It is no secret that the United States is currently in the middle of one of the most divisive times in the history of the country. The recent presidential election has left a rift down the middle of America that most likely won’t be healed for quite some time, especially if Trump and those like him are able to enact their ridiculous, prejudicial, and incendiary political agendas. One of the most discussed issues of this recent election was racism and the problems that it brings into society. While the majority of the country exists in a state of at least partial peace, acceptance, and tolerance of others, the fact that Trump won the election has brought some hateful and vitriolic speech to the forefront of the minds of those who were, up until now, happy to hide their racist tendencies from the rest of the world.
An elected official from the Blevins School District is now under scrutiny after pictures surfaced of him wearing blackface. pic.twitter.com/qe15xECdBl
— Sarafina Brooks (@KATVSarafina) November 15, 2016
Racism is going to be an issue for as long as different races exist. The only true way to combat racism is with proper education that prevents those ideals from ever forming in the mind of a child to begin with. Racism is certainly a learned behavior, which means it gets passed down from parents to children without much effort. One of the main reasons why racism is so hard to combat is that it requires an admission of guilt and a change of heart by someone who once believed those racist things, and that obviously must happen in the adult so those new ideals of equality and unity are passed to the child. America still has quite a way to go before racism is quelled.
One man recently exemplified the supposed ‘new’ freedom of racial or religious persecution that Trump supporters feel they are owed now that their fearless leader will be president. A member of an Arkansas school board by the name of Ted Bonner is being forced to apologize to the public after several images of him wearing blackface went viral on social media. Bonner is a member of the Blevins School Board in Arkansas, and his sense of humor apparently led him to dress in blackface while attending a Halloween party. He also carried a sign that mocked members of the Black Lives Matter organization.
This sort of behavior, and from a school board member no less, is exactly what should be expected under the regime of Trump. Racists now feel more emboldened than ever before, and they see opportunities to enact their racism as unmissable and worth the apparent risk. How blind to society must a member of a school board be if he feels it’s funny to dress as a black person?
It should go without saying that parents and school officials alike were appalled at the behavior of a man whom they trusted with the safety and education of their children. Many parents issued complaints against the school official, and he has offered a public apology for his choices, but the NAACP within Arkansas has asked for his resignation, and rightfully so. Anyone with that low level of respect for other races most likely has limited respect for other people in general, and he has no place raising a new generation of impressionable minds.
If Trump and those who support him continue to undo the hard work that has been done with race relations in America, it won’t be long before the country has descended back into the veritable Dark Age of culture, in which racism, bigotry, prejudice, and general hate are seen as the norm. Imagine if Ted Bonner hadn’t been caught spewing his racist ideals. He would have a prime position to impart his inconsiderate beliefs onto a new generation of children.