"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Welcome to Trump's America

I'm seeing more and more reports like this. From Gothamist:

Mahsa Mehrdad and Masih Rahmati, an Iranian couple residing in NYC, were riding the subway through Manhattan on Saturday night when a man threatened to kill them and told them to "go back to your own country." In a video of the incident, the man can be heard declaring that "Donald Trump is in the house," before telling the couple, "I'll kill all three of you at one time." (Mehrdad speculates that a third man sitting nearby was lumped into the threat.)

OK, this guy could very well be a nutcase, but nevertheless, things like this are becoming way too common -- and not all the perpetrators are crazy:

Mehrdad did elect to share the video on Facebook, accompanied by a series of questions, including "What should we do in a situation like this?" and "What is a proper action to shut down racist comments while not escalating the situation?"

The responses, more than 50 so far, offer a window into a community of people, many of them Middle Eastern, who are also wrestling with these non-hypothetical questions. Citing similar experiences in San Francisco, Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in New York, some commenters suggested that it's best to immediately seek out a police officer, while others warned against taping these incidents for fear of further enraging the attackers. "I don't know the right answer here," said one commenter, "I always just try and distance myself from the threat."

The racist threat fits within a citywide trend of rising hate incidents, particularly on the subway, since President Trump's election. Data from the first two months of 2017 show a 55 percent jump in hate crimes across the five boroughs, as well as a 340 percent increase in reported hate crimes on the subway, with 22 reported incidents compared to just five over the same period last year.

I know -- it's a strain that's always been with us, the racist, nativist "real Americans" who conveniently forget their own history of usurpation and genocide (or justify it on the grounds that they are "superior"), but it stopped being socially acceptable a while ago.

Welcome to Trump's America.

Via Joe.My.God.

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