Yesterday (November 29), President Donald Trump incited racism on Twitter once again when he shared three anti-Muslim videos from Britain First, a far-right racist fringe group that believes White Christians are under threat from Muslims, according to The New York Times.
The videos purport to show Muslims committing violent acts, but one of the videos falsely depicts reality—officials confirmed that “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches” is an altercation between two Dutch boys—and the other two provide zero context.
Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First who posted the videos, thanked the president for bringing attention to her organization’s racist platform. “As the leader of the Free World, you took the time out to retweet three of my videos on Twitter today,” Fransen said in a video posted on her Twitter feed. “You’ve shed light on my plight here in Britain, in that I am facing prison for giving a speech in which I criticize Islam.”
Last year, Fransen was found guilty of a hate crime for yelling abusive remarks at a woman wearing hijab. And The Washington Post reports that she also faces charges of “religious harassment” for igniting a social media campaign against Muslim men who were convicted in a rape case.
The White House defended the president and downplayed the anti-Muslim content and spread of false information yesterday. “I think his goal is to promote strong borders and strong national security,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.
But many advocates and congressional leaders decried the president’s tweets, which were celebrated by former KKK leader David Duke. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who is a Muslim member of Congress and the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, condemned Trump’s actions in a statement to The Guardian:
The president is racist. There’s no doubt about that in my mind.
This is Trump. He is a politician who is cynically trying to divide people along racial and religious lines.
Somehow people who call him out on his racism have to worry about defending themselves against [people saying], ‘How dare you call the president a racist?’
On Twitter, people of color pointed out how Trump’s tweets embolden bigotry in the U.S. Many cited the anti-Muslim policies Trump has already set in place, and the high number of hate crimes committed against Muslim communities this year:
.@realDonaldTrump Have you no sense of decency, Sir?
Do you know how many anti-Muslims incidents in the US we recorded at #CAIR this year alone? 3,296.
And we haven’t heard a peep from you. Some president. https://t.co/snB3Fyjdkb
— Nihad Awad نهاد عوض (@NihadAwad) November 29, 2017
SAALT condemns the President’s irresponsible, unconscionable, and un-American tweets this morning. These Islamophobic tweets will only serve to incite violence against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim in the US. Read SAALT’s full statement here: https://t.co/EMN5mUM696 pic.twitter.com/wYlHYfi9gB
— SAALT (@SAALTweets) November 29, 2017
In 2016, a white terrorist named Thomas Mair shouted “Britain First” before stabbing British MP, Jo Cox to death. In 2017, the POTUS is RT‘ing #FakeNews videos from the same Britain First terrorist group. pic.twitter.com/bzkHiU9JBr
— Free Black Man (@Delo_Taylor) November 29, 2017
— Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) November 30, 2017
Donald Trump sharing Britain First videos… Sounds about racist.
— Munroe Bergdorf (@MunroeBergdorf) November 29, 2017
As a Black Muslim woman living in this country, I don’t have the luxury of *ignoring* his communications because he puts me in more danger. I have to remain vigilant.
— #LeaveMeAlone (@prisonculture) November 29, 2017
Trump amplifying the hate of an ardent islamophobe should surprise no one, and affirm him for who he is: the Islamophobe-in-Chief.
— Khaled Beydoun (@KhaledBeydoun) November 29, 2017
When discussing the anti-Muslim tweets by Trump this morning, the common question is, “How does this impact our relationship with Muslim countries.”
— Abed A. Ayoub (@aayoub) November 29, 2017
this unrelenting campaign to dehumanise muslims is getting eerily familiar. We’re just forced to watch as the “leader of the free world” chooses to use his power to demonise us to his rabid audience. It’s not even subtle anymore. They know they can get away with it.
— Amna (@AGlasgowGirl) November 29, 2017