“Together we will make America wealthy again, we will make America strong again, we will make America safe again,” President Trump said Thursday evening.
A capacity crowd of 10,000 people packed the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn., for Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally. Another 1,500 people, who waited hours in line, could not get into the convention center, but chose to stick around and watch outside on giant screens. It’s Trump’s first visit to the southern Minnesota city since he started campaigning for president in 2015.
Supporters both old and young donned red MAGA hats, women proudly hoisted “Women for Trump” signs, and the American flag in its many iterations was visible in all corners of the convention center.
The president walked out to thunderous applause and raucous chants of, “U-S-A, U-S-A.” Trump used his speech to celebrate his administration’s changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. He also reiterated his support for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and drove home his belief that National Football League players should stand for the anthem. But the real reason why the president came to rural Minnesota was to drum up excitement for local conservative politicians ahead of the midterm elections.
“I need your vote. I need your support to stop radical Democrats and to elect proud Minnesota Republicans,” Trump said. He added that electing Democrats would create “a nightmare of gridlock, chaos and, frankly, crime.”
Trump supporters held on to each of the president’s words, pumping their fists when he touted his successes and jeering with him as he ridiculed the media. Many in attendance left the event believing what they believed when they arrived – that the United States is headed in the right direction. “I pray the Republicans have a huge wave in November so President Trump gets the support he needs to make America, to keep America great,” said Kathy Tyler of Eden Prairie, Minn.
One local woman who recently celebrated her 17th birthday admitted that the excitement around Trump was great for the region, but that she couldn’t ignore the division she has experienced. “I never thought there was division in Rochester, because we’re so big and so heavily populated,” she said. “Already, I’ve seen the division and some of the looks, like: ‘You’re less than us.’”
It’s often a phrase that’s said, but not often delved into. How can silence often speak volumes? It’s quite simple. In almost every situation someone has the upper hand. In those situations one can choose to assert or not assert their privilege to assist someone in need. When situations turn evil, racist or discriminatory, how will you act?
In terms of race, white people have the majority. Why would they not speak up? In terms of LGBTQ rights, heterosexuals have the majority. Why would they not speak up? In terms of America’s population, women slightly edge out men, but men trounce women in powerful roles. Why would men not speak up for the rights of women?
I take particular issue with all of these because I am affected by them all. I am a black, heterosexual man living in America and each day living under 45’s presidency reminds me of how disillusioned and out of touch so many people are about the beauty of diversity and inclusion. Jobs understand diverse minds, ideas and backgrounds make a better product, but politicians and elected officials on a grand scale cannot seem to comprehend this.
The recent tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which one woman was killed after a man rammed his car into a crowd of people counter-protesting white supremacists put the spotlight on the way a large group of people feel. They are nervous of change and want to hold on to their whiteness as long as possible. The response by 45 in the wake of the incident was nothing short of expected, frustrating and sad. He did not call out a specific group until more than two days after the events, and instead chose to condemn “on many sides.” While 45 courts white supremacists and fascists in America, hate builds in the hearts of young and old people across the country. This is part of the silence.
There is silence on behalf of 45 to condemn racism. There is silence by a majority of white folks to call out their injustice that they witness each and every day or on the news. There is a neglect in the situation not relating to them. But they’re wrong. Silence equals violence in not speaking up for what is right. Innocent people die, hate continue to live and fester and, overall, America continues to live in the past.
We cannot continue to stay silent on injustice. We cannot afford to turn a blind eye. It’s on every decent human being to call out issues they see, they feel and they acknowledge because a better life for your neighbor is ultimately a better life for you.
lives by one word: achievement. in anything and everything, achieve.