For this last step we’re going to dive deep into what we’ve learned and try to do something much larger than ourselves. We’ll open this platform to start a dialogue.
By now, everyone has an opinion on Donald Trump. He is one of the most polarizing figures we’ve seen in a long time. Donald Trump is a lot of things to a lot of people, good or bad, but it’s fair to say one thing for sure in relation to this project: he’s not very kind. Outside of policy issues, if there is one example that a president should uphold for the American people, for our children, it’s a person who is strong-willed, well-tempered, and respectful. Trump claims he is a “unifier,” while he only continues to divide this country through bullying, misogyny, and greed.
We obviously cannot address Trump’s entire history of hatred in a single blog post, nor do we label ourselves as political experts, but we would be remiss if we didn’t use our voice to say something we cared very deeply about. As the anti-Trump sentiment is growing more and more among Republicans and Democrats alike, we are witnessing something very frightening — not only for political discourse, but for America. The recent outbursts at his rallies in Chicago and Ohio feel like the beginning of a country that will be in a civil war if this man is elected. Senator Marco Rubio recently told Jake Tapper that he is concerned that someone might lose their life when all is said and done, and we feel the same way. By excluding and dividing, Trump is applauding violence, playing off the fear of the disenfranchised, and feeding into a narrative of anger and frustration. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last nine months, you know some of the jaw-dropping things that have come out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Here’s the quick rundown of what he has said and done:
He wants to ban Muslims from our country. He said that all of Islam hate Americans. He calls Mexican immigrants rapists. He would not condemn the KKK and David Duke when asked several times. He retweets Mussolini quotes. He retweets bogus stats that claim most white people are killed by black people. He encourages violence at his rallies. He is offering to pay the legal fees for those who commit violence at his rallies toward protesters. He mocked a disabled man. He called Ted Cruz a ”pussy.” He calls a war hero like John McCain a war hero only because he was captured. He has repeatedly made comments on women for their appearance, calling them names such as ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ Examples of his blatant lack of kindness go on and on — and the most astonishing part is that the media feeds off of all of this, and all of these acts of insult have actually likely propelled him to his current standing.
Frankly, it’s becoming downright scary to see this kind of rhetoric spewed on a daily basis on his campaign trail, rallies, and debates. We cannot pretend that these words won’t have consequences. A Presidential candidate simply can’t go around saying anything he wants. This will only promote more hate and more terrorism. So, with all of this in mind, we’ve collected some of his incredibly rude and vulgar insults he's been recorded saying and gathered them on a website we’ve created called Trumpsults.
Step 12 began last month when we decided to involve our graphic design students at the School of The Visual Arts. We gave our class an assignment to pick a global issue that deals with relevant topics—such as racial or gender inequalities, ethnic identity, gun violence, or Donald Trump—and to think about unique ideas to bring these topics to life using a larger platform that could stir up conversation. One student, Isabelle Griffioen, came up with the idea of building a brick wall around Chipotle as a response to Donald Trump’s divisive plan of building a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants. While we didn’t feel that was an appropriate solution, we did however feel it could be very strong to build a “wall” of signs around the Trump Tower that spelled out a positive and powerful message. Isabelle decided not to explore the idea we offered in class, but we felt passionate enough about the idea to explore and move forward with it ourselves. We want to thank her for inspiring this idea.
Over the the last few weeks, we spent countless hours designing and planning this entire event along with the websites. Huge thanks to Molly Brunk, and Daniel Forero for all your work helping us make this come to life. Big thank you to our amazing web developer, Gisle Nes, who helped create the websites, and thank you to Eric Jacobsen for the Vote site. Thank you to Kelly Silva, Lisa Chi, Alyssa Coscarelli, Ray Javden, Chloe Seroussi and Leah Schmidt. Finally, our deepest gratitude goes to the group of amazing volunteers who woke up super early to help hold these signs in front of Trump Tower for three hours. We are forever thankful to all of you. We're going to do more of these protests soon, so if anyone is interested in helping please email us at twelv[email protected] Lastly, thanks to all of you who followed along in this journey!
Photos by Ramon Trotman, Jason Bergman and Daniel Forero.
Some anti-Trump voters have gone so far to say that they’ll leave the country if he becomes President. To make light of this potential (horrible and scary) situation, we created a fun website where people can vote on what they’ll do if Trump wins, called If Trump Wins. We’re interested to see what you’ll vote for.