Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Can one "terrorist" act "Trump" hundreds of acts of hate? Probably

The recent attack by an Ohio State University student and Somali immigrant, which ended in his death and the wounding of 11 persons, is exactly the kind of “gotcha” incident that Donald Trump and his supporters will point to in order to justify his anti-Muslim rhetoric.  It is still to be determined if Abdul Razak Ali Artan’s actions were a “terrorist” act, but on his Facebook page he did air numerous grievances, such as America “interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah," a term for Muslim people at large…By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims. You will not celebrate or enjoy any holiday” and "I wanted to pray in the open, but I was scared with everything going on in the media. I'm a Muslim, it's not what the media portrays me to be. If people look at me, a Muslim praying, I don't know what they're going to think, what's going to happen.” 

Artan also expressed reaching the “boiling point” over human rights abuses against Muslims in Myanmar. This is clearly a person who felt “out-of-place” in America, and for the 45,000 Somalis who make their home in Columbus—the second largest Somali community—there seems to be general air of suspicion that has existed for years from the “natives.” One suspects that he imagined he saw “hate” in the eyes of everyone outside his community, and committed the act as a way to exact “vengeance” for the “slights” he perceived he was subjected to. Trump, of course, tweeted that
"ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country." Artan was a refugee fleeing a violence-ridden country like most of the Somali community; given that this community wants to be accepted in this country, to say that Artan should not have been in this country is tantamount to saying that none of them should be in this country. Why doesn't Trump just say what he really means?

A Somali community leader named Omar Hassan admitted that the “timing” of the attack was “not good,” Such incidents only inspire, for example, the actions seen on a video of one of those 53 percent of white women who admitted to voting for Donald Trump, unloading some racist vitriol on black employees in a Chicago arts and crafts store. She is one of those “attractive” types who one wonders what her “beef” is all about.  Maybe someone was “rude” to her, and maybe provoked by her “frustration” with the service.  Maybe she was angry that blacks were employed in the store and she wasn’t being treated properly as one of the “privileged” and “entitled” in this society; maybe because she actually feels this is “true” because she is white is what the “problem” was. Maybe she was deliberately seeking a “reason” to go off on her verbal rampage. Racists who can’t face the fact of their racism tend to seek out “incidents” to “justify” it, although they usually wind-up proving that they are what we think they are. We’re still waiting for Trump’s “tweet” on this incident, although I’m sure he will “excuse” it by saying this person is just another “passionate” supporter.

This woman is exactly the type of person we all knew were the “core” of Trump’s support. She is precisely the kind of “consumer” of Trump’s endless parade of race-infested misinformation that propelled him into office. Hispanics in particular are the targets of this misinformation; for example, claims that Mexico is only “sending” their “worst” are greatly exaggerated but widely believed. But it doesn’t matter if the claims are true or not; white people just don’t like the way they “look.”

For every alleged “terrorist” attack (one) since Trump’s election, there have been 867 hate crimes, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the largest part—one-third—have targeted immigrants, mainly those of Hispanic origin: “Deportation threats have often been made during vitriolic face-to-face encounters. In Silver Spring, Maryland, a female shopper berated a Latino worker for not working fast enough. She demanded to know where he was from, and, despite the fact that he was born in the United States, she repeatedly yelled ‘This is my country,’ while derisively referring to him as ‘El Salvador,” and “In Redding, California, students brought ‘deportation letters’ to school for their Latino classmates.” In North Carolina, one Hispanic grade schooler told his mother that “almost every kid in school was telling me that I was going to be deported to Mexico. And I told them no, I was born a U.S. citizen. But they said, ‘Yes you are, ’cause you are Mexican — just look at your skin color.’”

Even those one would expect to be “sympathetic” have felt no need to hide their true feelings: “Even teachers, those charged with caring for and shaping our young people, have reportedly expressed anti-immigrant sentiments to their students. In Los Angeles, a teacher was recorded telling her student that her parents would be deported. She said, ‘I have your phone numbers, your address, your mama’s address, your daddy’s address; it’s all in the system, sweetie.’”

Other immigrant groups have also been targeted:  “In Wesley Chapel, Florida, a teacher scolded the behavior of black students by saying, ‘Don’t make me call Donald Trump to get you sent back to Africa.’ In Indiana, a 7th grader demanded to know whether a classmate adopted from China was in fact Mexican, because, if so, ‘Trump is going to kill you.’ A middle-school student in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, had her hijab forcefully removed, causing her to fall. A 13-year-old adopted from Mozambique was told by her classmates in California, ‘Now that Trump won, you’re going to have to go back to Africa — where you belong.’”

Here in this so-called “blue” and “progressive” state of Washington, the SPL Center counts 48 hate crime incidents since the election, which doesn’t seem to have been noticed by the local media; what makes this “fascinating” is that according to Center’s tally, only three other states have had more. But this is less “important” to Trump supporters than one incident perpetrated by someone who is not a “real” American. The website MassShootingTracker counts 450 incidents in 2016 that involved the killing and/or wounding of at least four persons, yet like crimes committed by Hispanics, it seems that who committed the crime is more important than the crime itself—especially when committed by whites who just “excuse” such acts by one of their own as that of a lone, crazed individual, not a stereotyped generalization of an entire group.

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