To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

New Observercast

Trump’s Toxic Rhetoric Spreads Racist Hatred

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President Donald Trump invites to the White House a cartoonist whose work includes the right-wing nonsense that an international Jewish conspiracy controls the world.

President Donald Trump references and promotes British bigot Katie Hopkins, who advocates a “final solution” for Muslims, blames Jewish leaders for the attacks on their synagogues by Nazis.

President Donald Trump continually assails the loyalty of Muslim congresswomen and others of color.

President Donald Trump says that any American Jews who vote Democratic [roughly 70% of them] are disloyal.

And people emboldened by our very own president’s white nationalist bigotry commit violent crimes throughout the world.

The FBI’s hate crime report released last month showed a “rising level of violence — the report showed an increase in the number of ‘crimes against persons,’ such as intimidation, assault and homicide,” according to NPR’s Rachel Treisman.

She quoted Brian Levin, director of the Center of the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal-State San Bernardino: “We’re seeing a leaner and meaner type of hate crime going on. Homicides were up and crimes against persons were up and that’s an important thing to look at.”

The official term is stochastic violence: a demagogue stirs up hatred among his followers. Then, when they commit violence, he claims his hands are clean.

But some folks aren’t buying that.

Last month, Sean D. Taylor of Yahoo News reported, “After an upsurge in racially motivated attacks around the world, other countries are beginning to regard the United States as an exporter of white supremacism, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said Friday.

“‘For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology,’ Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told an audience in Washington, DC. ‘We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That’s a reality with which we are going to have to deal.’”

Interestingly enough, Taylor cites Travers as concluding that “U.S. counterterrorism officials are playing catch-up when it comes to the burgeoning white supremacist threat.”

But the threat is being promulgated by the White House. Will they be allowed to counter this threat?

In August, Mary Papenfuss of Huffington Post reported on a “scathing essay” by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who called the American president, “the global poster boy for white nationalism.”

“‘An entire generation of brave men and women around the globe sacrificed everything to defeat the singular evil of Nazism and fascism,’ Khan wrote in The Observer to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland that launched World War II.”

But now, “for the first time in more than 70 years, it seems the lessons of the second world war are genuinely at risk of being forgotten or, worse still, being rewritten,” he added.

“This comes as a new wave of extremist far-right movements and political parties are winning power and influence at alarming speed — fueled by Donald Trump, the global poster-boy for white nationalism,” Khan wrote.

Dang those over-educated foreigners. But wait …

Writing for Common Dreams last month, Julia Conley reports, “Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday that President Donald Trump is responsible for violent hate crimes like an acid attack which left a 42-year-old man with second-degree burns in the city on Friday.

“Mahud Villaluz told CNN affiliate WISN that a man confronted him over a parking spot, called him ‘an illegal,’ and told him to ‘go back to [his] country’ before throwing battery acid at him.

“‘My concern is that more and more people feel that because the president is saying it that this is OK,’ Barrett told CNN. ‘It’s not OK, it’s horrible.’

“‘Everybody knows what’s happening,’ the mayor said of Trump’s encouragement of anti-immigrant sentiment and even violence. ‘It’s because the president is talking about it on a daily basis that people feel that they have license to go after Hispanic people, and it’s wrong.’”

Yes, just as Trump’s environmental policies pollute the air we breathe, his hate-speech pollutes the public discourse and encourages deranged losers around the world to attack any “them” or “others” who frighten them.

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Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.