Scenes of chaos and bigotry increasingly surround Donald Trump’s campaign rallies.
August 2015: Univision’s Jorge Ramos, an admired figure in Hispanic media and the anchor of the nation’s largest Spanish-language newscast, is kicked out of a Trump press conference. Later that month, an attendee at a Trump rally in Mobile, Alabama could be heard shouting “White power!” on camera.
Violence erupted moments after Trump took the stage at his Miami golf resort in October as supporters attacked Latino protesters chanting “equality” and “dignity.”
There was yelling, kicking and pushing. One Trump supporter used a campaign sign that read “The Silent Majority Stands With Trump,” to hit a protester on his back as he was being led away.
Protests at campaign events are as old as American democracy, but they have taken a dim turn this presidential season at the massive events staged by Trump. Supporters of the Republican frontrunner were caught spitting on Hispanic protesters at an event in Richmond, Virginia. At an event before the U.S. Capitol in September, one supporter was caught on video pulling the hair of a young woman who tried to shout down Trump. Outside Trump’s New York headquarters, Trump’s personal bodyguard was videotaped ripping a sign from the hands of a protester on the public sidewalk. When the protester tried to grab it back, he punched the protester in the face. A lawsuit has been filed.
Trump supporters were captured on film last November repeatedly kicking and punching a black man for reportedly chanting “Black Lives Matter” at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama. Asked about the incident by Fox & Friends, Trump responded: “Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was disgusting what he was doing.” Earlier that month, Trump was captured on camera mocking a protester as he was expelled from the rally.
“You know, it’s amazing, I mention food stamps, and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy – amazing. Amazing,” Trump said to cheers from the audience, adding “That’s an amazing sight.”
Last December protesters were forcibly escorted from the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, among them several members of the Associated Press.
Talking Points Memo reported last December that “Racist and bigoted language has become commonplace at the rallies, both from Trump supporters and the candidate himself. But so has violence and degradation against protesters who dare to disagree with the GOP’s heir apparent. The toxicity seemed to peak Monday night in Las Vegas, where Trump supporters reportedly yelled a Nazi salute and called for a protester to be set on fire.” One attendee was also observed yelling “Sieg heil,” a Nazi salute, as he was removed according to a report by NBC News.
Last Thursday, Trump ordered his security to toss Bernie Sanders supporters into the cold at a rally in Burlington, Vermont. Trump told security “throw them into the cold,” as the protesters chanted “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!”
“Don’t give them their coats,” Trump continued, adding: “No coats! Confiscate their coats.”
“It’s about 10 degrees below zero outside. … You can keep his coat; tell him we’ll send it to him in a couple of weeks,” Trump continued.
As Media Matters wrote on Monday, “Donald Trump’s rallies may have reached a new apex of bigotry and intolerance last week when on two occasions protesters were set upon by agitated Trump supporters. In Lowell, Massachusetts, they tore up a ‘God Bless President Obama’ sign, and then hurled insults at a Muslim woman wearing a “I Come In Peace” t-shirt who was escorted out of a Trump rally in Rock Hill, South Carolina.”
In fact, here are some of the menacing utterances and taunts that have reportedly been yelled by Trump’s supporters at rallies recently: “Go home n****r.” “Sieg Heil.” “Kick his ass.” “Light the motherfucker on fire.” “Scum!” And “get him the hell out of here.”
Yet, no one seems to want to hold Trump accountable for his actions – certainly not the press. As Media Matters observed earlier this week, as the “ugly phenomenon” of Trump’s rallies increases, “the press seems unsure of how to deal with it. Yes, journalists type up the here’s-what-happened-dispatches. But where’s the outrage? Where are the endless pundit panel discussions about the outrageous behavior Trump is purposefully fermenting? Where are the deep, front-page dives into what the cauldron of Trump campaign violence reveals about his possible presidency?”
Note that during an extended interview on Meet The Press on Sunday, Trump wasn’t asked about the litany of altercations at his rallies, including two upsetting ones last week. But Trump was asked to discuss allegations about Bill Clinton’s sex life from the 1990s.
Sure, the press report on what was said, who was assaulted, where the latest incident occurred – but no one seems to be covering the fact that this kind of bigotry, chaos and carnage on public display at campaign rallies is unheard of… no one is writing about the potential danger it presents… worst of all – no one is demanding Trump fix the problem.