America Has Forgotten How Racists Responded To Obama's Election

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Many Trump supporters are decrying the protests against their candidate, claiming that liberals are just sore losers. Have they already forgotten 2008?

Since Donald Trump's election as president of the United States, protests and marches have dotted the country, leading to a few outbreaks of violence and property damage.

Trump supporters have some misconceptions about why the candidate is being protested, calling liberals "spoiled crybabies," willfully ignoring the fact that the protesters' concerns are centered around the hateful rhetoric espoused by Trump over the last year. Many refuse to acknowledge that the majority of the protests are nonviolent and respectful, or that a response to racism and an upswing in hate crimes is the real cause of the protests.

Some Republicans are even outright claiming that they as a party were comparably well-behaved when Democrat and first African-American president Barack Obama was elected in 2008.  The reality is far from the truth.

The Hill reports that after Obama was elected, angry Republicans burned Obama's likeness and took to the streets with signs decrying his legitimacy as a candidate, with many even lynching an effigy of the president. Black people were beaten and assaulted and their property was brutally damaged.

anti-Obama protest

racist protest of Obama's election in 2008racist protest of Obama's election in 2008racist protest of Obama's election in 2008anti-Obama protest

 

Perhaps conservatives are so willing to forget the property destruction and terrorizing that occurred in the aftermath of Obama's election because African-American communities and businesses were the ones being targeted.

The truth is that America has always had a legacy of racism, deeply rooted in our history as a slave-holding nation. In 2008, racists bullied Americans of color and damaged property. Racists are still doing just that, spray-painting swastikas all over the place, committing arson, verbally harassing children, and perpetrating hate crimes at a whopping 6 percent higher since Trump began his campaign.

It's time to start focusing on the intent of the anti-Trump protests—to promote acceptance and reject xenophobia— and not on the occasional property damage.

Because just eight years ago when Obama was elected, it was the racist conservatives damaging property and targeting people of color in protest—and the truth is, they still haven't stopped.  At least the protesters of today are fighting against bigotry, racism, and hatred, amidst a barrage of hate crimes and the uncertainty of what Trump's presidency will bring.

Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @Manaldoduardo

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