EDITORIAL: Timothy Trybus, hate crimes and why decent people are sick and tired
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Timothy Trybus got what he deserves.
The middle-aged loudmouth starring in a viral video for all the wrong reasons — a bigoted, threatening rant berating a young woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag shirt — has been charged with a hate crime.
We can only hope this might, in some small way, discourage other bullies eager to spew their ignorance.
Because if there’s any group “infesting” America right now, it’s loudmouths and bigots, not immigrants and refugees, whatever our president might claim.
Decent people are tired of the meanness.
But, hey, the bullies are just following the president’s lead.
We can’t know for certain, of course, whether an affinity for Trump’s vitriolic worldview factored into Trybus’ tirade. But you can line up the argument.
The president did call Puerto Ricans lazy. Remember that? And he did suggest it was just too darn expensive for the federal government to help the island recover after Hurricane Maria. And we’ll never forget how he whined that Puerto Ricans, standing hip deep in flood water, “want everything to be done for them.”
Gotta wonder if Trybus heard that, too.
And when Trump called Mexican immigrants “criminals and rapists?” You have to wonder if those words flashed through the mind of a California woman who recently was charged with attacking a 92-year-old man — we repeat, 92 — with a brick while yelling “Go back to Mexico!”
Hate crimes are a very real and documented problem, and it has only grown worse in the Era of Trump.
But it’s not just the hate crimes. It’s the daily acts of bias and intolerance. It’s all making our American culture so much more toxic.
We’re thinking about the woman in Ohio who thought it was OK to call the cops on a 12-year-old black kid who was mowing grass in the neighborhood.
We’re thinking about the man in a California coffee shop who harassed a Muslim woman in a hijab, telling her he didn’t like her religion because “it says to kill me.”
And we’re thinking about the Palos Township trustee who frets on Facebook about “all” the local schools “filling” with Muslim immigrants from the Middle East who keep “their activities hidden.”
Nothing but dog whistles there.
None of these folks are criminals. Their offenses certainly don’t rise to the level of hate crimes.
But they’re all swimming in Trump’s dirty water.
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