(Above – Mehdi Hasan)
The Intercept is not exactly a favorite read here, but one of it’s columnists, British Journalist and frequent Trump critic Mehdi Hasan, has something important to say this day after a Trump acolyte targeted Hispanic Americans during his shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Mr. Hasan gets the easy part out of the way quickly, listing some of the many terrorists shot into action by the *resident’s hateful rhetoric, before settling into the meat of his essay:
“And now, this latest massacre in El Paso. Let’s be clear: in an age of rising domestic terrorism cases — the majority of which are motivated by “white supremacist violence,” according to FBI Director Christopher Wray — Trump is nothing less than a threat to our collective security. More and more commentators now refer, for example, to the phenomenon of “stochastic terrorism” — originally defined by an anonymous blogger back in 2011 as “the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”
Sounds pretty Trumpian, right? As I wrote in October: “The president may not be pulling the trigger or planting the bomb, but he is enabling much of the hatred behind those acts. He is giving aid and comfort to angry white men by offering them clear targets — and then failing to fully denounce their violence.”
And as I pointed out on CNN earlier this year, there is a simple way for Trump to distance himself from all this. Give a speech denouncing white nationalism and the violence it has produced. Declare it a threat to national security. Loudly disown those who act in his name. Tone down the incendiary rhetoric on race, immigration, and Islam.
Trump, however, has done the exact opposite. In March, in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, the president said he did not consider white nationalism to be a rising threat, dismissing it as a “small group of people.” A month earlier, in February, Trump was asked whether he would moderate his language after a white nationalist Coast Guard officer was arrested over a plot to assassinate leading journalists and Democrats. “I think my language is very nice,” he replied.”
Hasan then sites the statement released by The Washington National Cathedral earlier this week asking the reasonable question “When will Americans have enough?”
“The escalation of radicalized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.
As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬– the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?…
…We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.
This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?
Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.”
Is it not enough that we have a bigot and a criminal in the Oval office, do we have to put up with him inciting terrorists to commit violence against his political opponents, as Hasan pointed out on Twitter only a couple of hours ago…
I’m old enough to remember when @IlhanMN was maligned and smeared – in a maliciously-edited video – for highlighting the threat from white supremacist terrorism. (Two weeks ago.)
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 4, 2019
If we can read we can remember when the White House was not the command center for a vast white power terrorist network taking their marching orders from POTUS.
Thank you, Mehdi Hasan, for using your platform to point this out, as all responsible journalists should be doing.
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