Donald Trump Loves To Hate

The Messy Essay I am deeply unqualified to write yet I wrote it anyway for my facebook friends and maybe your family too if you’re so inclined.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Did you know Donald Trump has made a habit of saying hateful things on the campaign trail? Oh, you do know? Then you can skip this whole thing. Bye.

For those of you who are still here, let’s talk terminology for a hot sec. Always a fun way to start an essay. The dictionary definition of marriage is…oh man, what a great wedding toast, bro.

But I think it’s important to make sure we’re on the same page. When I say “hate” I want to make very clear what I mean. *Flips through pages of an actual dictionary* I mean “intense feelings of dislike, exhibited by an extreme lack of respect or outright hostility.” So when Trump says this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

…we can look at all the other things he’s said or done and judge if he was being truthful. Because saying you don’t hate someone then talking about them like they’re some sort of garbage human person sort of disproves your point. Jesus has a great quote about this (yes, that Jesus, calm down, founding father deists, he was very quotable): “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

So let’s take a look at three of the many people, places and things Donald Trump hates by examining his fruit, not his thornbush. (Yes, okay. Whatever. That was hacky. But come on, Jesus set me up.)

Expect generous quotes and screencaps to follow because I am not an expert on any of this. I am going to let the people most affected by Donald Trump do most of the talking.

#1 People with Disabilities

Remember this? Remember when Donald Trump, of “Roughly 35% of Republican Voters Like Me, Maybe?” fame, made fun of a reporter’s disability in a televised public forum?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trump-mocks-reporters-disability/

Well.

I guess an argument could be made that people with disabilities should have a thicker skin. Or that Trump was just making fun of one person with a disability and that he loves all the other people with disabilities. Those are arguments you could make if you were wanted to defend Trump. Or, we could just listen to Linda and Lindsey Atwell:

http://themighty.com/2015/11/a-letter-to-donald-trump-from-a-special-needs-mom/
http://themighty.com/2015/11/a-letter-to-donald-trump-from-a-special-needs-mom/

Or also, writer Vilissa Thompson, Founder & CEO of Ramp Your Voice:

http://rampyourvoice.com/2015/12/01/donald-trump-ableism-the-disabled-vote/

This kind of power play is one of the ways Trump uses his own power and privilege to quiet critics and naysayers. Not by responding to their critiques head on, but by denigrating them for what he views as inferiorities.

This extreme lack of respect or outright hostility towards people with disabilities makes you a bad person, Donald Trump. A bad person who probably shouldn’t be president, let alone a major political party’s nominee.

#2 People of Hispanic and Latin American descent

I promise to do less talking, dear readers. I’m already on my own nerves. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through. Let’s roll the Trump tape.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/06/16/full-text-donald-trump-announces-a-presidential-bid/
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/donald-trump-i-would-force-mexico-build-border-wall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/donald-trump-immigrants_n_7709798.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

Call this scrap #1 in “the great quilt of America’s problems according to Donald Trump of which people who look like me bear no responsibility.” Instead of making a point of how sexual assault in the U.S. is perpetrated most often by white men, by men who already know their victims…

http://www.sarsonline.org/resources-stats/reports-laws-statics

…Trump decides it’s a better use of his time to accuse immigrants from Mexico of rape, regardless of whether the facts bear this out or not. So do they?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

So the vast majority of immigrant offenders are convicted of immigration related offenses, not drug trafficking or sexual assault. And people who are in this country legally account for 82.7 percent of drug offenses overall, if I have my math right. Sorta sounds like we might have a legal resident drug problem if you ask me. Sounds to me like the overwhelming majority of immigrants in this country illegally are here to do anything other than sell drugs and murder and rape:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

So why would Trump twist or outright make up “facts” about the dangers of immigrants from south of the United States border? Well, the drug trade is a major problem for border states. We all know and recognize this. But instead of a rational, comprehensive discussion about the reasons behind drug abuse in the United States, or the unintended economic benefits of the war on drugs, or coming to a national consensus on what border security means, or our judicial system’s emphasis on drug enforcement rather than the more effective strategy of drug treatment, it is much easier to demonize a people group for drugs and rape and etc. Just look back at that stupid sentence. Look at how long and clunky it is. A good editor would help me streamline it, probably. But there’s so many ideas and links to lots of other words that who has time to grapple with the complexity of the issue? Not Donald Trump. It’s easier to blame the Mexicans.

(It’s also a little ironic that we’re talking about stopping a people group from coming into OUR country when they were the first Europeans to settle and own land in the American southwest. If you’d like to read more about this and other facts about the Mexican-American experience, this is a decent place to start.)

But I am talking too much. Here is how Mexican-Americans feel about Donald Trump’s language.

But does all this point to hate? Well, in order to answer that, I’m going to quote generously (perhaps too generously) from Tina Vasquez, who reports on immigration for RH Reality Check:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/09/donald-trump-racism-increase-latinos

Once again, this extreme lack of respect or outright hostility towards people of Hispanic or Latin American descent makes you a bad person, Donald Trump. A bad person who probably shouldn’t be president, let alone a major political party’s nominee.

3. The Muslim Community

Okay, one thing should be said before we dive into this one. I differentiate between people of the Islamic faith and Islamic terrorists /extremists, just like I differentiate between the KKK or Dylann Roof and the larger Christian community. You might not. If you don’t, then a lot of the following is going to be confusing. But confusion is good. Struggling with new concepts is good. Let’s do this good struggling together.

Starting with a New Hampshire town hall meeting in September:

http://time.com/4041457/donald-trump-muslim-comments/

Trump later said he didn’t hear the entire question, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and look at his statement about banning all Muslims from entering the United States:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/donald-trumps-call-to-ban-muslim-immigrants/419298/

Bizarrely, pointing to FDR’s shameful WWII internment camps as a political precedent:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/08/trump-calls-for-complete-shutdown-on-muslims-entering-us.html

It also doesn’t help that Donald Trump fails to see any difference between the Islamic faith community and violent jihadists, and would rather lump all Muslims together for expediency’s sake:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/09/politics/donald-trump-islam-hates-us/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/10/opinions/trump-islam-hates-us-comment-opinion-moghul/index.html

And it wasn’t just “The Left” that responded negatively to Trump’s comments. Plenty of Republicans called Trump out on his bigoted language.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2015/12/07/e56266f6-9d2b-11e5-8728-1af6af208198_story.html

House Speaker Paul Ryan slammed Trump’s comment in a press conference on Capital Hill:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/08/politics/donald-trump-muslim-republicans-2016/

And former VP Dick Cheney added in an interview:

http://www.hughhewitt.com/vice-president-dick-cheney-san-bernardino-obamas-foreign-policy-setting-history-straight/

But again, does this kind of language “prove” hate? Does it prove malice intent? Why don’t we ask the folks affected by Trump’s words most?

Like author Haroon Moghul, who questions what Trump means when he says “I think Islam hates us.” Who is Islam? Who is us?

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/10/opinions/trump-islam-hates-us-comment-opinion-moghul/index.html

Or Marwa Balkar, a college student from California, who wrote about her own reaction to Trump’s “us and them” rhetoric:

http://www.attn.com/stories/4632/donald-trump-marwa-balkar

Or Chicago-native Saqib Bhatti, on Trump’s bigotry:

http://www.ibtimes.com/american-muslims-respond-defiance-donald-trumps-gop-winning-streak-2323758

Or this response from an American Muslim who also happens to be a U.S. Marine:

Or Michigander and Republican businessman Nasser Beydoun:

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/11/459392683/michigans-arab-americans-respond-to-donald-trumps-anti-muslim-rhetoric

And finally, from Prof. Amardeep Singh, who I will quote from so liberally that it would probably just be easier to read his whole piece:

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/03/the_new_wave_of_islamophobia_being_sikh_or_muslim_in_the_age_of_donald_trump/

And the difference between a decade ago:

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/03/the_new_wave_of_islamophobia_being_sikh_or_muslim_in_the_age_of_donald_trump/

And today:

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/03/the_new_wave_of_islamophobia_being_sikh_or_muslim_in_the_age_of_donald_trump/

So unfortunately, this extreme lack of respect or outright hostility towards people of the Muslim faith makes you a bad person, Donald Trump. A bad person who probably shouldn’t be president, let alone a major political party’s nominee.

A Long, Drawn Out Conclusion From Yet Another White Man

So where to even go from here? I could write another section on Trump’s creepy comments about strong, vocal women. Or about how he’s said and done some things that have hurt him with the African-American community. But I feel like I’m starting to repeat myself.

Three things in conclusion then. Mostly for the white folks in the audience. You’ve made it this far, you might as well stick through til the end.

One, if you still don’t see that Donald Trump has said or done some really racist things, I don’t know what to say. I guess look deeper. Look at how this country was built on the eradication of its native population and the subjugation of the African slave, for our economic and social benefit, whether our families have been here for 200 years or for 20.

Until we examine how we currently benefit from so many of the nasty and abominable historical policies of the United States, we’re likely to keep on repeating them in new ways with no regard for the consequences. White supremacy isn’t just putting on a pointy white hat and saying the n-word. It’s the sum total of all the racist mechanisms that have propelled and preserved the white population at the pinnacle of political power at the expense of brown and black lives (both citizens and non-citizens alike).

And unlearning that kind of racism is a life long struggle. It doesn’t end til the system of privileges and benefits we’ve set up for ourselves is overturned. As one of my favorite writers on the intersection of race and culture, Gene Demby, put it:

We’ve gotten to the point in our racial discourse where indisputably racist shit can no longer be called racist because it may offend or have other negative repercussions for some person in a position of privilege. You won’t hear any of Stephanie Grace’s army of defenders — many of whom, of course, share her privilege and are invested in perpetuating it — calling out actual racism. They will, however, stomp and moan if someone suggests that they might have done something racist or that they’re apologizing for racism.
This also isn’t how it works. Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. It’s probably hard to start that process if you’ve been told that every thought you have is golden and should be given voice, and that people who are offended by what you say are hypersensitive, irrational simpletons.

(Emphasis mine.)

So maybe that’s the first step. Admitting that you’re racist.

Hi, I’m Jonny and I’m racist. I don’t intentionally mean to be. But I benefit from white supremacy. My wins were not by merit alone. I needed to unlearn that. I am still unlearning that. Still making mistakes. Still trying to expose myself to as many different points of view as possible so that I don’t keep making those same mistakes in totally new, totally racist ways.

Secondly, the fact that Donald Trump is not there yet is exactly why you shouldn’t trust Donald Trump. Because he’s not mature enough to pinpoint how his own privilege blinds him.

Remember that Trump quote from the very top?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

That’s Donald Trump’s blind spot in a nutshell. He’s too proud to recognize how his ultra-privileged and hateful speech hurts Americans that don’t look like him or talk like him. There’s no room for learning from his mistakes. No room for eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. His default position is not-racist. So in his eyes, nothing he says can be racist.

And thirdly, Donald Trump wears his privilege like a badge of honor. He wears it so well that he can appear victim-like to his supporters any time someone dares to question him. Jelani Cobb published the following as I was writing this today:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-chicago-and-the-lessons-of-1968?intcid=mod-latest

Trump speaks from power and privilege by demeaning, discrediting, and demonizing anyone who’s not a white, able-bodied American. He does it by calling on the fear of the “outsider.” The fear of the “other.” The fear of what will happen to America if “they” take over. And he does it because we let him do it. We let him do it because he plays on our fears. He is the literal dictionary definition of a demagogue.

And we can’t let him get away with dividing us by fear, dividing us by our privilege, dividing us by pure unadulterated hate any longer. Donald Trump loves to hate. Maybe because he has hate in his heart. Maybe because hate is just a vehicle that gets him where he wants to go. But he does love it. And he’ll love it all the way to White House if we let him.

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