I know it’s hard to keep up, but this morning Donald Trump did something so dangerous, offensive, and problematic that it must be confronted head-on. In my circles, we are wary of playing what we call the “Oppression Olympics” where we rank one horrible moment of bigotry over the next, but I am forced to say that what Donald Trump did yesterday morning is a low moment for a very low presidency.
As he does most mornings, Trump woke up and began his daily tweet fest. Each tweet could be legitimately critiqued and dissected. However, it was three very disturbing retweets that we must confront like our lives depend on it – because I truly believe Donald Trump, who, I remind you, is the President of the United States, and has over 44 million followers on Twitter alone, has just endangered millions of people.
Enter Jayda Fransen.
She is a widely known bigot in the UK. This is not my opinion – yesterday in the United Kingdom she was convicted for a hate crime for brutally harassing a young Muslim mother in front of her children.
Ten days ago she was arrested in Belfast in a separate incident and charged with “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior”.
She is the Deputy Leader of the far-right white supremacist group called Britain First. The group repeatedly attacks Muslims, immigrants, and non-white people in general. Last year a white man who was shouting Britain First stabbed Congresswoman Jo Cox to death in the UK.
Again, we are talking about a convicted hate-monger.
And today, on the day Jayda Fransen was convicted for her hate, Donald Trump decided to repeatedly retweet and share her words and hateful anti-Muslim propaganda videos for the whole world to see.
One of the videos Trump shared, claiming to be of a young Muslim immigrant assaulting a young Dutch man, is an absolute hoax. Reports now state that the young man was neither a Muslim nor an immigrant and was actually arrested for his crime. Donald Trump is sharing anti-Muslim hoax videos from a convicted hate leader.
Here’s how problematic what Donald Trump just did truly is. Paul Joseph Watson, who works for the madman Alex Jones at Infowars, and has harassed me for years, thinks Donald Trump crossed a line.
Piers Morgan, a longtime friend of Donald Trump, called him out saying “Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump – what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists? Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets.”
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham in the UK, was outraged and said,
“Trump sharing Britain First. Let that sink in. The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. He is no ally or friend of ours. @realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city.”
Lammy continued, “Do not forget that the man who murdered Jo Cox shouted
‘Britain First’. Trump has gone beyond the pale today.”
The President of the United States is sharing outrageous hate videos from a convicted hatemonger with the world. Maybe your ability to be disturbed ran out a long time ago, but this is beyond the pale. And in doing so, Trump was immediately and profusely thanked by Jayda Fransen – who appears over the top excited that her hateful messages are being shared with the world saying, in all caps, “THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN’S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Suddenly a convicted hate leader who most of the world had never heard of feels empowered. She has been amplified and given a platform beyond her wildest dreams. She is now literally thanking God for Donald Trump. Now she is being interviewed by CBS and forced into the American mainstream.
I have spoken this morning with over a dozen of my closest Muslim friends and colleagues. Without fail, each of them was not only deeply offended by what Donald Trump has done, they each felt like the President of the United States just mainstreamed hate and violence against them.
Every leader and person of influence must repudiate what Donald Trump has done. Trump could delete them from his profile, but the damage is done. An apology would not even suffice at this point, but he’d never issue one anyway.
I wondered how much worse things could get coming from Donald Trump. Today proves that we’re not even close to rock bottom.
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