Donald Trump’s dangerous, toxic campaign for President reached another new low this past weekend.
Here at America’s Voice, we’ve been tracking instances across the nation where Trump, his supporters, or his staff have harassed or attacked Latinos and immigrants. Now, in an ugly new incident, Trump not only defended, but in fact encouraged the brutal attack of a Black Lives Matter demonstrator at his campaign rally this past weekend.
At least a half-dozen [Trump rally] attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event. At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground.
All of the attendees who were involved in the physical altercation with the protester were white.
The protester appeared to be shouting “black lives matter” and later removed his sweatshirt to reveal a shirt with those words.
At least one attendee shouted “all lives matter” as the protester was eventually led out by police officers on the scene.
CNN captured the brutal attack on video:
A black protester at Trump’s rally today in Alabama was shoved, tackled, punched & kicked: https://t.co/Aq0wuaAtax pic.twitter.com/cTRDMtjuBl
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) November 21, 2015
The protester, Mercutio Southall, also told CNN that the Trump supporters called him and fellow Black demonstrators “monkeys” and the N-word.
When questioned by Fox News about the incident the next day, Trump said the demonstrator deserved it: “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
Trump’s remarks came mere hours after his spokesperson Hope Hicks claimed the campaign “does not condone” violence. But just a few weeks ago in Miami, Trump in fact encouraged violence against a group of Latino protesters, too:
“See the first group, I was nice. Oh, take your time. The second group, I was pretty nice. The third group, I’ll be a little more violent. And the fourth group, I’ll say get the hell out of here!”
The attack of the Black Lives Matter demonstrator at the hands of Trump supporters comes during a weekend where Trump not only attacked African-Americans, but the nation’s Muslim-American community as well.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted a blatantly racist — and false — “Black crimes” infographic from the non-existent “Crime Statistics Bureau” in San Francisco. After some digging, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs uncovered the source of Trump’s claim — a white supremacist and admirer of Hitler who claimed “we should have listened to the Austrian chap with the little moustache.”
Also on Sunday, Trump stood by his outright lie that he watched “thousands and thousands” of Muslim-Americans cheer on TV as the Twin Towers came down, a lie repeatedly debunked by notable news outlets, police, government officials, and the simple fact there’s no news footage to corroborate his claim.
Trump’s race to the bottom has been dragging other Republican candidates down with him in what’s become known as the “Trump Effect.” We have watched this play out on immigration as 2016 GOP candidates move further and further to the right.
For example, earlier this month, Trump chastised one-time immigration reform supporter Marco Rubio for supporting DACA. The very next day, Rubio said he would end that program, putting hundreds of thousands of DREAMers at risk of deportation. Rubio is also following Trump’s anti-refugee ugliness – and, in some ways, trying to go even further than Trump.
“Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) seems to be going further than even Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in advocating the crackdown of U.S. Muslims. He doesn’t just want to consider shutting down mosques, as Trump says, but wants to shut down ‘any place where radicals are being inspired.’”
“It’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down any place — whether it’s a cafe, a diner, an internet site — any place where radicals are being inspired,” Rubio said.
Among media and punditry, there’s growing awareness of Trump’s campaign being ugly, racist, and increasingly dangerous:
So Villagers are shocked at Trump’s racist rhetoric? This is a guy who’s main campaign promise is to round up and deport 12 million people. — digby (@digby56) November 23, 2015
Imagine how the corp media and the right wing would react if a bunch of Black supporters at an Obama rally beat up a white protestor?
— Jesse LaGreca (@JesseLaGreca) November 22, 2015
The juxtaposition of Trump’s false crime stats and the assault on a black protester at his rally is notable. Criminalizing and victimizing.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 22, 2015\
Mass deportations by the millions, a huge border wall, mosque-closings, bring back waterboarding, watch lists, ID-cards & databases #Trump16 — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 22, 2015
trump lied. media has prevented itself from saying “lie” for years, so it won’t call out trump lying. but he’s lying. period. — Oliver Willis (@owillis) November 22, 2015
I just read @ShadFloss describing Trump’s presidential crusade as “essentially the Hope and Change campaign for white nationalism.” That.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 22, 2015
Find Trump entertaining or funny? Keep in mind that he seems to be trying to make America more dangerous for brown people. Yup, hilarious.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) November 22, 2015
Yes, Donald Trump is a fascist. https://t.co/pJi3JBm5P8 pic.twitter.com/KDDnXlJc3T — New Republic (@NewRepublic) November 19, 2015
Leading Republican candidate for President shares a racist neo-nazi meme and the Republican establishment is SILENT https://t.co/3XXW8YznBd — Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 23, 2015
Donald Trump retweeted a racist graphic with fake stats from a neo-Nazi Twitter account https://t.co/5d5ZdL1njF pic.twitter.com/Eu6SDFN2U5
— Fusion (@ThisIsFusion) November 23, 2015
Silent on Trump’s racist made-up crime stats: @Reince @GOP @marcorubio @JebBush @tedcruz https://t.co/3qDGhAThKe
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 23, 2015