Cleveland.com's Henry J. Gomez has penned an important piece about the bigoted harassment he's gotten for months from Trump supporters:
For 15 years, my ethnic last name has appeared above all of my stories. Which means, for 15 years, some readers have judged me only by that ethnic last name.Emphases mine.
I have heard their voice mails and read their emails. Smirked at their keyboard courage in the comments section. Told myself not to take the Twitter mentions too personally.
Call it bigotry. Call it racism. Call it xenophobia. As a writer – especially one who covers national politics – you chalk it up as coming with the territory, as hurtful and as menacing as it can be. This year, though, it is coming far more frequently. There is no mystery why.
...Trump, whether he means to or not, has fostered a hostile moment in our politics when his supporters feel entitled to racially denigrate others.
...Lately I have struggled with how to cover Trump. Not because I'm a Gomez, but because I'm a journalist who knows the difference between right and wrong. Judging by my emails – even those from the readers who don't resort to bigotry to defend their candidate – many of you disagree. But when a candidate says things that are, at best, offensive to minorities and, at worst, racist, we have a duty to report precisely that. There are not two sides to racism.
Gomez writes that he has "wondered how I can objectively point out that Trump encourages hate," before sharing a selection of some of the racist—and body shaming—messages he's received.
The truth is, nobody who isn't inclined to believe that Trump encourages hate can be convinced. Not at this point. There is too much evidence; too many people from marginalized populations who have shared our lived experiences of being harassed and/or threatened by self-identified Trump supporters.
If you don't believe it by now, you're simply unwilling to believe it.
I have been harassed relentlessly by Trump supporters now for months. Every misogynist slur you can imagine; every variation on calling me fat; every way of telling me my glasses are stupid (which is, for some reason I don't understand, a particular interest of alt-righters); rape and death threats; admonishments to kill myself; calling me a lesbian using ugly slurs; and, having inexplicably decided that I'm Jewish, calling me every antisemitic slur under the sun.
It is endless, and it is intense, and it just the cost of doing my work—just like it is for so many other marginalized people writing about politics, especially if we have the unmitigated temerity to criticize Trump's bigotry, or his supporters' bigotry. It's even worse, of course, if we are publicly Hillary Clinton supporters.
And still the majority of the corporate media refuse to meaningfully engage this dynamic, or even assert that Clinton's calling it out is somehow more toxic.
This is manifestly absurd.
Oliver Willis responded to Fournier by asking: "How many Trump supporters calling you a nigger have you had to block this year?" I wondered "if Ron has ever sat around with his colleagues commiserating about the rape threats he's gotten from Trump supporters."
I further wonder how many male members of media have considered what it must be like for Hillary to know her public female supporters face that.
Harassment and threats from Trump supporters, I noted, are the cost her public supporters from any marginalized group bear. Shouldn't she be angry?
What many members of the press clearly fail to consider is that her anger is, in part, a defense of us. And it feels GOOD and IMPORTANT.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) September 11, 2016
Not only is the ostensibly "objective" press disinterested in telling the story of the people who are harassed by Trump's supporters, but they are criticizing Clinton for defending us.
That isn't neutral. That's taking a side.
And it's the wrong one.