OPINION: White House Senior Staff, Actions Have Consequences

In recent weeks, people have taken to protesting against Trump officials outside of the White House while they are out in public and off duty.

Most recently, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and her family were kicked out of a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia by the restaurant owner because she works for the Trump administration.

“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen Restaurant, told the Washington Post in an interview, “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation…I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ ”

Wilkinson told the post she would do it all over again if need be because she believes we live in a time where “people need to live their convictions.”

Well said Wilkison.

In response, Sanders held a press conference to address the incident and told press, “Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable.”

Well Sarah, what is unacceptable is the crisis that Trump’s senior staff has created at our southern borders which has separated and detained thousands of asylum-seeking immigrant families.

In another incident last month, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, was confronted by a group of protestors while she ate at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. last month.

“If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace!” can be heard in the video the group of protestors recorded of the incident and posted on social media.

Only a few days later, protestors gathered in front of Nielsen’s home in Virginia and played audio recordings of incarcerated children pleading and crying for their parents at a immigrant detention center.

Currently, thousands of these immigrant children still sit inside detention centers waiting to be reunited with their parents, undergoing inhumane incarceration, and dealing with the physical and mental issues caused by being separated from their parents at such a young age.

Unlike Sanders or Nielsen, they don’t get to go home to their families at the end of the day.

Comedian Trevor Noah talked about the subject during a monologue on his nightly talk show, The Daily Show, “Basically, people in power want to be insulated from the effects of their actions,” stated Noah, “But if you’re in a position where you can influence other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be shocked when you hear from the people whose lives you affect.”

Well said Noah.

Sanders, Nielsen, and the rest of Trump senior officials need to understand that they can’t simply turn their heads to all the suffering their administration is causing once it’s time to clock out and go home. They have to understand that the effects and consequences of the agenda being carried out by them is affecting the livelihood of thousands of families in our country, and not just those currently being detained.

“Calls for civility always tend to come from people in a position of privilege,” Noah stated.

These actions against Trump officials  may be the only way that these people in “positions of privilege” can face the reality of the effects that their work is having on the nation.  

Even so, Trump seems to continue to live under the false belief that all publicity is good publicity. According to a TIME Magazine article, Trump is using these protest against his officials to raise campaign money. He goes as far as calling the protests “vicious bullying”.

How opportunistic.

“Vicious bullying,” comes in form of things like Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, or his executive order that legitimize indefinite detention of immigrant families. Asking Sanders to leave a restaurant because the policy she chooses to represent negatively affect the lives of many of the restaurants employees is not “vicious bullying,” it’s having integrity.

Trump and his senior officials need to understand that the people have the right to protest against those who attack their families and communities without giving it a second thought.

Trump and his senior officials need to understand that their actions have consequences.