Last week a 12 year old boy was imprisoned in Texas for the crime of being bullied while being Sikh. Last month a nine year old at my daughter’s school was called a terrorist by another student. In September a boy was arrested – again in Texas for bringing a home-made clock to school – oh and for being named Ahmed.
In December Donald Trump committed to banning all Muslims from entering the United States. That was following his earlier plan from November to register all Muslims in the US in a database. Our now former Prime Minister here in Canada, Steven Harper and his party attempted to use the fear of the other, and again here it was fear of Muslims, to generate votes for their re-election bid in our recent federal election.
What is happening here?
What inspires one child to accuse a fellow schoolmate of inspiring fear in others or threatening violence to cause political change? How does a kid get arrested or incarcerated for the crime of having brown skin with no evidence to suggest any wrong-doing on their part? How is it that a political leader gets away with making blatantly racist and bigoted public statements supported by a subsequent boost in the polls?
Regardless of whether the words come from the mouth of a kid or a politician, these situations are examples of racist bullying and fear-mongering.