Donald Trump's Blatant Racism Is Paying Off

Photo: Wade Payne/AP Photo.
Donald Trump has been fueling his presidential campaign with a combination of racist fear-mongering and fascism, but the businessman and Republican primary frontrunner has had an ugly past few days, even by his standards.

On Saturday, several white men at a Trump rally in Alabama beat a black protester, and Trump said the victim deserved it. A Black Lives Matter activist disrupted the event, and a mob of people swarmed him; video of the incident shows the men kicking the protester while he is on the ground. Security removed the man from the conference center.

When asked about the incident on Sunday, Trump said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up."

Trump also started Monday by retweeting a graphic filled with made-up statistics about crime. The graphic — which apparently originated with a Nazi supporter — says that 97% of murders involving Black individuals are committed by people of the same race. That figure was actually 90% in 2014; more than 82% of murders involving white victims were committed by other white people. "Black-on-black crime" is not substantially more common, no matter what opponents of Black Lives Matter activists say.

This is only the latest in a string of disturbing incidents and statements from the GOP front-runner. On Thursday, Trump told a reporter from Yahoo News that he wouldn't dismiss the idea of forcing Muslims to register in a database or carry a special ID. Even when he tried to clarify himself, Trump doubled down on ugly sentiments. He told a crowd on Saturday that he wants widespread surveillance of mosques and a database of Syrian refugees, and he said he wants to bring back waterboarding — a torture technique used on suspected terrorists that has produced no valuable intelligence.
On Sunday, Trump also revived a long-debunked lie about Muslim-Americans. During an appearance on ABC's This Week, Trump said that he saw Muslim residents of New Jersey cheer when the World Trade Center towers fell — a story that simply did not happen and one that police and witnesses have dismantled repeatedly over the past 14 years. When confronted with this fact, Trump just insisted that he saw it on television.

Trump is not the only candidate to support blatantly unconstitutional policies that would stigmatize and endanger Muslims in America — Marco Rubio has proposed shutting down places where Muslims congregate, and Ted Cruz said the U.S. should accept only Syrian refugees who are Christian — and there has been a staggering spike in anti-Islamic sentiment in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. People have forced passengers who appear to be of Arab descent off of planes, and an armed group of Texans protested outside a mosque in the city of Irving this weekend, the same place where 14-year old Ahmed Mohamed was suspended for bringing a clock to school.

The most disturbing result of all this fear-mongering is just how good it is for Trump's campaign —new polls show Trump has regained the lead in the Republian primary field. If voters actually cast ballots for him, expect to hear a lot more awful rhetoric and questionably-sourced rumors.


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