Don’t mock our scars

DeAndrea Norman, Staff Writer

When Donald Trump first announced he was running for President of the United States, I thought it was a joke. Once he started gaining support from Republicans, I thought, “Well, someone with more experience can get more votes than him.” Then the sad reality really hit me when Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States on Nov. 8, 2016.

I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I sincerely hoped he would be the president this country needed. Unfortunately, he has not. Trump is reckless with his words and actions. He has no filter and says anything that pops into his mind. Every time Trump says something offensive I ask myself: “Can it possibly get any worse?” The answer, unfortunately, is yes. Everything he says continues to be worse than what he said before.

This past Tuesday, Trump compared the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry to a “lynching.” I don’t know why, but I was a little shocked that he would compare a possible impeachment to a lynching. Lynchings happened to thousands of black men, women and children in our country just decades ago. Forty-four hundred people, maybe even more, died simply because they were black, while their killers went unpunished. These people were burned, beaten, shot or hanged, and for Trump to compare the House’s impeachment inquiry to the reality many of my ancestors faced is a new low, even for Trump. I’m not sure if Trump even knows the definition of lynching but even after the backlash he has faced, he still has not apologized.

I’m not sure what good an apology would do at this point because it’s only a matter of time before Trump says something offensive again with no regret and no punishment. Trump’s statements are shocking, but if this situation can get any worse, it did. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed with Trump’s remarks, calling the House’s investigation, “un-American,” and saying, “Yes, this is a lynching.”

Trump is ignorant, I’ll say that. Graham is not. He knows what a lynching is and he knows the pain that word carries for many people. Graham is a native of Pickens County where at least 185 of the over 4,000 lynchings in America took place. I understand that Graham did not live during this era, but his parents and grandparents did. The violence that happened, happened in the place Graham calls home. Graham is a lawmaker who not only represents Pickens County, but he also represents the families that were uprooted by the lynchings that took place in our state.

Instead of standing up for his state, and the people who vote for him every term, Graham continues to back Trump’s actions. Even when other Republicans were condemning Trump’s comments, Graham was defending Trump the way he always does. By defending Trump’s comments, Graham is minimizing what I think is one of the worst acts of terrorism on our country. This was the time for Graham to stand up for not only the people of his state, but for the victims who died because of lynchings.

These comments by Trump and Graham are a sad reminder that we as Americans still need to address the traumas of our past. The scars still remain and it is so important to choose our words carefully.