Freedom of speech is a concept that is supposed to be one of the most valuable for the democratic society we are trying to build. We are often told that there are no barriers for anyone who would like to state his or her opinion on political issues provided that this opinion is reasonable. Unfortunately, it does not work in real life: People who adventure their honest opinions on powerful politicians are likely to be exposed to ordeals. Life in a state of fear is the only thing they get in return for their honesty.
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Donald Trump is one of the most powerful politicians in the world, and his popularity is likely to reach absurd heights. Those that support him as the wannabe president seem to believe that it is in the order of things to protect his integrity by any means. David French was one of a few people who took the liberty of criticizing Trump’s supporters for using terms associated with white nationalism. What is more, he reproached them as they were supporting the alt-right ideology; however, the response that he and his family got was not as humane. David’s younger daughter was adopted from Ethiopia, and his faceless enemies were cruel enough to choose her as the victim; they knew it would cut him to the quick. He was sent numerous pictures with his little daughter’s smiling face in the gas chamber. The cynicism of Trump’s supporters went over the edge; by criticizing Trump, David was discussing nothing other than political attitudes, whereas Trump’s supporters let him know that they believed his daughter was subhuman. “The racist bases his accusation on a biological or a cultural difference, from which he generalizes to cover the whole of the defendant’s personality, his life and the group to which he belongs” (Rothenberg, p. 174). As we can see, racism involves noticing slight biological differences and inventing the theory that worth also depends upon our heritage. Everyone knows that it is unfair and inexcusable, but it is still a subject of rejoicing for those who consider their white skin to be an excuse for such behavior. David’s enemies knew they had nothing to say to his points, and they took it out on an African-American girl.
The question of human dignity and our responsibility for what is happening in society is also a key point of this story. David is not the first victim of Trump’s supporters. Erick Erickson did not want to see Trump at his Red State gathering, and the next evening his house was full of angry supporters shouting at his children. The story of people playing a dirty trick on those who were simply honest and even naive reminds us of the most famous story of betrayal. “When God asks what happened, Cain offers his notoriously barbed lie: ‘I do not know, am I my brother’s keeper?’” (Rothenberg, p. 204). We do not know either. We are not our brothers’ keepers when it comes to human society, and this is also a reason why such things continue to happen. The cyberattack on David’s family was thought out to the last detail, and it may bring us to a deplorable conclusion: Every man is for himself when there is a need for positive changes, whereas people form an inviolable union to commit the misdeeds. Is it honest to use such methods of defending your candidate, and is it honest to shy away from the crimes of your supporters? The community of his supporters seems to be experiencing a great moral decadence if their opinion is expressed through telling the Jewess who disagrees with Trump that she “deserves the oven” and sending her numerous death threats (French par.7). By splitting off from society, they act as betrayers of humankind, and such actions can never be excused.
- French, David. The Price I’ve Paid for Opposing Donald Trump. 2016. Web.
- Rothenberg, Paula. Beyond Borders: Thinking Critically About Global Issues, New York: Worth Publishers, 2005. Print.