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Should we be surprised by Trump supporters’ violence?

From the moment he declared his Republican presidential candidacy, Donald Trump has continuously spewed ignorance, bigotry and hatred against almost every group of Americans that doesn’t comprise the older Anglo population making up the radical right-wing base to which he appeals. Is it any wonder that some of Trump's supporters are taking his message to heart. Two Anglo brothers with long criminal records severely beat a Latino homeless man in Boston last August. Police reported that a one of the men said it was okay to attack the victim because he was Latino and homeless. “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” one assailant allegedly declared. When Trump was asked for a comment by reporters, he replied, “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.” See: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/20/donald_trump_boston_immigrant_attack_beaten_homeless_hispanic_man_should.html

There have been repeated incidents of Trump supporters beating, spitting on or forcefully dragging away immigrant rights protesters at Trump rallies to chants of “USA, USA.” See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-florida-rally_562ce403e4b0ec0a3894ba2d

Republican presidential candidates have for decades used code words to appeal to racial prejudice. But never before has a major party presidential campaign so directly appealed to hatred and racism. So we shouldn’t be surprised when some people act out racism voiced by Trump.

Arturo S. Rodriguez, President
United Farm Workers of America