Archive - Sep 2016


September 21st

Rainbow-Tasting Coalition

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Memo to Donald Trump Jr. and your ilk. I KNOW WHAT YOU CAN EAT A BAG OF.

One assumes that, by now, you've seen Donald Trump Jr.'s tweet comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles in the wake of the bombings in New York and the stabbings in St. Cloud. It's incredibly offensive and racist and stupid on a wide variety of levels, and as a result, two days later, everyone in the media has moved on to other things.

As a metaphor for risk, the Skittles thing is so far off base that the only way to think it's valid is to be super fucking racist. First, of course, there's the fact that eating candy and saving lives is not the same thing. We praise first responders for taking risks to save people's lives, we don't wonder why they'd be rushing into burning buildings when some of the candy in those buildings might be poison.

But the biggest problem with the analogy is how wrong these people are about what they're analogizing. And for that, I want to turn to the alleged sane one, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, as he defends Baby Trump's tweet. ACTUAL QUOTES TIME!

"We simply have to move past this era of political correctness and give our law enforcement community all across this country the tools that they need to be able to do everything in their power, to prevent what happened in Minnesota and in New Jersey and New York from happening on our shores."

Assuming the likely proof/convictions, the New York bomber became a naturalized citizen at the age of 7. The Minnesota stabber was the first Somali immigrant to commit an act of terrorism in the US, and was also a citizen, assuming the phrase "application for citizenship was accepted in 2008" doesn't include some weird technical caveat I'm not aware of. Oh, and also, New York and New Jersey and Minnesota are part of "these shores", fuckwit.

Neither of these men were Syrian refugees. They'd lived here for decades. If they became radicallized, they became radicalized here. The homegrown terrorists who've carried out attacks in the US in recent years come from such a variety of backgrounds that the only way to "give law enforcement the tools", or as Trump has suggested, "profile" them is by using certain overly broad categories that Trump could get away with in the primaries but is pretending to back away from in the general.

That's not "political correctness". That's it being illegal to round up, interrogate, or assume the guilt of people because of their religion, or, in the case of Trumpian idiocy, what religion you think they have because of their skin color / facial hair combination. That's what's happening here. Nothing else. The same exploitation of the fear after a terrorist attack to blame the wrong targets and/or an over-broad generalization, out of racism, the power that racism can give you, or both.

Even if the Baby Trump version of this didn't have the same deep ties to white supremacists and anti-Semites as most of the other garbage the campaign puts out on social media, it'd be more than enough reason to further confirm that, whatever your issues with Hillary Clinton, she's the lesser of two evils by at least an order of magnitude.