Editorial: Time to stop the bleeding

Published 9:22 am Thursday, January 12, 2017

As the days tick down until President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, the social fabric holding our country together appears to becoming more and more unraveled.

Another sign of this growing civil unrest was laid bare in a horrific incident that made headlines last week in Chicago, when four black individuals were arrested on suspicions of kidnapping and torturing a white, mentally challenged man.

Believed to have been held by his captors for nearly 48 hours, the man was subjected to various kinds of physical and mental abuse, with his tormenters at one point streaming video of their assault on Facebook, with one of the men saying “(expletive) Donald Trump,” and “(expletive) white people.”

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While it is still unclear what motivated the attackers, the rhetoric employed in the video is sadly becoming more commonplace in the months since Trump’s election in November.

Hundreds of cases involving harassment or intimidation have been reported to law enforcement agencies across the country over the past several months, with people across both ends of the political spectrum facing attack. Some of these incidents have been captured on video, which has further inflamed an already volatile public atmosphere.

While it appears that similar politically-motivated violence has not occurred in our local communities, it is still disheartening to see it occur, especially in places like Chicago, which has already experienced such tumult over the past decade.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, we should all agree on one simple fact: There is never an excuse for violence.

The incoming presidential administration can and should be scrutinized by the public.

However, there is no reason why people who chose to support Trump in November should be subjected to attack, nor is there any reason why his detractors should face similar abuse.

One of the cornerstones of our republic is peaceful political discourse, where, no matter how heated the conversation gets, we should be able to still sit at the same table at the end of the day.

It is time we all come together as a nation to stop the bleeding.

This rash of violence cannot be tolerated, no matter what you believe, what your skin color is or how you chose to live your life.

In the end, we are still Americans who want one thing — to live in peace.