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Abdul-Jabbar writes: "Trump's latest enemy du jour are Muslims. He's the schoolyard bully rallying classmates to make fun of the skinny kid with glasses."

Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Donald Trump. (photo: AP)


What Donald Trump and ISIS Have in Common

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, TIME

10 December 15

 

The 2016 candidate has more in common with the terrorist group than he does with America

he terrorist campaign against American ideals is winning. Fear is rampant. Gun sales are soaring. Hate crimes are increasing. Bearded hipsters are being mistaken for Muslims. And 83 percent of voters believe a large-scale terrorist attack is likely here in the near future. Some Americans are now so afraid that they are willing to trade in the sacred beliefs that define America for some vague promises of security from the very people who are spreading the terror. “Go ahead and burn the Constitution — just don’t hurt me at the mall.” That’s how effective this terrorism is.

I’m not talking about ISIS. I’m talking about Donald Trump.

This is not hyperbole. Not a metaphor. Webster defines terrorism as “the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal; the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.”

If violence can be an abstraction — and it can; that’s what a threat is — the Trump campaign meets this definition. Thus, Trump is ISIS’s greatest triumph: the perfect Manchurian Candidate who, instead of offering specific and realistic policies, preys on the fears of the public, doing ISIS’s job for them. Even fellow Republican Jeb Bush acknowledged Trump’s goal is “to manipulate people’s angst and fears.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, however, defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Now, we don’t require by law that our candidates tell the truth. They can retweet (as Trump did) racist “statistics” from a white supremacist fictional organization that claimed 81% of murdered whites are victims of blacks, when the truth is 84% of whites are murdered by whites. They can claim (as Trump did) to have seen on TV thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering on 9/11, even though there is no evidence of this. They can say (as Trump did) Syrian refugees are “pouring” into the country when only 2,000 have come (out of 4.3 million U.N.-registered refugees). Then, when caught lying (as Trump has been over and over), they can do what every belligerent child does: deny, deny, deny.

While Trump is not slaughtering innocent people, he is exploiting such acts of violence to create terror here to coerce support. As I have written before, his acts could be interpreted as hate crimes. He sounds the shrill alarm of impending doomsday even though since 9/11, about 30 Americans a year have been killed in terrorist attacks worldwide — as The Atlantic pointed out, “roughly the same number as are crushed to death each year by collapsing furniture.” Trump’s irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric and deliberate propagation of misinformation have created a frightened and hostile atmosphere that could embolden people to violence. He’s the swaggering guy in old Westerns buying drinks for everyone in the saloon while whipping them up for a lynching.

About 30,000 foreign fighters have gone into Syria to join ISIS, thousands of them from Europe and at least 250 from the United States. What most of us in these bountiful countries can’t understand is how our young, raised with such opportunity, choose to abandon our values to embrace a culture of pitiless violence. Before going, many of these recruits spend much of their time on social media being brainwashed by propaganda videos. One 23-year-old woman, a devout Christian and Sunday school teacher, was recruited via Skype. The recruiter spent hours with the lonely woman teaching her the rituals of Islam. Maybe that’s because, according to some psychologists, the brain’s default setting is simply to believe because it takes extra work to analyze information.

The same process works for Trump’s supporters. They are impervious to facts or truth because their (understandable) frustration and anger at partisan greed and incompetence have fatigued them out of critical thinking. Like deranged newscaster Howard Beale in Network, they are mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore. To express their outrage, they have rallied around a so-called “outsider” with no political experience, no detailed policies, and whacky ideas that subvert the very Constitution that he would be required to swear to uphold. Electing him would be like asking the clown at a child’s birthday party to start juggling chainsaws.

But understanding and even having sympathy for his followers’ feelings of political impotence doesn’t excuse their dangerous behavior. There is never an excuse for people blindly following a leader who consistently lies to them, who exaggerates threats and who proposes remedies that are unconstitutional. It’s shameful enough that Trump’s solutions run contrary to American values, but it’s more shameful that his followers refuse to acknowledge it. Such brainwashed behavior is demeaning to them and harmful to the country. Perhaps that’s why Trump enjoys the endorsement of several white supremacist groups, one of which proclaimed on their website: “Heil Donald Trump—The Ultimate Savior” and called for him to “Make America White Again!” Don’t worry — he’s trying his hardest.

Trump’s latest enemy du jour are Muslims. He’s the schoolyard bully rallying classmates to make fun of the skinny kid with glasses. When President Obama said that “Muslim-Americans are our friends and our neighbors; our co-workers, our sports heroes,” Trump quickly tweeted: “What sport is he talking about, and who?” The press immediately provided him with a list, as well as photos of Trump with prominent Muslim-American sports figures, including Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and, yes, me. What makes his statement even more insidious is the suggestion that, even if there were no Muslim sports heroes, Muslims would somehow be lesser people, less worthy. This cruel and dim-witted thinking is not the stuff presidents are made of.

Trump’s claims that he might support registering Muslims as well as call for a ban of Muslims from entering the United States — even U.S. citizens abroad — have elevated him to the level of a James Bond super-villain. And like those villains, he is doomed to failure. Even former Vice-President Dick Cheney condemned Trump: his proposals go “against everything we stand for and believe.”

There’s absolutely no evidence that his unconstitutional ideas would help in any way—quite the opposite. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson criticized Trump’s proposal as “irresponsible, probably illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to international law, un-American, and will actually hurt our efforts at homeland security.”

One of my favorite poems is “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats, in which he describes, in a chillingly obtuse and mystical way, a second coming — not of Christ, but of something much darker and sinister:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,/Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

When I read the description of the beast, it’s “gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,” I can’t help but think of Trump and his cynical strategy of using misinformation, half-truths and deception in order to gain access to a position that should only be held by those who would be repulsed by that strategy.

Indeed, what rough beast slouches toward Washington to be born?

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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-158 # r.anker@sbcglobal.net 2015-12-10 23:29
Jabbar has floated along on the publicity he garnered as a
baskerball shyscraper. Why he thinks he has the grey matter
to prescribe behaviour for more talented folk is hilarious. He should take his sour disposition off to a desert island so we don't have to be bothered by his sour accusations. He's the beneficiary of so much largesse but his lack of gratitude for what he was gifted takes him from the winners column to the sore loser list. Why not bless us with a sealed lip??!!
 
 
+97 # gdsharpe 2015-12-10 23:45
Well, one thing we know: He is a lot more intelligent and articulate than you!
 
 
+59 # Cwhwright 2015-12-11 00:01
I had to read your comment twice, shocked to see something like this written by an RSN subscriber.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2015-12-12 13:32
Please Cwhwright...The re are a lot of right wingnuts and bored college trolls that use this sight to spew their vomit.
 
 
+58 # arquebus 2015-12-11 00:12
The only talent Trump has is to generate hate. If, God forbid, he should actually get elected President, he will turn the US into a third world country if he doesn't manage to get us into WWIII.
 
 
+11 # overanddone 2015-12-11 04:57
Sounds like you might know, is it true Trump used to be a Man?
 
 
+25 # ronjazz 2015-12-11 07:43
Quoting r.anker@sbcglobal.net:
Jabbar has floated along on the publicity he garnered as a
baskerball shyscraper. Why he thinks he has the grey matter
to prescribe behaviour for more talented folk is hilarious. He should take his sour disposition off to a desert island so we don't have to be bothered by his sour accusations. He's the beneficiary of so much largesse but his lack of gratitude for what he was gifted takes him from the winners column to the sore loser list. Why not bless us with a sealed lip??!!


You belong on the desert island, anker, along with the rest of the scumsucking GOP terrorists trying to steal the White House from real Americans.
 
 
-45 # Surflar 2015-12-11 10:28
Seriously Kareem what a crock of shit like your pres. Obummer isn't the most corrupt person ever to hold office. Trump actually cares about americans and hopefully he will repeal the patriot act as Bummer promised.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2015-12-11 15:52
Quoting Surflar:
Seriously Kareem what a crock of shit like your pres. Obummer isn't the most corrupt person ever to hold office. Trump actually cares about americans and hopefully he will repeal the patriot act as Bummer promised.


See my post below in response to y'r Bro' "r.anker@sbcgloba.net" in raggedy-ared tastelessness, ill-concealed racism and sour mash gone sourer.
You might consider joining him on that desert island so you can grouch at each other and fight over the bananas and fish.
 
 
+3 # bmiluski 2015-12-12 13:34
Surflar...put down your day-old pizza and go read some American history.
 
 
+21 # tomr 2015-12-11 11:29
Kareem is an educated and intelligent man. I know a lot of athletes (of every skin tone) just coast through college and don't learn much, but Kareem didn't do this. For some insight into the workings of his mind, read his book, "Kareem". It's pretty good.
 
 
+10 # reiverpacific 2015-12-11 15:47
Quoting r.anker@sbcglobal.net:
Jabbar has floated along on the publicity he garnered as a
baskerball shyscraper. Why he thinks he has the grey matter
to prescribe behaviour for more talented folk is hilarious. He should take his sour disposition off to a desert island so we don't have to be bothered by his sour accusations. He's the beneficiary of so much largesse but his lack of gratitude for what he was gifted takes him from the winners column to the sore loser list. Why not bless us with a sealed lip??!!


By the Lord Harry, if that sour-puss, sour-grapes bit o' howling' hypocrisy doesn't hurl YOU into the bottomless pit o' "sour losers", I dunno what does Bubba.
I suppose you felt the same about Mohammed Ali when he refused to go to Vietnam.
I don't even like basketball but Mr Jabbar's heart and words are in the right place and he's in a good position to tell it like he sees it so his fans and others can catch a bit of progressive opinion.
BTW, he's many times expressed gratitude for what he was "given" (no matter how naturally gifted, he STILL had to earn his chops) and has his own causes to which he's extremely generous.
As for sour disposition, I've always found his articles quite uplifting and delivered with optimism and a benign sense of hope.
It's you who belong on a desert island before what grey, pus-like matter left to you leaks out. They say bananas and fish are good for the brain; -eat well in Yap or whatever atoll you end up in.
 
 
-111 # r.anker@sbcglobal.net 2015-12-10 23:32
And he has the effrontery to quote that delicious line from The Second Coming!!! As if he understood it!!!!! Jeez!!!
 
 
+36 # gdsharpe 2015-12-10 23:55
Really?
Do *you* understand it?
Please demonstrate that understanding.. .
 
 
+43 # Cwhwright 2015-12-11 00:03
I think Abdul-Jabbar picked a perfect quote to describe the present mentality of this country. Even comments like yours reinforces how spot on he is. The falcon cannot hear the falconer.
 
 
+31 # Hermit 9 2015-12-11 02:44
You seem to know nothing . . at least Kareem has a degree in English Literature from UCLA - with honors, BTW. Tell us something about your academic background. You got a PhD in b.s?
 
 
+36 # michigan002 2015-12-11 08:37
I DO have a doctorate in literature from the University of Michigan and Abdul-Jabbar understands the line perfectly. The fellow criticizing him needs to get an education, however. He's an illustration of Adbul-Jabbar's description of a Trump supporter.
 
 
+18 # ronjazz 2015-12-11 07:44
Quoting r.anker@sbcglobal.net:
And he has the effrontery to quote that delicious line from The Second Coming!!! As if he understood it!!!!! Jeez!!!


Actually, loser, he understands it much better than you, and there isn't a single word in his article that isn't 100% true.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2015-12-13 13:30
"When I read the description of the beast, it’s “gaze blank and pitiless as the sun..."
--------------------
r.anker....is that the passage you are referring to? Because I have seen this "beast" whenever I have been to or passed a religious gathering. And it is bone-chilling to see those empty eyes.
And, after reading your posts, I believe you to be one of those empty-eyed beasts.
 
 
+30 # gdsharpe 2015-12-10 23:40
Quote:
Even former Vice-President Dick Cheney condemned Trump: his proposals go “against everything we stand for and believe.”
Strange, coming from Cheney. Torture goes against everything we stand for and believe, as does attacking a sovereign country for no justifiable reason. Yet Cheney supported both; he was likely the instigator of the invasion of Iraq.
 
 
+4 # EternalTruth 2015-12-12 05:22
The point is that even other super villains, like Dick Cheney, think that trump is a danger to the country.
 
 
+2 # bmiluski 2015-12-12 13:38
No...EternalTru th... Cheney believes that Trump is a danger to the republican party. The party that allows him to be the parasite he is.
 
 
+17 # janie1893 2015-12-11 01:21
NO TRUMP! NO TRUMP! NO TRUMP! NO TRUMP!
 
 
-33 # babaregi 2015-12-11 02:02
The Wake up Call Video.

I think Trump's ideas on illegal immigration and prudent caution about bringing in Muslims warrant due consideration.

But his personal feelings about Blacks are up to question, IMO, despite his claims otherwise.

Here is some red meat for you guys (looks suspiciously like he ignores a Black supporter):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpvvcF7EBwc
 
 
+7 # ronjazz 2015-12-11 07:46
Quoting babaregi:
The Wake up Call Video.

I think Trump's ideas on illegal immigration and prudent caution about bringing in Muslims warrant due consideration.

But his personal feelings about Blacks are up to question, IMO, despite his claims otherwise.



Here is some red meat for you guys (looks suspiciously like he ignores a Black supporter):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpvvcF7EBwc


You've never had a thought that wasn't stillborn.
 
 
-6 # babaregi 2015-12-11 11:55
Quoting ronjazz:
Quoting babaregi:
The Wake up Call Video.

I think Trump's ideas on illegal immigration and prudent caution about bringing in Muslims warrant due consideration.

But his personal feelings about Blacks are up to question, IMO, despite his claims otherwise.



Here is some red meat for you guys (looks suspiciously like he ignores a Black supporter):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpvvcF7EBwc


You've never had a thought that wasn't stillborn.


Gee, even when I agree with you guys...
It's like trying to negotiate with the Republicans.
 
 
+12 # AUCHMANNOCH 2015-12-11 02:14
r.anker@sbcglobal.net Do you know that you are a DICKHEAD? Do you at least suspect that you are an ignoramus? If not I hope I have helped you find some inner truth and provided some adjectives that best describe you. No need to thank me.
 
 
+29 # Hermit 9 2015-12-11 02:42
What planet is r.anker from? What rock has he been hiding under? How many books has he authored? What university did he graduate from? Because Kareem hooped it didn't prevent him from graduating (with honors) with a BA in English Literature from UCLA.

r.anker - you need to establish some credentials before you go after someone. This is not Fox News!
 
 
+8 # overanddone 2015-12-11 04:56
With Plane loads od Syrian Refugees landing in Canada when will the Trump Wall North Break Ground?
Is there any truth to the story that trump was used to be a man?
 
 
+9 # maverita 2015-12-11 05:51
trump is a real estate salesman of the sleeziest sort. they created doublespeak. on a noisy street? convenient to shopping, park view? if you stick your head out the window and look way over there, walkin closet? no doors on closet.old world flavor? bath is in kitchen

and remember -- trump wants to bang his daughter. check out trevor noah's comedic riff. still LMAO.
 
 
+20 # Juanbaltimore 2015-12-11 06:34
In the Trump phenomenon, we are witnessing the rise of a neo-fascist movement in the US. Let's go over what he has said. Mexicans are rapists and robbers. He would deport 11 million undocumented people. Then he makes fun of a disabled reporter. Then he said that Muslims should wear some kind of identification on their clothes. Afterwards, he says that no Muslims should be allowed to come into the US. He has started talking about FDR setting up internment camps for people of Japanese, German, and Italian heritage. All of us must raise our voices against this bigotry and hatred before it is too late.
 
 
+13 # maverita 2015-12-11 07:16
i agree. fascist/corpora tist/oligarch -- whatever you call him, he is a nightmare.
 
 
+6 # bubbiesue 2015-12-11 08:50
What applies to Trump is a song from the Capitol Steps, "Lie, lie, liiiiie; Lie, lie, liiiiii; Lie, lie, liiiiii; etc." The saddest part is that people believe the lies.
 
 
+7 # bbaldwin2001 2015-12-11 09:24
In the last couple of days - seeing Trump on TV he seems to be tiring out. I also read where his holdings in the countries off shore, Turkey, England, etc are suffering because of his silly- not a clue what he is saying mouth. I still say he will never be President and either will Hillary (not for the same reasons). If Trump pulls out and goes independent he will put the Republicans in the toilet for many years. Go Bernie Go !
 
 
+9 # 179bennettave 2015-12-11 09:30
I agree that Trump's supporters bear responsibility for allowing themselves to be manipulated by his rhetoric. If a fascist state is created in the US we will all be responsible. Bernie Sanders has pointed out that voters should be focusing on why the top 1% is getting richer and why the rest of us are getting poorer; why corporations like Apple can ship jobs abroad, pay workers horrible wages and still receive tax breaks; why our infrastructure is crumbling ; why workers can work full time and still live in poverty. Trump allows his followers to avoid examining these issues and displace their anger on scapegoats.
 
 
+3 # ChrisCurrie 2015-12-11 09:56
I agree with Kareem that, as President, Donald Trump would violate his Oath of Office to support the US Constitution, but President Obama has been doing likewise for years and getting away with it. His dishonestly promoted TPP/TTIP/TiSA "trade agreements" are unconstitutiona l in MANY ways, and his calling them mere "trade agreements" is HIGHLY DISHONEST, because they are in fact TREATIES that would require at least a two-thirds majority vote in the US Senate in order to be CONSTITUTIONALL Y enacted!

Then we have our Republican "Justices" on the US Supreme Court who have blatantly lied (AND violated their own Oaths of Office) when they falsely ruled that "corporations are people" and "money equals speech." There is NOTHING in the present wording of the US Constitution that can be HONESTLY be used to support such claims.

So I congratulate Kareem for at least raising the issue of the dangers inherent in allowing a President to violate his Oath of Office, but the fact is that's ALREADY HAPPENING!
 
 
+5 # bardphile 2015-12-11 11:47
"Even former Vice-President Dick Cheney condemned Trump: his proposals go '“against everything we stand for and believe.”'

Then why is Cheney a hero to so many of the Trumplings? Methinks DC is more worried about Trump running as an independent than about what "we stand for," whatever that might mean.
 
 
+1 # bmiluski 2015-12-12 13:43
I still think trump is a shill for ted cruz, making him look like a sane choice.
 
 
+4 # dbrize 2015-12-11 13:46
One does not need defend Trump or even agree with him (for the record, I don't) to discern the leap of logic in this Abdul-Jabbar critique.

Let us leave aside Trumps right to speech and simply hone in on who has actually perpetrated the most harm to Muslims.

Trump, who in his usual inarticulate bombastic style, is requesting nothing more than a temporary halt to Muslim immigration or Hillary Clinton whom has been an active participant as well as proponent of a phony GWOT which has killed, maimed and destroyed millions of Muslim lives and property?

Jabbar has a perfect right to criticize Trump and performs that right ably in this article. His reticence on what many of us would think is a more egregious affront to Muslims is also worthy of notation.
 
 
0 # Archie1954 2015-12-12 11:51
Keeping Muslims out of the US is not such a bad idea as long as the US reciprocates and keeps all Americans out of Muslim countries (including American bombs please).
 

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