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Racism at Trump Rally? Golden Rule or Golden Advice

A protestor leads a chant against a group of supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a rally Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Louisville Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)Earlier this week at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Louisville, video captured a black woman aggressively pushed around by men. Reports indicate that she was protesting loudly. In characteristic fashion, Trump from the stage declared, "Get her out of here, get her out." What followed is what one observer described a "modern day lynch mob," with white men pushing her to the exits and screaming derogatory words her way.

Watching this video is like putting a pot of water over a fire—it will cause boiling. And if you watch long enough, you will boil over. But as mothers around the world have always said, you can't trust everything you see on TV. Are appearances deceiving or is what you see what you get?

Well, if the past is prologue, then this instance joins a growing number of similar occasions in which anger translated into aggression. Telemundo reporter Jose Diaz-Balart was forcefully removed from a Trump press conference late last year. A Time magazine photojournalist was choke slammed at a Trump (a member of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame) rally.

Professor Denny Burk of Southern Seminary wrote about his experience at the Trump rally in Louisville. He noted the anger held by both avid supporters of Trump and antagonistic protesters of Trump. Concerning the protestors, Burk wrote:

"It took us about 45 minutes just to get to the security checkpoints at the entrance. Along the way, there were protestors shouting at us and holding signs. Walking by their jeers on the way in was like a walk of shame."

But once inside, Burk found:

"Probably my main take-away from listening to him in person was his ability to stoke anger and outrage… The people exult in his outrage because it is theirs."

Many will study Trump's ability to translate anger at the status quo into action in the voting booth for years to come. It's understandable to want protestors out of a campaign rally. They function as unwelcomed garnishing on a delectable steak. Supporters have come for red meat, not a healthy exchange of ideas. In the land of the free, places exist to protest and voice dissent, but those places are usually not rallies. But the way in which these dissenting voices have been removed is reprehensible at the very least.

Treating others the way you want to be treated is not advice, it's an obligation. It is not optional, it is required for those following after Jesus.

But another blistering article about Trump and his supporters may be the last thing the Internet needs. Trump epitomizes the childhood phrase that I am rubber and you are glue. Nothing sticks to him. His strength shields him, his bravado deflects accusations away from him, which allows him to denigrate women, Mexicans, Muslims, veterans, black people, and Chinese without repercussion. The accusations only strengthen his base, enliven his support.

Donald Trump brings out something inside of all of us. For some, he taps into the patriotic longing to make America great again. For others, he threatens the goodness of America and standing of America on the world stage. Trump wants to change the status quo, and for everyone, his goal evokes a visceral reaction to fight for him or against him.

But the Christian can find no excuse to fight dirty. The person always trumps the point for the Christian. We can disagree but we cannot denigrate. We live in a country where we have the chance to cast our ballot and support the candidate of our choosing. This freedom did not come cheaply and should not be used lightly. But when we denigrate others, the problem is not them, it's us.

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