the peaceful transfer of power that happens every four or eight years in this country is already under way and on schedule. As we move further past the election and closer to the inauguration it’s predictable that emotions will moderate a bit and we as a people and as a country will move forward like we always have.
But there’s something else going on right now across the country. There seems to be significant number of citizens who believe that since Donald Trump won the election it is now open season on letting out whatever hate and meanness they may have been suppressing. There are reports from all over America about school children taunting their classmates who look like they are of Mexican or Muslim heritage. And there are reports about adults doing the same things of course—the children didn’t get there by themselves.
It’s easy to read about what’s going on in the country and not spend too much time thinking or worrying about it. We live in bucolic Kings County, in Hanford or Lemoore or Corcoran and none of that is happening here.
Well it is happening here.
This is what happened to a Sentinel employee and his wife:
His wife called him at the office very upset by what happened to her when she stopped to buy produce from a roadside vendor on the outskirts of Hanford. She asked the man if he had any avocados and he said no but he had some tomatoes. She said, “Oh that’s too bad I just bought a bunch of tomatoes at Costco.”
Then he proceeded to tell her that she should not buy too much because Mr. Trump was most likely going to deport her soon. (My wife looks Asian since her parents and grandparents were Asian)
She told him she is an American citizen. Apparently unconvinced, he told her she should go back where she came from. Already on the way to her car she told him she was going back there right now, to her home a few miles away.
The Sentinel employee knew where the vendor was because he and his wife had stopped there a few weeks ago, so he drove out to have a chat with him. When confronted about his comments, he said, “If you don’t like Donald Trump that’s not my fault.”
The Sentinel employee said, “This is not about Donald Trump; it’s about your behavior. It is not OK for you to speak to my wife or anyone else that way no matter who is president.”
Does the election of Donald Trump mean we stop being polite or courteous to one another? Or worse, does it mean we now have permission to be racists?
The results of this election, or any other for that matter, should not signal permission for anyone to behave badly. But it does appear that some of our fellow Americans believe that’s just the signal they’ve received and they’re acting accordingly.
Is it open season? It should not be. Only time will tell.