There is a difference between heckling and questioning. One is rude; the other is responsible.
During Donald Trump’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club (DEC), one man stood and shouted that Trump had little hands. Towards the end of the Republican Presidential candidate’s speech, another man was invited to leave because his cell phone played the sound effect of a baby crying. That was heckling. But besides these two interruptions, 13 women rose and shouted “Mr. Trump! I have a question!” That was their civic responsibility.
Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate to come directly from the private sector since the advent of electric lighting. It is only right that we should Question his economic policy. Since the DEC didn’t do it, we did.
We are Michigan People’s Campaign. We fight for a sustainable economy that benefits everyone, not just billionaires like Mr. Trump. Our members are working people, like the one’s who stood up to the GOP’s standard bearer. These are women who willingly risked arrest to ask one question, not mindless puppets as the DEC might have you believe. We made the deliberate decision to elevate the voices of our women because they would be the ones most seriously and directly impacted by the troubling policies of a Trump administration. We understand that the challenges women face affect all working families.
To look at Jacqui, you’d never guess she could lift 55,000 lbs of steel, but she does this every day as a crane operator. If Donald Trump had been President in 2008, he says he would have let our auto industry go bankrupt and sent her job to a state with lower wages. Then, once she’s sufficiently desperate to provide for her family, bring it back at an even lower wage.
“Is that what you call winning?” She asked Trump. He did not answer. Perhaps he could not hear the question over the booing of the audience. They would do well to remember that when Trump talks about renegotiating a deal, this is what’s he’s talking about.
Emily once worked at a domestic violence shelter, so she knows all too well of the victimization of women. Like countless, overqualified, Michigan workers, she is currently a manager in the foodservice industry. But unlike Trump, she understands the awesome responsibility that managers have to protect their employees.
“You think a woman who’s been sexually harassed should just look for a new job?” Emily asked. “Is that how you intend to solve problems? By running away from them?” Perhaps this is a rhetorical question when posed to a man who’s had as many divorces as bankruptcies.
To be sure, decorum demands that we only speak when appropriate and shout when necessary. It is entirely appropriate that we question Donald Trump’s economic policies, when they so clearly disadvantage Michigan’s working families. However, when the DEC invites him to Detroit but provides no forum for questions, it then becomes necessary to shout.
This is not rude; It is the responsible thing to do.