Sticks and Stones and the Boston Beating

With the GOP presidential frontrunner spreading hate and fear, the violence is inevitable.

From the Boston Globe:

Police said two brothers from South Boston ambushed the 58-year-old as he slept outside of a Dorchester MBTA stop, and targeted him because he is Hispanic. One of the brothers said he was inspired in part by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. …

Police said Scott Leader, 38, told them it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless.

‘Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,’ he allegedly told the police.

The Globe points to other instances where immigrants were attacked in the midst of intense scaremongering by the country’s leaders, including an undocumented Guatemalan who “was attacked with bricks, rocks, bottles, and sticks by youths” in 2009, and assaults against Latinos in the town of Milford, Massachusetts after a motorcyclist was killed by an undocumented Ecuadorian man driving drunk in 2011.

Marcelo Lucero, a 37-year-old immigrant also from Ecuador, was stabbed to death in 2008 by a group of white teenagers out “beaner-hopping.” The beating death of an 25-year-old undocumented Mexican immigrant by four members of a Pennsylvania high school football team was depicted in Shenandoah, the 2012 documentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Turnley.

Some people may simply roll their eyes whenever Donald Trump tells a crowd that immigrants are “rapists” and “bringing crime,” but for many others —the whites who believe such hateful words, and the non-whites who are the targets of them— Trump’s speeches are a matter of life and death. If one were made to believe the country was being invaded by millions of terrorists and criminals looking to undo everything one holds dear, one might be itching to do his or her part in defending the country against such threats. If you believe Trump’s every last word, then beating a Mexican to death is no different than killing a Daesh soldier.

Trump understands the volatility of his words. When told about the incident in Boston, all he had to say was that the “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” According to Trump, the Leader brothers don’t hate Mexicans, they simply love America a whole bunch.

Words don’t kill, but the ideas behind them may lead some people to spill blood. In the United States, people have the right to say whatever they want, but they’re not absolved from the consequences of their words. You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and then act shocked when a couple of people get trampled.

When you preach hate, you get hate.

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