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Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan's daughter, just called out Donald Trump for violent rhetoric.

Families who've been affected by political assassination attempts are stepping forward.

During an August 9 rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, Donald Trump did what he's been doing all campaign long — he said something controversial and inflammatory.

That, in itself, isn't surprising to anyone who's been following the 2016 campaign. Whether he's calling Mexicans "rapists," slamming the parents of a fallen soldier, or calling a sitting U.S. Senator "Pochahontas," we've all come to expect the offensive and unexpected when watching the man entertain a crowd.

Finally, after months of dogwhistle statements about how Hillary Clinton supposedly wants to "abolish the Second Amendment" (she doesn't, by the way), Trump's Aug. 9, 2016, comment may have taken the rhetoric a step too far when he seemed to suggest that if he were to lose the election, it'd be up to "Second Amendment people" to stop Clinton from appointing judges to fill spots on the Supreme Court.


Just another day in the campaign of Donald J. Trump. GIF from CSPAN/YouTube.

And it's pretty clear that at least some of the folks in his audience picked up on what was being not-so-subtly implied.

"He said whatttttt?" GIF from CSPAN/YouTube.

Understandably, people were pretty shocked by this, and it was reported that the Secret Service even had a chat with the Trump campaign about the whole, "Please don't put out ambiguous calls that could be interpreted as a request that someone assassinate your political opponent" thing (or maybe not; we'll never know — it's just been that kind of election, I guess).

Anyway, the whole thing devolved into a question of what Trump meant by his statement, with his campaign insisting that the words were taken out of context or misconstrued. The larger point might be, though, that it doesn't really matter what he meant so much as what people think he meant.

Over at Mic, Cooper Fleishman explored dark corners of the internet known to house some of Trump's white supremacist fanbase. Did they take his statement to mean he was encouraging them to "do something" by voting, as the campaign has since said?

No, they heard it as a call to assassinate Hillary Clinton.

On Facebook, a post by Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan, cited the assassination attempt on her father's life to chide the Trump campaign for its reckless use of language that could inspire someone to commit an act of violence.

In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Regan because he believed it would impress actress Jodie Foster.

Addressing Trump directly, Davis warns: "[Your message] was heard by the person sitting alone in a room, locked in his own dark fantasies, who sees unbridled violence as a way to make his mark in the world, and is just looking for ideas."

To Donald Trump: I am the daughter of a man who was shot by someone who got his inspiration from a movie, someone who...

Posted by Patti Davis on Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Even if Trump really, truly meant "Second Amendment people" should go out and vote, there might be someone somewhere who interpreted that statement as an earnest call for violence. After all, there are plenty of people who will make the argument that the Second Amendment exists in part to protect the people from a tyrannical government. If someone holds that belief and also believes Hillary Clinton is a tyrant, it's easy to see how quickly that situation could escalate out of the rhetorical and into something truly horrifying.

Families of others lost to political violence — including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy — have also spoken out about Trump's careless words.

In an editorial for the Washington Post, Jean Kennedy Smith and William Kennedy Smith and — sister of and nephew to President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, respectively — warn of the dangerous impact such a statement can have:

"Today, almost 50 years [after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy], words still matter. They shape who we are as a people and who we wish to be as a nation. In the white-hot cauldron of a presidential campaign, it is still the words delivered extemporaneously, off the cuff, in the raw pressure of the moment that matter most. They say most directly what is in a candidate’s heart. So it was with a real sense of sadness and revulsion that we listened to Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, as he referred to the options available to 'Second Amendment people,' a remark widely, and we believe correctly, interpreted as a thinly veiled reference or 'joke' about the possibility of political assassination."

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, left) at his home in Georgetown, Massachusetts, with his brother Robert (1925-1968) in 1955. Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Later, the two conclude, "The truth remains that words do matter, especially when it comes to presidential candidates. On that basis alone, Donald Trump is not qualified to be president of the United States."

Bernice King, daughter of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., took to Twitter to express her own opinion on Trump's comments.

While it's impossible to control exactly how a message is interpreted by individuals among a crowd, there's a responsibility for presidential candidates to avoid remarks that can be interpreted in a way that would suggest an openness to violence.

There are many ways Donald Trump could have framed his speech to achieve the point his campaign claims he intended. Suggesting that after the election, "Second Amendment people" "do something" isn't one of them. Whether or not you agree with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Evan McMullin, or somebody else, we have a responsibility to ensure that all of them — including our political rivals — are free from physical harm.

The responsible thing would be for Mr. Trump to clarify his comments publicly and be more conscientious with his words moving forward. Lives may literally depend on it.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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