The photograph featured a young white male with a shaved head, multiple piercings, twice-gauged ears, nostrils gauged larger than quarters, what looked like a gauged chin (how is that even possible?) and multiple tattoos adorning his face and neck.

“Describe him in one word,” the post read. Over twelve-hundred people responded to the troll's provocative post. These were some of their comments:

brain dead
circus freak

All but a few of the comments were disparaging and frankly made me sick. While I am not a fan of wild piercing and gauging body parts, I thought about my unusual twelve-year-old son Calvin who is non-verbal and somewhere on the autism spectrum, wears thick glasses, is still in diapers, walks awkwardly, makes odd noises, and drools, so I added my one-word comment to the list of deplorable ones: human. This boy with the tricked-up face, while he might in many ways seem other, is human and, thus, there is a decent chance that he is good.

The post arrived on the heels of an ACLU story about a Phoenix teacher, Ms. Myles, who emotionally abused and bullied one of her sixth graders, a Muslim immigrant from Somalia living here on a refugee visa. The story read:

Ms. Myles continued to give other students in class "downtime" to talk with each other, but would prohibit A.A. from talking during these times, often telling him to "shut up." Then, A.A. raised his hand in class to answer various questions but, as usual, was ignored by Ms. Myles. As he raised his hand again, Ms. Myles snapped at him, in front of the entire class, "All you Muslims think you are so smart." She then started ranting about Donald Trump, telling A.A., in front of the entire class, "I can't wait until Trump is elected. He's going to deport all you Muslims. Muslims shouldn't be given visas. They'll probably take away your visa and deport you. You're going to be the next terrorist, I bet."

My response was a mix of anger and despair. I read later that the child's classmates mimicked the teacher's anti-Muslim harassment.

Soon after, I read an article about a African American church in Mississippi that was torched and menacingly defaced with the words, Vote Trump.

During this year's presidential campaign, I’ve heard folks who criticize Islam for its treatment of women turn around and call women bitches, and worse, then tacitly endorse or shrug off Trump's admission of sexual assault and his ongoing loathsome behavior towards women. I've seen White high school athletes rally against their non-White opponents using racial slurs and hurtful posters. I've seen Trump supporters punch, spit on, shove and berate people of color, telling them to go back to where they came from. I've seen Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Black Americans hung from nooses in effigy.

Someone coined a name for these atrocious behaviors: The Trump Effect. I don't think these vile sentiments and actions are anything new, instead perhaps more of a throwback to a time when America wasn't so great, to a time before we'd evolved into a more perfect union (though we are far from perfect). Trump's caustic rhetoric has helped peel back a thin veneer, exposing the bigotry that still exists in the hearts and minds of some folks in this nation. He fans the flames of hate with his brazen contempt of other, his sanction of violence against the opposition, his broad assertions that certain immigrant groups are to be feared. Like Ms. Myles the sixth grade teacher, the ignorant are aping Trump's behavior.

Yet, for all his bluster, his promises ring hollow. He'll never deliver, even if he makes it to the Oval Office. He'll continue on as the self-serving, petulant, attention-starved child he is while letting the little guys flounder. He has excelled only in showing us exactly who he is: an arrogant, bullying, greedy, chauvinist who sexually assaults and verbally assails women, discriminates against Blacks, maligns Muslims and Mexicans, scorns war heroes and mocks people who are like my precious boy Calvin.

Yep, the tax-dodging loser with the bad comb-over is nothing more than your average troll.

Trump Effect: Inside the burned-out, vandalized African American church, Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP