Donald Trump is the president of the United States, whether we like it or not. That means that a large number of us are unhappy with this change, and are resisting in areas that we are able to do so. This means standing up to poor cabinet choices, calling the new administration out on its lies (I’m sorry, “alternative facts”), and making our voices heard with our representatives and senators.
Or as some folks are now demonstrating, apparently it means bullying a young child who has no voice for himself, nor does he have the ability to change his situation.
If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, several high-profile members of Hollywood have made some rather insensitive Tweets regarding Barron Trump, Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son. Katie Rich, a writer for SNL, made the comment that “Barron will be this country’s first home-school shooter.”
I’m all for the freedom of speech. What Katie Rich and others have said violates no United States laws that I’m aware of. What is does violate is common human decency. Children have little or no voice of their own, and have no control over what their parents do and say. Yes, it is my opinion that Donald Trump is not a good man, nor do I feel he will make a good president, but that has nothing to do with this child.
Michelle Obama once famously said, “When they go low, we go high” in response to political bullying and muck-raking. Where is that attitude now? Where is that air of righteous indignation, and when was it replaced by this stale, ignorant bullshit?
What does it matter if Barron Trump is not always present at his father’s events? What does it matter if he is, in fact, autistic? Why do people even feel the need to use that as an insult? One of my brothers is on the spectrum and he is one of the smartest, kindest, gentlest people that I know.
Our anger does not justify our misdeeds. Using past examples of children of the presidents being shamed does not justify our misdeeds. Our opponents misdeeds do not justify our misdeeds.
Instead, these things justify our positive actions. They justify 2.9 million global citizens marching around the world in unity and solidarity. They justify journalists and the media holding President Trump and his cabinet accountable. They justify peacefully challenging the new order.
As Mrs. Obama went on to say in her speech, “With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us.”
Whenever you feel the need to poke fun at a child, remember that. Remember that the youth of today are watching you. Remember that what you’re doing is legitimizing bullying, and that our children will see it as okay. Remember that this is the exact attitude that we’re trying to fight against. Ignorance begets ignorance, oppression begets oppression, and pain begets pain. We need to learn from this cycle and break it.
It is still our right–and our duty, in my beliefs–that we fight against a lack of morality or ethics. As Chelsea Clinton so eloquently defended young Trump yesterday, “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does–to be a kid. Standing up every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.”
In other words, don’t become a part of the problem. Fight the good fight, and do it with honour, lest we become what we are fighting against.