A Republican governor nailed how dangerous Donald Trump's words really are.

On June 17, 2015, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley got an up-close-and-personal lesson in how bigotry can lead people to do the unthinkable.

A memorial outside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


Nine black men and women were murdered at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston in one of the worst hate crimes in the state's history.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

A subsequent investigation found that the alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, was an ardent white supremacist who frequented neo-Nazi websites and worshipped the Confederate flag.

The events of that day left Haley with no illusions about how dangerous Donald Trump's "divisive" rhetoric really is.

Gov. Nikki Haley. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Since Trump began running for president in 2015, he has proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, openly demeaned women, and refused to disavow his white supremacist supporters.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Haley stressed her personal experience in her warning that words like Trump's can have terrible, real-world consequences.

"I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen," the South Carolina governor said.

Haley told the AP that, as one of two leading candidates for president of the United States, the businessman has a responsibility to the country to adopt a more civil tone.

The governor's statement is an important acknowledgement from a prominent Republican that Trump is playing with fire...

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

...and not just because Trump has already openly called for violence against people who oppose him (on more than one occasion).

A Muslim woman protests Donald Trump in New York City. Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images.

He may not personally condone — or call for — racist, misogynist violence, but can he truly be sure that a troubled few among his millions of followers won't feel empowered to take matters into their own hands?

Haley's apparent misgivings about Trump's rhetoric didn't stop her from endorsing him.

And, of course, Trump supporters aren't the only group who have perpetrated mob violence against their opponents in the course of this campaign.

But the governor's blunt warning shouldn't be ignored.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

If hateful words buried in obscure corners of the internet can inspire terrible cruelty and brutality, imagine what they could do coming from the mouth of the president of the United States.

More
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

For most of us, the hypothetical question of whether we would stick with a boyfriend or girlfriend through the trials of cancer and the treatments is just that – a hypothetical question. We would like to think we would do the right thing, but when Max Allegretti got the chance to put his money where mouth is, he didn't hesitate for a second.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via bfmamatalk / facebook

Where did we go wrong as a society to make women feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public?

No one should feel they have the right to tell a woman when, where, and how she can breastfeed. The stigma should be placed on those who have the nerve to tell a woman feeding her child to "Cover up" or to ask "Where's your modesty?"

Breasts were made to feed babies. Yes, they also have a sexual function but anyone who has the maturity of a sixth grader knows the difference between a sexual act and feeding a child.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / JLo

The Me Too movement has shed light on just how many actresses have been placed in positions that make them feel uncomfortable. Abuse of power has been all too commonplace. Some actresses have been coerced into doing something that made them uncomfortable because they felt they couldn't say no to the director. And it's not always as flagrant as Louis C.K. masturbating in front of an up-and-coming comedian, or Harvey Weinstein forcing himself on actresses in hotel rooms.

But it's important to remember that you can always firmly put your foot down and say no. While speaking at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actress Roundtable, Jennifer Lopez opened up about her experiences with a director who behaved inappropriately. Laura Dern, Awkwafina, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong'o, and Renee Zellweger were also at the roundtable.

Keep Reading Show less
popular