In 2012, I warned about the growing nationalist movement in the United States.
In 2016, I expressed my concern that then President-elect Trump's rhetoric would lead to nationalistic violence in our borders.
In 2018, I denounced Trump's exclamation that he's "absolutely a nationalist, and proud of it."
Today, we are seeing that violence play out across the country on a weekly basis.
A man shot and killed a bunch of people at a Wal-mart because of nationalism.
A man shot and killed a bunch of people at a garlic festival because of nationalism.
A man fractured a kid's skull at a fair because of nationalism.
This is just a selection of stories from a single week.
We are in the midst of a wave of nationalist terrorism.
It will get worse until the people spreading fear, anger, and hatred have their megaphones taken away. Afterward it will be a long process of deradicalizing the extremists.
It starts with changing the public rhetoric. And it needs to come from the top and not only in the immediate aftermath of terrorist attacks.
In his speech yesterday Trump said, "our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy." And I fully agree.
I would suggest to Trump that next time he has a rally in which his audience suggests "shoot them" as a "solution" to immigration that, instead of laughing it off (after the cheers subside), he immediately denounce the idea and make it clear to his audience that such an opinion is not welcomed, condoned, or tolerated at his events.
I would suggest to Trump that next time he has a rally in which his audience chants "Send her back" about a U.S. citizen and refugee of non-Caucasian descent that, instead of basking in the anger, he cut them off and make it clear to his audience that we have a right to express differences of opinion in this country whether we're born here, naturalized, or even just visiting; and shouldn't be threatened with exile for disagreeing.
I would suggest to Trump that next time one of his supporters murders a counter protestor that he not respond with "... but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides." People adhering to an ideology of white supremacy are, by definition, not "very fine people." They're abhorrent and need to be denounced. It needs to be made clear that their viewpoint is not accepted. It's not welcome. It's not condoned. It will not be tolerated.
If you're not sure what that looks like, you can look to Bernie Sanders as an example of how to do it. When a supporter of his opened fire on a Republican-congressmember baseball practice he responded with:
I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign. I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be — violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.Bernie Sanders
So, instead of reading off the teleprompter about how "our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," just start doing it yourself.