As I was publishing my first novel, Betrayal of Faith, the presidential election was winding down. The exposure of the deep divisions that exist in our country were disturbing to me. Why, if we are a country of many races, creeds, and colors, do we tend to fight over it?
While I knew that clear acts of bigotry and racism had roots much deeper than the election, I was concerned what might happen if such prejudice and hatred became even more commonplace in America. Could the results of the Presidential election have a dramatic uptick in racist and xenophobic incidents across the country? This ultimately led to the publication of my second book, Betrayal of Justice. (You can read all about it under the "Books" tab).
I began writing the book in October of 2016 and finished it in early March of 2017. Sadly, many of the actions and policies advanced by my fictional president have been advanced by our current president. Hate crimes have been on the rise. While the reasons are often debatable, what is not is that white supremacist groups have become more encouraged and more public after the election. The president's call for stricter immigration controls and a ban on Muslim's entering the country only fanned the flames of hate.
After tragic events such as Charlottesville, we see an outpouring of emotion. We decry the violence and ask communities to be vigilant and watchful to prevent future crimes. We want change and we want it now. While important interventions, they are not enough. It is time to get to the root of the problem.
Hate crimes are a national problem and one that needs to be addressed. However, the Trump administration can't address hate crimes while also implementing policies that discriminate against and target communities of color. One thing we often forget is when people feel emboldened to act out and target minorities, no one is immune. Every community that is different can soon find itself a target.