7 Ways Donald Trump’s Behavior After Orlando Proves He’s Never Been Worse Than He Is Now
The first time presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump headlined a New York Times article, it was for allegations of racism back in 1970. It should really come as no surprise that his rise to fame and alt-right popularity over the past year was through calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and criminals in his very first speech, and wasting no time in attacking every marginalized group in modern America, from African-Americans and the Chinese to, now more than ever, Muslim Americans. Following the tragic shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, in which 49 were killed and 53 were injured by an assault rifle, Trump’s post-Orlando behavior has quite literally reached new levels of Trump-ness, on display for you to cringe and seethe at below.
It all started with a series of compassionless, self-congratulatory tweets in response to the attack which was arguably more motivated by homophobia than anything else. Yet from these toxic social media posts, Trump’s behavior only spiraled further out of control as he gave what Slate is rightfully calling his most dangerous speech yet. Trump dubbed his speech an “anti-terrorism” speech, but rather, it was more like an anti-Islam speech.
1. He’s more smug than ever.
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness [and] vigilance. We must be smart!” Trump tweeted, thanking the public for congratulations literally no one offered him.
He proceeded to post a similar, albeit even more boastful and obnoxious, post on Facebook, inspiring us to collectively mourn how the social media platform gives users more than 140 characters to work with: “While I greatly appreciate everybody congratulating me for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congratulations, I want toughness and vigilance. We must finally be smart!”
So, there you have it. Following the deadliest mass shooting in national history, which directly targeted an already marginalized community, rather than so much as offer his condolences or consider the tragedy’s undeniable roots in lax gun control laws, he gave himself a hefty pat on the back and unnecessarily stigmatized an already wrongly maligned group: Muslims.
2. He’s dropping the phrase “radical Islam” like it’s nobody’s business.
Sticking the word “radical” in front of “Islamic,” as he did in his social media posts and countless times in his “anti-terrorism” speech, doesn’t mitigate the fact that you’re associating an entire group with the heinous actions of a few. As many have already pointed out, using the term only helps ISIS by validating its portrayals of the west as antagonistic toward Islam.
3. He’s portraying Muslims and the gay community as antagonistic toward each other.
It’s worth noting that he did acknowledge the gay community in his “anti-terrorism” speech — but only to claim he would protect them from Muslim terrorists, essentially saying Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton couldn’t be both an ally to Muslims and the LGBT community: “She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.”
4. He’s making the situation even more divisive by “othering” Muslims.
In his speech, he went on to not only aggressively advance an “us vs. them” narrative, several times calling Muslims “these people” and declaring that “the Muslim community… they have to work with us. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad.”
5. He’s unashamedly calling for a ban on Muslim immigration.
In his speech, Trump reiterated the sweeping ban on Muslim immigration he called for following the Paris terror attacks late last year. Sure, this proposal is disturbing because it’s literal discrimination that sends the message that all Muslims are associated with terrorism, but it’s even more disturbing because of its undeniable roots in 1940s Nazi fascism. Even Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who isn’t exactly an ally to refugees, went out of his way to distance the GOP from Trump’s proposal.
6. And he’s misrepresenting refugees again, too.
Trump went on to portray displaced refugees from regions where Islam is prevalent as undercover terrorists, asking, “Can you imagine what they will do in large groups?” Trump made no mention of the loss, struggle, and rigorous vetting processes refugees, who are mostly women and children, endure just to set foot in the U.S., often in minuscule numbers, only to face more intolerance.
7. He’s calling for less gun control, not more.
In the same heinous speech, Trump reiterated his previous claims that working with the NRA and arming more Americans will somehow end America’s gun violence crisis, despite statistics indicating more guns, no matter who with, mean more violence, period, altogether disproving the “good guy with a gun” theory. Naturally, this should be no surprise coming from a man who claims he wants to see gun-free zones eliminated even on school campuses, but these ideas are scarier now that he’s disturbingly close to the White House, and at a time when gun violence and mass shootings are more prevalent than ever.
At this point, the important takeaway here is that “radical Islam” accounts for very few mass shootings, and as of 2013, 90 percent of terrorist attacks in America were led by non-Muslims. The real danger lies in the fact that so many cases of gun violence involve legally purchased firearms that ordinary civilians have no business owning if their real interests are “self-defense” or “hunting.” Omar Mateen, the alleged gunman responsible for the Orlando shooting, had previously been charged with domestic violence and had even been investigated for ties to terrorism, yet was still able to legally purchase an assault rifle that enabled him to claim about 50 lives in a matter of minutes.
It doesn’t matter who you ban from entering this country as long as those already in it can so easily purchase literal mass-killing machines. Maybe guns don’t kill people — but people with easy access to guns sure as hell do. Demonizing and infringing on the legal rights of Muslims is not only going to do nothing to fix this, but it’s ultimately going to expose this demographic to more harassment and discrimination than they’re already facing. Trump has always been dangerous, but at a time of extreme fear and vulnerability, he’s arguably more dangerous now than ever.