The inflammatory, racist politics being hurled from the Donald Trump campaign have translated into commonplace hate crimes, which seem to be occurring regularly across the nation these days. Trump-inspired offenses against minority populations have spiked in recent months, and this latest incident targeting a transgender army veteran is, unfortunately, no different.
On Saturday morning around 3 a.m., a Ford F-150 in Tennessee was lit on fire after the words “Trump” were spray-painted on it. The truck was burned while its owner, a transgender woman, and her three-year-old son were sleeping inside their home.
The arson victim, who is being called “Elle” for the sake of anonymity, is a disabled veteran who served in the United States Army for eight years, including a tour in Iraq. In 2007, she was released from the army after suffering severe brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Cookeville police are investigating the arson and vandalism as a hate crime, the victim said on Monday, according to USA Today.
“Most of [the paint] got burned off, but one of the police officers pointed out that it said ‘Trump’ on the hood and the back,” Elle said, noting that Trump was tagged onto the vehicle in two different places.
In terms of prospective culprits, the victim said that she could not imagine who would have damaged her car in this way. Since coming out two years ago, Elle said that she has not experienced any discrimination in Cookeville, although traveling outside of the city can be dangerous for her.
“I’ve been in altercations out of town because I’m transgendered. The last altercation was [in Crossville] when a man took a swing at me in a bathroom,” she said.
This despicable hate crime is undoubtedly a prediction of the struggles that the transgender constituency will continue to face if Trump is elected into office. Elle explained that the attack was entirely unprovoked. “I’m just trying to live my life."
Elle also said that she did not have any Hillary Clinton signs in her yard, but she has spoken against Trump on social media.
Sadly, the damage is already done. These cases of extreme bigots who think that it’s acceptable to damage another person’s property using Trump’s name are incredibly alarming and indicate a giant step backwards in society.
Banner photo credit: Twitter, @carolyncerbin