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Trump’s Violent Rhetoric Started with Immigrants and Led to Real Violence; Now His Violent Rhetoric is Spreading to All of Us

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“Unless Patriots Stand Up, No One is Safe”

A dark shadow looms over America as Trump’s continued wrath on all immigrants spreads to the entire body politic. 

Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that earlier this year the President “wanted the [border] wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.” 

Over the last few days, the President’s rhetoric of violence and hate has spread. As Jamelle Bouie noted yesterday, “Over the weekend, in a rage over impeachment, President Trump accused Representative Adam Schiff of ‘treason,’ promised ‘Big Consequences’ for the whistle-blower who sounded the alarm about his phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and shared a warning — from a Baptist pastor in Dallas — that impeachment ‘will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.’” 

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, commented:

First he came for the immigrants; now he’s coming for all of us. Immigrants may have been the canaries in the coal mine, but Trump’s toxicity, volatility, violence and hostility has now been unleashed on anyone and everyone he perceives as his enemy. From the moment he descended the golden escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy, he has demeaned and dehumanized immigrants. Now we learn he seriously pushed the Department of Homeland Security leadership to shoot at migrants, deploy flesh-piercing stakes and to put bayonets on rifles. This is private, while publicly he invokes the language of ‘invasion’ and ‘replacement’ and ‘breeders.’ 

He put a target on the backs of Latinos, Muslims and Jewish allies of immigrants. His more deranged followers translated Trump’s language of violence into white supremacist terrorism. 

Those in a position to stand up to the President — especially those in the Republican Party in the House and Senate — have mostly remained silent But unless those with the power to stop this man by standing up to his flood of violent speech and corrupt acts, the nation and her residents remain in grave danger. 

The tide of Trump’s assault on immigrants and refugees already has a body count. Allowing the increasingly unhinged and unfit President to go unchecked risks the spread of more violence to more of us. This is a moment of truth, and history will not be kind to those who shrink from it. 

Unless patriots stand up, no one is safe.

Below are two articles that capture the dangerous trend of Trump’s violent rhetoric toward immigrants.

In “Trump’s most insulting — and violent — language is often reserved for immigrants”, Eugene Scott in the Washington Post:

Trump’s language of violence started with immigrants when he launched his presidential campaign in 2015. There is a direct line from his language to real violence against immigrants and other innocent Americans caught in the maniacal mass shootings of the past year. And this cancer is spreading: to Congress, to the media, to the intelligence community, to foreign allies. There is no end in sight as Trump becomes increasingly unhinged and the GOP remains frozen in abject silence. It is time for real patriots and politicians in the GOP to stand up before it is too late.  ut no group has been the subject of his ire as have immigrants, especially those who have entered the country illegally.

And despite the old and mostly now dispatched with suggestion that his words should often be taken seriously and not literally, President Trump’s comments both publicly and behind the scenes about illegal immigrants make one thing clear: They have no place in the president’s ideas of a “great” America.

…Trump tweeted Wednesday denying that he called for a reptile-filled moat: “I may be tough on Border Security, but not that tough. The press has gone Crazy. Fake News!!” The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, however, confirmed that Trump wanted migrants attempting to illegally cross the border shot.

And that he wanted migrants to be targeted is not as much of a stretch as defenders of Trump might argue given his track record of supporting violent actions toward those who dare challenge his plan to make American “great” in the eyes of his supporters. This could be, in part, why some of his supporters have taken his words about undocumented immigrants literally and acted violently.

Below is an excerpt from Philip Bump of the Washington Post, a piece on the moat idea:

This is ridiculous. It’s not funny.

Trump’s frustration about the border has centered on the increase in the number of people arriving earlier this year. That rise (which has since receded) was driven largely by an increase in the number of “family units” seeking entry: parents with children. Trump would often suggest, without evidence, that the children were not actually related to the adults they were with but were instead victims of human trafficking. (Data from the Department of Homeland Security failed to reinforce this claim.) Instead, the surge was actual families, hoping to gain entry to the country by seeking political asylum — overwhelmingly fleeing crime or abuse — and then being released into the United States as their claims were processed.

These are the people Trump wanted to see try to scramble past alligators. The people Trump suggested might be shot.

When a group of migrants — including children — tried to enter the country in November, they were greeted with tear gas. It prompted a rare moment in which Trump viewed his then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen favorably, because she was finally taking the tough hand he wanted to see.

In June, a news photographer captured the aftermath of a family’s attempt to cross the Rio Grande to enter the country. Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria died as they tried to make it across, washing up on the shore of the river face down. Valeria was not yet 2 years old when she drowned.

That’s the danger that Trump speculated about introducing everywhere on the border, to keep people like Martínez Ramírez and Valeria from asking the U.S. government if they could live here.

That’s the cost of the moat.