In the midst of a week in which most of mainstream America is railing against Donald Trump over the racist stances he’s taken in the wake of the Charlottesville attack, he decided today to double down even further on his racist positions. That included an inappropriate response to today’s attack in Barcelona, and – incredibly – the promoting of a made-up story involving an American General, Muslims, and pig’s blood.
Trump started the day on Twitter by doubling down on his existing racist positions about the Civil War: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!” (link). So apparently he finds something beautiful about monuments to people who took up arms against the United States in the name of keeping slavery intact. But it got worse from there.
Almost immediately after vehicles were rammed into a crowd in Barcelona today, Trump tweeted this message: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!” (link). So even as he spent days trying to avoid acknowledging that the Charlottesville incident was a terrorist attack because it was committed by his own white supremacist supporters, he’s instantly labeling a similar incident in Barcelona a “terror attack” because he’s assuming it was committed by Muslims.
Then, just to up the ante, Trump tweeted “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” (link). He was referring to a long disproven claim that Pershing buried Muslim criminals with pig’s blood. But as Time Magazine (link) and others have previously pointed out, this never happened. And so Trump is falsely accusing a U.S. General of something he never did, while also advocating an absurd and racist form of punishment. This might be Trump’s most racist day yet – and it’s still only mid afternoon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report