Why Donald Trump is a Legitimate Threat

Please note that I will entertain exactly zero Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton debates in the comments. I am in no state to moderate and these conversations rarely lead anywhere good. This is about Donald Trump.

Yesterday, I was chilled to the bone upon hearing that Ted Cruz had dropped out. Today, my fears were confirmed by Kasich’s dropping out of the raceDonald Trump is likely going to be running for the office of president of the United States of America, and I don’t know if I want to be around to see what is going to happen.

Not helping are the many well-meaning individuals who try to give comfort by saying that he is a joke candidate worth nothing but mockery, he couldn’t actually be elected, other candidates would have been worse nominees, he would be unable to enact his policies if elected, he is going to change his mind as he always has, or his presidency would serve as a galvanizing force for the Left.

They are dead wrong. Nothing about any of that is helpful. This situation is real, and this is frightening.

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Why Donald Trump is a Legitimate Threat
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Muhammad Cartoon Shootings Make Their Way Stateside

A phenomenon that has for the most part been limited to non-US soil made its way here this weekend. This past Sunday evening, two suspects attempted to shoot up the Draw Muhammad competition hosted in Garland, TX. Thankfully, no one was killed but the two would-be attackers; the injured security guard was treated and released.

For their part, members of the local Muslim community defended and affirmed the right to free speech of the event organizer, Pamela Geller, and anyone else interested in depicting or even insulting their most revered prophet. In fact, the gunmen weren’t even from the same state but instead from Phoenix, AZ. One of them was identified by the FBI as a terrorism suspect in the past.

As in other cases where Islam is the matter at hand, as a politically-progressive Western born-and-raised ex-Muslim of color, I don’t strongly identify with or endorse any side here. Geller and the others at the event, including Geert Wilders and the former-Muslim now-Ayn Randist who won the contest, aren’t exactly the types of people I want to have lots of power and influence in my country for many, many reasons.

On the other hand, obviously, I don’t condone violence as a way of dealing with right-wing speech, which is both ethically wrong and regressive, not to mention counterproductive. The only reason I know who Geller, Wilders, and their ilk are is because I was a Muslim and am no longer. These are people I vilified and reviled as a Muslim; as an ex-Muslim atheist, they are the types who claim to represent and defend people like me but with whom I often disagree. And now, more people know of them and their views than ever before.

Muhammad Cartoon Shootings Make Their Way Stateside

Craig Stephen Hicks & Me: In Condemnation of the Chapel Hill Shooting

Content Notice for Violence and Bigotry

Remember Oklahoma City? I do. Muslims were publicly blamed but no retraction or apology came for us after the suspect turned out to be lily-white. Nuns publicly prayed over him but no one asked all Catholics to condemn McVeigh in the face of people highly honored in their religion calling McVeigh a “victim of violence.”

Remember 9/11? I can’t seem to forget it. My cousin died that day but I spent the day (and seemingly the rest of my life) talking about it as if I had anything in common or to do with the men who committed that act rather than a victim of it.

I cannot separate myself from my lived experience when I speak of the murders that happened yesterday in North Carolina.
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Craig Stephen Hicks & Me: In Condemnation of the Chapel Hill Shooting