Monday, April 30, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He refused to apologize for basing his policies on the "great hatred" that Americans supposedly have against Muslims.

Trump held a joint press appearance today with Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria (who diplomatically omitted comment on Trump calling his country a "shithole"). A reporter asked Trump about the pending Supreme Court case on his Muslim-targeted travel ban. Lawyers for the opposing side are arguing (among other things) that the ban was illegal because of Trump's explicitly discriminatory reasons for enacting it. But, those lawyers conceded, if Trump were to publicly disavow those views, the ban might be more legally sound. 

Trump has rarely if ever apologized for anything. The closest he came was when he gritted his teeth through a video message that included the word "apologize" after the Access Hollywood tape came out, although he later floated the idea that the whole thing was a hoax

Trump responded to the reporter's question by saying that there was "no reason to apologize."

There would be a lot to apologize for, even counting only those Islamophobic remarks directly related to a policy position. In December 2015, candidate Trump put out a statement saying that "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." 

In March of 2016, he said, "I think Islam hates us," and that its followers "have this hatred of the United States and of people that are not Muslim." He said it was difficult to separate out Muslim terrorists from law-abiding Muslims "because you don't know who's who."

While signing the first of his travel bans as President, a week after his inauguration, he recited the title of the order ("Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States") and remarked, "We all know what that means.” He then added that he was "establishing a new vetting measure to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America."

President Buhari, a Muslim, did not comment on this response either.

So what?

  • Discrimination based on religion is bad and unlawful.
  • Essentially, what Trump is saying is that anti-Muslim statements are more important to him than the policy he says is essential to preventing terrorism.