Nasty, nastier, nastiest: elections in American history

African American student Kashiya Nwangama was assaulted and pushed when she protested at Trump's rally in Louisville in March. Photo Courtesy: Global News

Clearly, US Presidential 2016 election will go down in the annals of History as the nastiest, bitterly divisive fight between both the candidates. Nasty barbs, insensitive, disrespectful comments translated to real violence instilling fear among people.

An African-American student Kashiya Nwangama had to face the brunt of Trump fans when she protested at the rally in Louisville in March. The student said she went to protest the GOP nominee’s negative comments and “specifically his hateful comments towards Muslims.”

Nwanguma was standing at the back of the rally when she made her way to the front. She got about 10 rows back before she held up her sign — a picture of Donald Trump’s head photo-shopped onto the body of a pig.

“That’s pretty much where the video picks up, where you see me getting assaulted and pushed and kind of ejected by the crowd,” Nwanguma told Global News in a telephone interview. “I would never think to assault someone because they have beliefs that are different than mine.”

Video of the incident was widely reported and shows the young student being shoved and yelled at by several white men. She also said the crowd yelled racial slurs as she was forcibly removed. Nwanguma said that for her, the election has revealed a simmering racial divide in the U.S.

“A lot of people’s eyes have opened up to that, you know, the fact that the U.S. is not a post-racial society,” she said. “We live in a white supremacist society here in America in my opinion and I think for a while that was brushed under the rug.”

Violence protest at the site of trump rally in San Jose.

Violence at rallies, particularly at those organised by the Trump campaign, have been a common theme with dozens of arrests and videos of supporters and protesters attacking each other.

University of Toronto philosopher Mark Kingwell has been following the presidential race closely and says the “nastiness” of the campaign could lower the standards for future

Trump’s campaign has been accused of   racism, sexism and Islamophobia and xenophobia by a wide array of civil rights groups, activists, political opponents and even fellow Republicans.

“Trump has set himself up as a kind of licence-giver to people in extreme political or ideological positions. He gives them permission to hold the views and maybe even in his dog whistle tactics, gives them permission to act on the views,” said Kingwell. “He says things like ‘you all know what I mean’ which is really just code for the people who are getting the message that their views —however extreme — are welcome.”

Protestor Bryan Sanders is punched by a Donald Trump supporter in Tuscan. Photo courtesy : Global news

On October 7, an audio-recording emerged of Trump making obscene comments about women in 2005. While he dismissed as locker-room talk, many high-ranking members of the GOP publicly denounced the Manhattan billionaire.

The Clinton camp was also accused of violence in the elections as several Trump supporters also faced attacked in the election rallies . On October 15 in Bangor, Maine, vandals spray-painted about 20 parked cars outside a Trump rally. Trump supporter Paul Foster, whose van was hit with white paint, told reporters, "Why can't they do a peaceful protest instead of painting cars, all of this, to make their statement?"

On October 3, a couple of Trump supporters were assaulted in Zeitgeist, a San Francisco bar, after they were allegedly refused service for expressing support for Trump, GotNews reports.

One can only hope that Trump, now that he has won, will be the President to every American.

Author
Ashraf Jamal
Ashraf Jamal – Senior Writer

Ashraf Jamal brings a rare depth to writing equipped with a degree in journalism, a postgraduate degree in political science, and a degree in law from the Allahabad University. His experience includes editing and publishing the Northern India Patrika and writing for Times of India for almost a decade covering just about any topic under the sun including NRIs and Indian diaspora.

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