Have you seen this story in the U.S. news recently? It’s been on CNN, MSNBC and in local Charlotte papers. It’s the type of report you may glance at and think, “That’s terrible!” or “Oh well, they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do to stay safe.” But this time it’s different for me. That boy on the right is my nephew, Jake.
Jake is my sister’s child. My sister, who is Caucasian like me, married a man who is of East Indian descent. His parents immigrated to the United States before he was born. My sister and her husband have three children, all half-Caucasian, half-Indian. None of this has ever been important in my family.
Jake just turned eighteen in April. In high school, he worked hard in classes that didn’t always hold great meaning for him. He’s an easy-going kid and at times, shy. His passion is for his music. He is a talented drummer in an up and coming band. It may surprise you to hear that Jake is conservative, he is a Christian, and he is a Republican. He has also shown enthusiasm for one other thing: Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
As a new eighteen year old, Jake is excited to be allowed to vote this year. He has been a staunch supporter for Donald Trump. He has worn “Trump for President” shirts to school and debated with others as to why Trump is the right candidate to become president. Jake even defended Trump when peers called him racist. It has been Jake’s opinion that Trump would like to better the United States immigration system. You probably can’t find a stronger Trump supporter than this boy.
So the news that Trump was holding a rally in Jake’s own hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina was very exciting. This young, sometimes unmotivated, boy took the initiative to obtain his ticket and arrive early enough at the convention center to wait at the front of the line in the hot summer sun. He was very pleased to get a front row seat. He could not wait to see his hero, Donald Trump.
Before the rally began, however, security approached Jake. We know who you are, they told him. They said he was an agitator who had protested at previous Trump rallies. Remember, this was Jake’s first ever political rally. The security officer, escorted Jake out of the convention center, along with the woman in the picture, whom neither Jake nor anyone else in our family knows. Jake’s attempts to identify himself, or to ask whom they thought he was, were ignored. He was told that he would never be admitted to another Trump rally.
Ironically, Jake missed a speech by Trump in which Trump expressed that he wanted America to be great for Hispanics, African-Americans and all people.
In the long run, I wonder what Jake will have learned from this incident. I hope it will somehow make him stronger, more world-wise, yet not hurt him or cause him to become jaded. In this event, he’s seen that heroes can be flawed. He may have learned that ideologies can look different up close than from far away. He also observed first hand that what someone says about you doesn’t become true just because they’ve voiced it.
I know Jake has felt a variety of emotions over the past few days since this has happened to him. He is confused, insulted and disillusioned. If nothing else, he would like an apology from the Trump organization for the way that he was treated.
I hope my nephew will continue to be passionate and enthusiastic about issues he considers important in the future. I know this ordeal has shown me that my usually quiet nephew is quite articulate and poised in a time of trouble. I am very proud of him.