What began with Donald Trump’s announcement of his intention to run for the presidency when he called undocumented immigrants “rapists” and “drug dealers” has continued throughout his first term in office to no one’s surprise. To satisfy the racists among his rabid fan base, he persists in painting brown human beings as criminals who are less than human.
Of course, he also ranted about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump 2016 presidential campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia and Trump’s attempts to cover it up. It’s a favorite rant of his and will be until the investigation is concluded.
On Wednesday, Trump was asked a question on camera about immigration reform and the need to expel gang members from the country. In the video clips released to the media, the question was not shown, only Trump’s response.
‘We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.’
Most news outlets retracted the story that said Trump had referred to all undocumented immigrants as animals and apologized for the reporting, and many Democratic lawmakers have backed down, as well. Others, however, have refused to do so and continued to report that Trump made racist comments.
They’re absolutely correct in doing so.
Trump knows exactly what he’s doing with this rhetoric. This is the same kind of talk that justified the violence and dehumanization of Muslims after 9/11 and continues today. It was okay with his supporters that Trump wanted to violate the Constitution by banning Muslims from traveling to the United States because a few of them had committed terrorist attacks (and Trump has never addressed the terrorist acts of white supremacists in this country). It was okay that Trump called for the Central Park Five to continue to be imprisoned even after they were cleared by DNA evidence because all young black men were associated with gang activity according to white America.
As long as we can continue to point to the 0.0008 percent of undocumented immigrants who are members of MS-13, a gang that was formed in California and not in a Central or South American country, we can justify the dehumanization of them all. We can turn a blind eye to children being separated from their parents and sent to be detained in military bases. We can continue to ignore that young dreamers with DACA status are being falsely accused of being part of MS-13 with no evidence.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of “race-baiting” is “the unfair use of statements about race to try to influence the actions or attitudes of a particular group of people.” This is exactly what Trump is doing and has always done, and his supporters are happy to buy into it.
Twitter was not impressed by his Friday rant. See some of their comments below:
Featured image via Getty/Pool