Media matters: Someone has to take responsibility
Most vital to a functioning democracy is a free press. You cannot call yourself a patriot without supporting freedom of speech and freedom of press. As an emerging journalist, I have been consistently disgusted by Trump’s rhetoric toward the press before he rose to, and has since disgraced, the highest office in the land. He and his Republican counterparts have embarked on a vicious war against the heart of our democracy.
Consistent attacks on the failing New York Times and of course, the fake news media of CNN, have stirred the country into a frenzy. Due to these poisonous words, I was not surprised to learn of the pipe bomb that was sent to CNN’s New York Bureau on Wednesday, Oct. 24. When the president of the United States spews hate and violence, it was only a matter of time that someone would act on those words.
CNN was not the only target of these bombs sent through the mail. Notable Democrats and open critics of Trump, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters and Eric Holder, received suspicious packages.
Trump and his mob of supporters attacked all of these targets, and thankfully not victims. The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, arrested on Friday, Oct. 26, is an avid and obsessed Trump supporter. Sayoc’s van was also confiscated on Friday, which does not seem abnormal until you see the van. “CNN Sucks” and “Dishonest Media” read some of the far-right and pro-Trump stickers that litter the van windows. Another sticker includes a photo of former Secretary of State Clinton in crosshairs.
So, when in the span of 24 hours Trump states, “The safety of the American people is my highest priority,” and then turns around and blames the media for these attacks, every American should be repulsed. On Friday, Oct. 26, Trump addressed Sayoc’s arrest and condemned the attacks, saying, “We must never allow political violence to take root in America.” These are empty words.
You do not have the right to say anything regarding unity, when you are the reason that the country is in the state of turmoil that it is in. A cornerstone of Trump’s election campaign, and his current political rallies, is “Lock her up.” The Trump campaign, and now administration, has continually preached violence.
Conservatives have a track record of egging on their base until they snap and turn violent. Bill O’Reilly repeatedly targeted Dr. George Tiller, calling him “Tiller the Baby Killer,” because he provided abortions. After four years and 29 episodes of attacks, a madman shot Tiller in the head after church.
O’Reilly might as well have handed Tiller’s assassin the gun himself, and Trump might as well have put the postage on these packages.
Textbook tools used by fascists are creating division and attacking the truth. This is what is happening right now in America. If you are not aware of this, wake up. There is a saying: “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.” Well, history is being repeated. Fascism is here, and if people do not educate themselves and take a stance, it will swallow this country whole.