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Three Days After Orlando Tragedy, Donald Trump Descends on Greensboro Peddling Fear, Hate, and Division

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Senator Burr and Governor McCrory Follow Trump Down the Rabbit Hole

In the wake of the worst mass-shooting in American history, as the faces of the 49 men and women who were killed in Orlando make their way across social media, and the nation struggles to come to terms with the reality that their smiles, hopes, and dreams are now but a memory, Donald Trump descended upon Greensboro on Tuesday night to deliver one his most xenophobic and incendiary speeches yet.

In addition to reaffirming his call for a ban on foreign Muslims entering the United States, the Republican presumptive nominee extended his racist vitriol to Muslim US citizens, suggesting they are complicit in these attacks. Referring to Muslim Americans, Trump said, “People knew that bad things were going to happen, and they didn’t report (them).”

Clearly relishing the moment, Trump again declared he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, leading the crowd in chants of “Build the wall,” and a call-and-response of, “Who’s gonna pay for it? Mexico.”

North Carolina has seen similar rhetoric from Governor McCrory, who called for a ban on Syrian refugees last November and is reported to have met with Trump at a fundraiser in Greensboro before the rally.

To make matters worse for North Carolinians, Senator Burr on Tuesday again twisted himself into contortions on the issue of a Muslim ban. Using a dubious linguistic distinction, Burr adamantly defended Trump’s plan to block Muslims from entering the United States, saying, “The speech said ‘pause’, it did not say ‘ban.’” Putting Burr’s verbal shenanigans aside and the fact that Trump indeed said ‘ban,’ it is clear that in practice, Senator Burr does not want Muslims entering the United States.

“While North Carolinians are mourning this tragic loss of life in Orlando and struggling to pick up the pieces, it is sickening to see Republican politicians like Trump, Burr, and McCrory use this moment to fan the flames of hate and division,” said Tim Eakins, Director of North Carolina’s Voice. “We stand in solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime and demand solutions from our elected officials that affirm our values and bring our country together, not divide us.”