Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the name Katie Hopkins, even if you’re British. Some years ago she enjoyed a minor celebrity with a lowlife following as a sort of English Ann Coulter, until committing professional suicide when she wrote an article about four years ago that would give Hitler pause called, “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop immigrants.” So if you know Ann Coulter then you know Katie. Weaponizing hatred and bigotry and other “family values” for profit is their all-too-familiar game.
So it should come as no surprise to you that the Thing in the White House retweeted this Katie Hopkins tweet: “20 hours in Stab-City UPDATE 2 stabbed to death 1 shot dead Three stabbed – but not dead. Wandsworth & Tower Hamlets This is Khan’s Londonistan.” Trump then added his own words: “LONDON needs a new mayor ASAP. Khan is a disaster – will only get worse!”
Now, I do not blame the Thing in the White House for handgun murders committed in America, nor should he be. I blame him for his support of the NRA and his support of the Republican traitors in Congress, who have been bought and paid for by the NRA, which in turn has led to the absurdly slanted gun laws which in turn has led to the staggering number of American gun deaths in America each year. So the Thing’s attack on Sadiq Khan, who is working closely with the Metropolitan Police in London to curtail the recent shocking rise in knife crime, is a loathsome hypocrisy. It’s also intentionally racist, as a dog whistle to his ignorant base.
Katie Hopkins referring to “Khan’s Londonistan” is her way of highlighting Sadiq Khan’s Muslim faith and Indian heritage. Khan was born in London to parents also born in London, but since he isn’t white and he isn’t Christian, Hopkins uses these irrelevancies to suggest that the knife crimes would not have happened had he not been brown and Muslim. The Thing is perfectly okay with that, of course.
Sadiq Khan has refused to answer the Thing’s tweet. He’s too busy doing his job and refused, as he put it, to “waste his time.” But his Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, took time out to defend his young and brilliant colleague, saying it was “absolutely awful to see [Trump] using the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the mayor.”
But then, the Thing recently used the 75th anniversary of the heroic allied landing at Normandy to attack Nancy Pelosi and Robert Mueller, so why shouldn’t a couple of measly knife murders also be about him? After all, America’s upcoming Fourth of July celebration is likewise going to be all about the Thing in the White House, if he has his way. I’m hoping a lot of people show up that day with placards and a full-throated affirmation of just how hated the Thing truly is.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.