Violence Against Indian-Americans in Trump's America: Why Trump's Rhetoric Isn't to Blame

April 2, 18:38 EST

      "There have been three violent attacks against Indians in the U.S. in the past 13 days. A recent Vox article leadingly asks, “Is President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric to blame?” Putting aside the fact there's no support that the attackers were Trump supporters, blaming President Trump for the brutal attacks against Indians in Kansas City and elsewhere is like blaming President Obama for the sniper assassinations of 5 peace officers in Dallas and harassment of hundreds during last year’s Black Lives Matters protests.

As a Junior in high school, I was invited to participate in a Chicago conference in 2003. After a peaceful night at Navy Pier we spent the day walking the streets and visiting various landmarks. We followed the crowds and ended up outside Wrigley field. On this particular day, the White Sox were playing the Cubs in what is always a contentious interleague game. At the same time, the Puerto Rican Day parade was filling the streets. There were Cubs fans, Sox fans, Puerto Ricans—all drunk. At one point I saw a Mexican Cubs fan flick a cigarette at a Puerto Rican Sox fan. Violence erupted.

Any time you have a contentious situation, heated debate, or tribalism (such as with team sports), you run the risk of violence. You can have thousands of Cubs fans yelling at Sox fans peacefully, all in good fun. But in these heated moments it’s not uncommon for a loose cannon on either side to find their match on the other and start a fight.

So when Obama lends his contentious brand of identity politics (“My son would look like Trayvon Martin”) and his support for the Black Lives Matter mob -- not to mention his refusal to condemn riots in Baltimore -- it is no surprise that people will get riled up. It’s only a matter of time before a violent actor emerges from the peaceful yet polemic crowd, looking for any possible excuse to kill people and break things. Numerous examples of Black Lives Matter protests turning violent abound, but no one seems to blame Obama, or even Black Lives Matter, for what is an obvious, if unintentional, result of their heated protesting.

When Tea Partiers were protesting Obama’s policies, thousands of these citizens were labeled as racist because a few of them were holding “Imam Obama” and other inflammatory signs. Yet the liberal media refused to condemn black protesters shouting “Die pigs die!” and making various bacon-themed threats. This could be a result of what both George W. Bush and Bill Maher refer to as the “soft bigotry of low expectations”; that is, some people tend to expect more civilized behavior from whites, and are more tolerant of violence and illogic from minorities.

Heated rhetoric wins elections. This is why Obama might take a routine case of police activity and turn it into a civil rights issue. Even with an arsenal of federal civil rights litigation at their disposal, Obama’s Justice Department minions rarely could find grounds to even charge a police officer with a crime. Even in the most straightforward of situations entailing “black man assaults store clerk, attacks cop, gets shot” -- as was the case in Ferguson, MO -- the lack of wrongdoing by police only served to further motivate Obama.

After decades of presidents refusing to enforce basic immigration law, President Trump is deemed "radical" for even considering enforcing the immigration statues that have been on the books for decades. While it's true that Trump's rhetoric will find the ears of a few lowlifes desperate to raise hell just as Obama’s did in the past, most of us are intelligent enough to know that most public figures don’t believe a single word of their own rhetoric. Take for example Al Gore, who will give a speech about global warming one minute and take a private jet to his energy-guzzling mansion the next; or Trump, who will complain about immigrants and threaten a trade war with China in one breath and then immediately stock his businesses with immigrant labor and China-made products; or Deepak Chopra, who one day will preach about enlightenment to thousands of loyal supporters and the next day can be seen at a Manhattan steak house washing down his tomahawk ribeye with a dirty martini.

The naive don’t understand this disconnect between politicians' rhetoric and actions. They think global warming and illegal immigration are pressing issues. Obama saying, “The Paris agreement will delay global warming about 8 years by the end of the century” is not going to instill fear, and neither will a reasonable comment by President Trump.

In the modern world, hyperbole alone cuts through the noise. While many of us can see it for what it is, as with Trump supporters recent attacks on the Indian community, there will always be a minority who will take political rhetoric seriously and react violently."