The Courier Journal reports that a federal judge has ruled that President Donald Trump incited violence against protestors during his controversial campaign. At his rallies Trump vilified protestors, and even told his supporters that if they were arrested for violence towards protestors he would pay their legal fees.
Now, it looks like Trump might face real consequences for his rhetoric, just as protestors did when they harmed because of Trump’s words. The Courier Journal reports:
A federal judge in Louisville said in a ruling that then-candidate Donald Trump incited the use of violence against three protesters when he told supporters at a campaign rally a year ago to “get ’em out of here.”
U. S. District Judge David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky also wrote in an opinion and order released Friday that because violence had broken out at a prior Trump rally and that known hate group members were in the Louisville crowd, Trump’s ordering the removal of an African-American woman was “particularly reckless.”
Three protestors in the case are seeking monetary damages from Trump and three of his supporters. They claim that the supporters physically harmed them, and that the harm was initiated by Trump’s incendiary language. The courts seem to agree.
Disturbingly, when the Courier Journal spoke with the organizer of the rally in question, he blamed the peaceful protestors for the violence committed against them:
Jeff Klusmeier, chairman of Young Professionals for Trump who organized the rally, said he is surprised that the protesters have gotten this far with litigation that he expects eventually will get dismissed. “If anything, they should have been arrested,” he said of the protesters. “They took part in promoting violence. They got the reaction they were looking for.”
Trump’s campaign did immeasurable damage to the fabric of American society. He used violent rhetoric that often led to violent actions. His demonization of minorities perpetuated and perhaps even deepened their marginalization.
Trump created a climate of fear, hatred, xenophobia, and political violence. It is difficult to hold him concretely accountable for the intangible harms that America suffered – and still is suffering – because of him. Using the justice system to force Trump to shoulder responsibility for inciting violence is a good start.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.