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Weissman writes: "Selling himself and his personal smarts, Trump wants to 'make America scared again.' He wants to feed and fuel the anti-Muslim bigotry of so many of his followers, especially among white supremacists."

Bill de Blasio and Donald Trump. (photo: AP)
Bill de Blasio and Donald Trump. (photo: AP)

How Donald Trump Would Save Us from "Radical Islam"

By Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News

25 September 16


ur way of life is under threat by radical Islam and Hillary Clinton cannot even bring herself to say the words,” Donald Trump tweeted back in July. Trump says the words all the time. Just look at how he responded after the pressure-cooker bomb went off in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and other explosive devices were discovered few blocks away and in New Jersey on Saturday morning September 17.

While New York City mayor Bill de Blasio carefully called the explosion “an intentional act“ of criminal violence before police and FBI had determined whether or not it was an act of political terrorism, Trump took enormous credit for calling it a bomb from the start. “We better get very tough, folks,” he told a rally in Colorado on Saturday. “We better get very, very tough. We’ll find out. It’s a terrible thing that’s going on in our world, in our country, and we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant.”

No one knew exactly what had happened, Trump admitted to the crowd. But he clearly wanted his followers to believe that it was another terrorist attack by a radical Muslim, which the police and FBI now believe it was. In no time, they identified a 28-year-old Afghan-born, naturalized American named Ahmad Khan Rahami over the weekend, arrested him after a shoot-out on Monday, and are now investigating whether or not he had accomplices and any ongoing links to the Taliban or other terrorist groups in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Trump similarly pumped himself up after suicide bombings killed 32 people and wounded over 300 in Belgium in March. “I have proven to be far more correct about terrorism than anybody – and it’s not even close,” he tweeted. Ditto after Omar Mateen went to a largely gay nightclub in Orlando in June and perpetrated a deadly mass shooting. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump tweeted. “I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

Selling himself and his personal smarts, Trump wants to “make America scared again.” He wants to feed and fuel the anti-Muslim bigotry of so many of his followers, especially among white supremacists, theocons who want America to be a Christian nation, and disgruntled white workers looking for a scapegoat to blame for the loss of so many good-paying factory jobs. Hitler and his Nazis blamed Jews, Trump and his nasties blame Muslims.

Am I making too big a stretch? Just consider the all-too-revealing tweet by his son Donald Trump Jr.: “If I had a bowl of skittles [fruit-flavored candies] and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Young Donald took his simplistic metaphor directly from a children’s book by Julius Streicher, publisher of the hate-filled Der Stürmer, which ranted against Jews, Catholics, Communists, and Capitalists. “Just as a single poisonous mushroom can kill a whole family,” Streicher wrote in his fable, “so a solitary Jew can destroy a whole village, a whole city, even an entire Volk [nation].”

Replace Streicher’s solitary Jew with young Trump’s Syrian refugees or any Muslim in America, whatever his or her ethnic or racial roots. Does that give you a sense of the general direction in which Daddy Trump is taking our country? Would you prefer to wait for a return to waterboarding or worse, which Trump has urged? Or putting Muslim suspects into indefinite military custody as “enemy combatants,” which Senator Lindsey Graham advocates? Or detention camps, mass deportations, and even a new Holocaust?

Long before most of that, Trump’s hate-filled fantasies will jeopardize your safety and mine – and, far more, the safety and wellbeing of our Muslim friends and neighbors.

“Our local police – they know who a lot of these people are. They are afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of profiling,” he told Fox News.

“You know, in Israel they profile. They’ve done an unbelievable job, as good as you can do,” he went on. “They see somebody that’s suspicious, they will profile. They will take that person and they’ll check [him] out. Do we have a choice? Look what’s going on. Do we really have a choice? We’re trying to be so politically correct in our country. And this is only going to get worse.”

Trump has also called for more stop-and-frisk policing in American cities, just at a time when police are killing blacks in a spate of truly scary shootings. White Americans do not yet live in a police state. Black Americans do, and Trump would only make it worse.

“He does not understand how policing works,” said New York mayor Bill de Blasio, who fought to get rid of both profiling and stop-and-frisk. What Trump proposes, said de Blasio, “will simply alienate the very people who we need to be partners in the fight against crime.”

De Blasio’s comments are not simply progressive rhetoric or political correctness. In the prompt identification and arrest of accused bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, the joint police and FBI task force interviewed a group they found driving his car. The group included some of his relatives, who cooperated with the police and appeared to have provided information that helped lead to Rahami’s capture.

“They all seemed to be really nice people,” a senior law enforcement official said.

De Blasio is trying to create this much-needed communication between police and public in New York City. Donald Trump would destroy much of that, making us all a great deal less safe.

“Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about communities of color,” said de Blasio, who has a mixed-race family. “Stop and frisk affected Latinos just as much as African-Americans. He has no clue that it wasn’t an effective strategy.”

Trump’s demonization of Muslims could become a major horror show, especially since right-wing leaders in Europe are pushing in the same direction. But even in the short term, his know-nothing approach to policing could endanger us all.

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he is researching a new book, Big Money and the Corporate State: How Global Banks, Corporations, and Speculators Rule and How to Nonviolently Break Their Hold.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
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