U.S. President Donald Trump’s modus operandi was and continues to be picking fights with world leaders who are, in reality, our allies. He’s lobbed attacks at leaders ranging from the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau — whom he called weak — to the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who he this week claimed has been failing his constituents in the fight against crime and terrorism.
Khan has responded to Trump’s remarks, smartly dismissing the antagonism as barely even worthy of his time. That perspective certainly contrasts with the tendency of Trump to respond to as many jabs against him as possible, for better or for worse.
‘It takes two to tango, and I’m not tweeting President Trump or saying beastly things about him. I’m not going to rise to President Trump’s views.’
Trump had tied Khan supposedly failing his people in the fight against violence to an openness to immigration, although it’s not as though there is some preponderance of data asserting that a rise in immigration correlates with a rise in crime. Even saying that gives Trump’s argument more space than it deserves — he’s spouting racism, plain and simple.
Trump told The Sun:
‘I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I look at cities in Europe, and I can be specific if you’d like. You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. He has done a terrible job.’
Khan, in other words, is certainly for many people on point in dismissing Trump’s comments as barely worthy of engaging with, since the U.S. president is again in his comments to The Sun spouting racism.
Speaking to the BBC, Khan quipped:
‘I don’t think the rise in crime [in England and Wales] is because of immigration. It’s for Trump to explain why he thinks there is a link between immigration into Europe and the rise in crime.’
The idea is something that Trump has shared in the context of U.S. policy as well, having made it one of the literal founding tenets of his campaign. He’s promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and promised in the past to punitively deport millions of people from the U.S. because they don’t have proper immigration paperwork, although that promise has faded to the background thanks to the realities of constraints on Trump’s power.
In the time since rising to power, though, he’s certainly held fast to the core of his ideas, making any undocumented immigration over the southern U.S. border into some kind of apocalyptic situation that it most certainly is not. That’s what’s underlined the recent immigrant family separations and the dialing back of protections for asylum seekers.
These issues have given the people of the United Kingdom, including Sadiq Khan, ample space to clash with the U.S. president. Khan personally has clashed with the president in the past on a similar issue; Trump blamed terrorism faced by London on the mayor’s policies.
Khan approved activists’ request to fly a giant blimp depicting Trump as an angry baby in London this week corresponding to a U.S. presidential visit to the county, something Trump commented made him feel “unwelcome.”
The London mayor noted that past presidents who have faced U.K. protests got over them more easily thanks an understanding of the principle of freedom of speech that’s shared by the two countries.
‘The fact that it may cause offense to somebody isn’t a good reason to curtail the hard fought rights we have of freedom of speech and freedom of expression.’
.@SadiqKhan says it’s not up to him to decide “what’s in good taste, or bad taste”. The London mayor is asked whether there’s a difference between “ridicule and protest” in relation to the @realDonaldTrump blimp #TrumpUKVisit
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— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 13, 2018
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