Blog See all Articles

Southern Poverty Law Center invents lucrative new hate crime: The Trump Effect

The Left's leading hate group aims to use schoolchildren to undermine the president-elect.

Tina Trent author image /

At least some manufacturing industries haven’t moved offshore.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and “other civil rights groups” have scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning (Nov. 29) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The troublemaking leftists plan to call on President-elect Donald Trump “to immediately and forcefully publicly denounce racism and bigotry and to call on Americans to stop all acts of hate.”

At the press conference “the SPLC will release . . . [r]esults of a new survey, answered by more than 10,000 teachers across the country detailing the negative effect the election has had on school climates” dubbed “The Trump Effect[.]”

For Oliver and Jenny, the star-crossed lovers in the seminal 1970 weep-a-thon, Love Story, “love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  Not so for post-election Donald Trump, who continues to be harangued with demands, from all corners of the far left, that he repeatedly “denounce hate.”

When will this shame-inducing Maoist show trial of an exercise subside?  Never, if the Southern Poverty Law Center gets its way.

Like every other activity the SPLC engages in, the point isn’t to actually disavow prejudice but to monetize it, and monetizing hate in the Trump Age requires Trump-style branding.  It’s media gold whenever Trump reiterates for the umpteenth time his “forceful disavowal” of racism.  Outlets from MSNBC to NPR then take to the airwaves to disavow Trump’s disavowal, and another entire news cycle becomes about ‘speaking truth to power’ regarding Trump’s supposedly persistent racism problem.

Thus: the Trump Effect.  The SPLC claims to have stumbled upon the Trump Effect phenomenon after innocently polling 2,000 of the nation’s schoolteachers who spend their spare time trolling the SPLC website searching for confirmation that they’re living in Rachel Maddow’s Nightmare on Trump Street.

Unsurprisingly, after taking SPLC’s online poll, these 2,000 schoolteachers simultaneously arrived at the alarming conclusion that Trump has singlehandedly affected their school’s “climate,” and not for the better like global warming, which keeps the sidewalks free from snow.

In case anyone misses the point that Trump (and not teachers who rant about Trump to their second graders) is a social problem akin to the Black Plague, the Trump Effect report is decorated with a grainy close-up photo of Trump’s open mouth.

According to SPLC data, every social ill from bullying to poor grades to tummy aches to suicidal thoughts may now be attributed to the Trump Effect.  Much like witchcraft, Trump is so powerful that he induces nausea and crying fits in grade schoolers, and among teachers. the Trump Effect is so overwhelming it induced “almost 2,000 teachers” to return 5,000 surveys, a phenomenon entirely unexplained in the methodology section of the report.

In a triumph of psychological projection, even beating the snot out of Trump supporters is now Donald Trump’s fault because the Trump Effect infects everyone with aggression regardless of the content of their character – or their politics.

And even preschoolers have politics now: a portion of the Trump Effect report is dedicated to complaints by preschool teachers that the toddlers in their care are “engaging in uncivil discourse” because of Donald Trump.

[Language warning!]

Here are some of the teacher comments:

  • I was sorry to see the level of support for Trump amongst some of our student body . . .
  • My students are horrified at the spectacle of the Republican candidates shouting insults and insulting American citizens.
  • In the past two days there has been a group of 8th grade boys coming to school with Trump-emblazoned t-shirts, red-white-and-blue plastic leis, and other “patriotic” decorations that are related to this Trump support. These are popular boys, and the group is growing. There are plenty of teachers who are saying to them how much they, too, like Trump. I am appalled. I demanded to know why these teachers were telling students that they liked Trump, but the only person who could name a reason said, “I don’t think illegal immigrants should be in our country.” I responded, “Oh, so you think a nationalist, exclusionary, hateful-rhetoric-spouting millionaire badboy is going to help our country?” She said, “You know what I mean about immigrants.” I said, “No–I don’t know what you mean.”
  • Yes, my school is primarily white, middle class and rural. They are hearing a lot of stuff from their parents and grandparents, but also from TV, radio, Internet, etc. I’m hoping that the Media Literacy unit will also cause them to question and not swallow everything they hear hook, line and sinker.
  • A lot of our students from historically marginalized identities (e.g., Muslim, people of color, and LGBTQ+-identified folks) are truly scared for their lives if Trump were elected.
  • The call for return to slavery (indentured servitude) by some has been astounding but has not seemed to shock my students. Heightened distinction between ethnic groups with stereotyping and discrimination.
  • [Students] are more intense and vocal about “why in the world would you be a Republican with all the fighting going on?”
  • Students in my racially diverse and immigrant diverse school are generally fearful of what may happen to them or their families if Trump is elected. They voice it, they write it, they talk about it when they are having a stressful day, they add it to their papers (like writing the word TRUMP in a circle and making a slash through it).
  • Teaching the government class to the senior classes has been quite engaging. In our discussions I can hear fear in their voices. They hate the hate being expressed towards various groups. We are quite a diverse school so they are aware how certain rallies are not diverse and how they become violent when opposing view are expressed. They are apprehensive of what the outcome maybe. [sic]
  • Some students are angry and challenge any discussions about inclusiveness, civil rights or tolerance as being attached to an agenda that forces political correctness. These students employ language that matches the rhetoric from the presidential campaigns. Anti-intellectualism is a viewpoint that some students are demanding to be an option within a course’s syllabus. In these cases, some students are very insistent and persistent about alternative lessons so that they do not need to read about, discuss, learn or hear about topics related to tolerance. This aggression resists course objectives and goals as outlined in the course syllabus.
  • They still aren’t grasping what a democrat and republican believe in.
  • Some students are enjoying the tendency of Trump to “speak his mind” and admire him for it. When I have pointed out the dangerous, obnoxious behavior towards other than white males, they think it is funny.
  • Without revealing who I support, I have not shied away from revealing my criticism of Trump–I don’t go on and on, but I think my students know I don’t find him very, um, presidential. I strive to keep the conversation elevated though! Mostly, I ask tough questions. I ask what my students think of his speeches and push them to examine his rhetoric closely. I risk offending the teacher across the hall, because I know she supports him, but I guess I don’t fear offending my students because I know how most of them feel. And whenever I get the chance, I remind them how unusual this election is and how the behavior they are witnessing is certainly not the way thoughtful, professional people conduct themselves–especially when they want to be president of the US! But bottom line, it’s tough. There is ugliness in our world right now, and other than ask hard questions and model civility, I don’t always know how to “go there” with kids.
  • “In the land of idiots, a moron is king”
  • Many of my students are afraid that someone with so much hate in their heart may actually become one of our leaders.
  • Fortunately, my students come from a strata of the population where Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton are viewed critically
  • Students K-12 showing genuine sincere concern of Donald Trump’s anti-groups comments and the negative energy he exhibits in favor of aggression. Elementary and middle school students often mention the parallels of bullying. Some students showing physical anxiety and fear of there being a Trump presidency. Younger students K-5 openly crying. Students K-12 more interest shown towards importance of global empathy and compassion of mixed groups.
  • Many of my students are first generation Americans. Their parents’ are either in [MA city] on visas or here illegally because [city] is a “sanctuary city.” They hear on a daily basis that Donald Trump is a racist and he wants their families out of America. Along with that, they hear about deportation raids happening and fear a future Trump presidency where that is a daily occurrence. Knowing this, I assure the inquisitive students, I will not be voting for Trump because I do not agree with his politics. I further assured them that while Trump may win Massachusetts today that does not mean he will become president. Many just said “ok” followed by “Feel the Bern!”
  • The hateful speech of Trump has frightened my 8th graders
  • Students are outraged by the racism or cannot understand how people can be so ignorant.
  • They have “fallen” for Trump.
  • I’m hearing n****r from first graders. They also know who Trump is by name and can articulate favorable or negative sentiments about him personally. My own son is a first grader and came home with ideas about Trump which he’d heard from friends; he wanted comfort and reasons why someone so hated would be discussed by his friends.
  • My students are in gangs. They are lumping all white people in a “die whites” movement due to Trump being white. There is a symbol – turning a sign language “W” upside down. Bonus points if you get a selfie making this hand gesture with a white in the background. I can reach most of them one on one, but in a group setting they are reluctant to see that not all white people support trump. We had an outburst in the hall 2 weeks ago- about 2 dozen kids yelling “fuck Trump” and teachers were not able to break it up in a safe and orderly manner. I’ve been having the conversations, but it’s strange because I thought our society was moving forward. It a real odd way, I can now say I know how it feels to be lumped into a category due to my race alone, and no other facts.
  • A teacher at my very rural, very white, very racist high school was also accused by parents (who also are employed in the school district) of promoting his own political agenda. According to what he told me, he had asked his advisory students who were repeating claims of the aforementioned demagogue if they would like to examine evidence to see if the claims could be supported with facts. He told me that he bends over backwards not to promote his own political views in school, and I believe this is true of him.
  • Incidentally I recently introduced this teacher to your excellent curriculum website Perspectives for a Diverse America. He was super excited about it and plans to use it in advisory and also for a creative writing elective he teaches.
  • Interestingly, most my students, who have a low level of literacy, are quite aware of what’s going on. They are pro-Hillary Clinton, and some “feel the Bern.” Most of the talk is about Donald Trump and how dangerous he is.
  • My students are terrified of what will happen to their families if certain candidates win. It comes up in discussions and journal entries constantly. During our literature unit we read a book about the Holocaust. The students immediately began drawing unprompted connections between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. With wide-eyes they ask me if what happened in Germany can happen in the United States to them. I am an ESL teacher and many of my students have come to this country fleeing violence and trauma only to find themselves and their families living in fear again due to political hate speech and the threats of immigration raids.
  • … [S]ometimes the kids even say things like, “Wow, Donald Trump sounds a lot like George Wallace.” Scary, but great connections for the kids to use as their own foundation for understanding the current state of affairs.
  • I personally heard somebody say Cruz has some good ideas
  • At a high school, a group of students wore anti LGBTQ badges on campus. The school held an assembly and anti-bully education. A visit to the Tolerance Education Center followed.
  • The issue is white supremacy (in general) not anti- immigrant sentiment. [My college] is hosting Whiteness History Month in April. Some staff and students misunderstand what that means and have been in very vocal opposition to it.
  • A student wore a “make America great again” hat and another student said to him, ” you know Donald Trump hates women.” And the student wearing the hat replied, “So does Hillary Clinton.” What do I do with that????
  • For over 23 years we have had a huge festival at the end of the year celebrating all the nations represented in our school. This is the first year we’ve had a parent write a letter questioning why we are focusing on other countries when we should be only talking about the American flag and Americans. They said we would be better teachers if we only taught about America. We have over 26 languages spoken by our students and though we always include an American or Native American dance in our program we have so many other rich cultures to study and explore so we, of course, didn’t change a thing.
  • I feel like I’ve been very neutral in the past about my own politics, whereas I’m quite comfortable standing up to hate speech when it comes from Trump’s mouth. I’m not sure if I will get in trouble for it, but I feel like I need to show my students that I have the courage so that they can practice it as well.
  • I support my students. I let them know that I do not listen to Trump or Cruz–that I do not believe they can be elected.
  • I’ve taught for 26 years, and I’ve always attempted to tread a neutral line and play both sides of things with the goal of encouraging critical thinking in my students. I’ve thrown that to the wind this year. I simply can’t pretend I don’t find Trump horrifying. When things veer away from viewpoint and move clearly into the racism/sexism/hatred/un-American zone, I can’t sit by and that’s okay.
  • Whenever there is a conversation I listen and then pose thought provoking questions like what are the similarities between the rhetoric today and that of Hitler.
  • Two huge themes in my classroom and my lessons every day are exploring and celebrating diversity, and identifying and standing up to injustice. It has felt very hard to walk the line between teaching about these important current events, which I feel have the potential to change history (if they haven’t already), and teaching about and with these two themes. We are currently studying the civil rights movement–it feels false and uncomfortable to teach students about this history of struggle, yet not address Trump’s recent comments that–I believe–have incited violence and are fostering a supportive space for bigotry and hate speech in America.
  • The only thing that we stress is the racist comments from the Republican front-runner.
  • As a 3rd grade teacher current events are somewhat less central to my teaching, however when I do discuss the election I am more honest in my views about Donald Trump in a way I haven’t felt comfortable being about previous candidates I disagreed with. I believe his speech goes beyond words I disagree with on a partisan level, but rather they qualify as hate speech and therefore require me to speak out.
  • I am the Guidance Counselor so in advisory periods we have discussed Stereotypes, Diversity through Respect For All curriculum. I have had presentations during student assemblies, and all groups have engaged in skits: cyber bullying, diversity, bullying.
  • I teach in a diverse community with students from all sorts of backgrounds. There’s a lot of empathy for refugees and a lot of anti trump sentiment. (Thank goodness).
  • I teach 1st grade at a progressive independent elementary school, so my class is obviously not impacted the way an older classroom would be. Every child in my class but one hates Donald J. Trump. If anything, they are learning the lesson of respecting the one child who likes Trump, but I did let them chant “Dump the Trump” a bit one day when that child wasn’t there.
  • [W]e do a huge Holocaust unit and it has made me heart hurt with how many students are able to draw parallels between Trump and Hitler.

And finally:

  • We just studied the Holocaust, so it’s refreshing to see the comparisons students are making between Donald Trump and Hitler.

Perhaps the students watch MSNBC.

The Author

Tina Trent

Tina Trent writes about crime and policing, political radicals, social service programs, and academia. She has published several reports for America’s Survival and helped the late Larry Grathwohl release a…