Donald Trump has finally stopped dancing around the edges of white supremacy and has firmly jumped into the ring. On Thursday night, Trump refused to shut down a racist support who not only fallaciously claimed (as Trump has many times) that President Barack Obama is a Muslim who is “not American,” but asked when we can “get rid” of all the Muslims. Trump, like every other time one of his supporters does or says something terrible, is wholly unapologetic for both allowing the man to make his remarks unchallenged and for the sentiments expressed by his Islamophobic fan.
““We have a problem in this country, it’s called Muslims. We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American–,” the man told Trump, claiming that the United States is filled with “training camps” populated by Muslims who “want to kill us.”
“When can we get rid of ’em?” the man asked Trump. It is unclear if he meant mass deportation — an idea Trump has floated regarding undocumented immigrants that would cost the nation upwards of $200 billion dollars — or more of a “final solution” to the Muslim insurgency that isn’t happening, but in any case Trump did not condemn the man for his hate speech.
The billionaire GOP frontrunner said that “we need this question,” before informing the obviously well-informed gentleman that he would be “looking at a lot of different things” related to ridding the country of all Muslims like Obama, who is a Christian.
Hillary Clinton tweeted that Trump’s refusal to reign in his bigoted supporters is “disturbing, & just plain wrong,” encouraging The Donald to “cut it out.” Bernie Sanders demanded that Trump apologize to President Obama for “continuing the lie that the president is not an American and not a Christian.”
Trump’s campaign offered an interesting justification tor Tump’s words. According to NBC’s Kailani Koenig, the reality TV star’s campaign released a statement explaining that:
“Mr. Trump was referring to the need to protect Christians religious liberties as his previous statement says and nothing more.”
But there was more. Shortly after, the Trump camp released another statement clarifying that “Mr. Trump’s response to the question regarding training camps in this country was we will look into it.” Trump says that he was referencing getting rid of the nonexistent Muslim training camps, not Muslims.
“The media wants to make this issue about Obama,” Trump’s campaign said. “The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians.”
The billionaire has very quickly become very popular with white supremacists, Islamophobes, xenophobes, and basically anyone who can’t go outside without seeing various ethnic groups plotting to destroy America. At a rally last month, one of Trump’s supporters screamed “white power” about seven times directly behind the billionaire completely unchallenged. When asked about his overzealously racist supporter, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski explained that the man yelled the phrase because “people like our message.” After two white Trump supporters beat a Hispanic homeless man with a metal pipe and urinated on his face, Trump explained that the “passionate” men “want this country to be great again.”
The right-wing’s campaign to blame President Obama for all of our nation’s nonexistent problems is an absolute travesty. Muslims do not pose a threat to our nation. Neither do Hispanics, or any other ethnic group the right-wing decides to scapegoat and vent their petulant angry white male rage towards. This disgusting and bigoted campaign against American minorities must be stopped. Americans are very proud of their society; you would think we’d try to not sink to such primitive and basic rabble rousing.
Watch the remarks below if you must:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.