In a round of caustic commentary, signally how deep his contempt runs for people of color entering the United States, President Trump referred to those entering the U.S. at the Mexican border as “animals.” Trump’s remarks were made on April 5 in the Cabinet Room at the White House.
During a set of comments with reporters present, President Trump said, “We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”
Soon conservative press would be seen following the White House communications lead attempting to spin the notion that Trump was referring to gang members in MS-13.
“Hitler called Jews ‘animals.’ Here Trump calls many Hispanics ‘animals.’ This is not the language of America. This is the language of Nazis, of autocrats who dehumanize others. This is antithetical to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Every American should denounce such language,” wrote Steven Greenhouse, former labor reporter for the New York Times wrote on Twitter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke to justify Trump’s comments, saying he was referring to MS-13, not Mexican immigrants entering the U.S. She then launched into a double down of Trump’s language that many political observers have witnessed before.
“It took an animal to stab a man a hundred times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman — they were sex trafficking — with a bat 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug and rape a 14-year-old Houston girl,” Sanders said when asked about Trump’s comments.
During a press conference from May of 2018, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defends similar comments made by the president.
Trump’s words are all too familiar as he and his administration continue to focus on what they have defined as an “emergency” at the southern border. On June 15, 2015, as he announced he would run for President in New York, Trump said something similar to the caustic language his press secretary attempted to deflect from.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said.
The most diverse field of candidates to run for President in U.S. history has taken on Trump’s words and policies. As the march to the 2020 elections moves forward, Trump’s rhetoric is all but certain to become a larger issue.
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and writer for NNPA as well as a political analyst and strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on Twitter @LVBurke.