Wilmington, North Carolina; this is where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump showed that he doesn’t know much history of the problems words can cause.
At this campaign stop, Trump advised or made the suggestion that perhaps violence would be the only way to stop Hillary Clinton. He spent the following day watching the shock value of his words, while maintaining that he’d been misunderstood. Trump doesn’t understand the demons that can be unleashed with the right words.
120 years ago, Charles B. Aycock, a leader of the white-supremacy campaign in North Carolina, awakened a crowd of angry white men looking for someone to blame for their problems. Aycock pointed at the black community who had been enslaved in eastern North Carolina, as well as their white neighbors, who had formed a Fusion party to vote together for policies that would lead to economic development for all families. Aycock suggested that the white race would be correct in using violence to overthrow a Fusion government in Wilmington, the state’s largest city.
Two years later, following a Fusion victory in the election of 1898, Aycock’s crowd turned words into deeds. Scores of angry white men burned down the only black-owned daily newspaper in the state, rampaged through the streets with a Gatling gun shooting dozens of un-armed African Americans, and banishing from Wilmington every black and white Fusionist leader. This was the only successful coup d’état in a large American city and was endorsed by every white church in Wilmington. It firmly established Jim Crow laws throughout the South.
Donald Trump doesn’t know the Aycock’s story or does he? If he is as smart as he says he is, then he certainly knows the words to unleash the white rage in our country from those who hated the two terms of President Obama.
Look what Trump does – repeatedly calls Hillary Clinton “crooked,” then smirks and says nothing when his crowds yell, “Lock her up!” Every Southerner, black and white, knows exactly what he was suggesting when he said the “Second Amendment people” know what to do if Clinton is elected.
Two weeks ago, a federal court overturned North Carolina’s voter-suppression law. Trump knows it just got harder to win this swing state. It should surprise no one that Trump taped into the repressed hatred of angry white voters.
Wilmington’s bloody history makes it very clear just how dangerous Donald Trump’s careless words can be.
Today Republican consultant Bruce Haynes, stated “Trump has decided to go full Trump; polish is taking a backseat to populism — he’s not going to be the candidate of discipline, he’s going to be the candidate of disruption.”
In announcing staff changes today, Trump said, “I am committed to doing whatever it takes to win this election, and ultimately become President because our country cannot afford four more years of the failed Obama-Clinton policies which have endangered our financial and physical security”.
Hillary Clinton uses this line to end every stump speech: “I hope you will talk to any of your friends who are flirting with the idea of voting for Donald Trump. Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump”.