According to a Philadelphia clergyman, Mr. Donald Trump’s language is responsible for the desecration of a North Philadelphia mosque.
Mr. Donald Trump—the Republican front-runner presidential candidate who has exceeded the expectations of many people who viewed him simply as a sideshow with no chance of making it onto the presidential debate stages, let alone topping the polls going into the New Year—has completely dominated the news cycle recently with his hateful anti-Muslim rhetoric—this week he called for a complete ban on Muslims entering America and has received cheers from his audiences – and today, following the desecration of a North Philadelphia mosque, the Mayor of Philadelphia—a Democrat unable to stay silent as Americans, inspired by “an asshole,” turn against other Americans—publicly condemned the real estate mogul, who he unabashedly compared to Mr. Adolf Hitler, the late leader of the Nazi Party.
“The combination of last night and the reporting today of the comments by the Republican presidential candidate … that toxic combination was too much to go un-responded to,” said Mr. Michael A. Nutter, who leaves office in less than three weeks.
Reverend Gregory Holston, the CEO of OIC of America, Inc., who was among the religious and political leaders at a City Hall press conference this afternoon meant to show solidarity with the city’s Muslim community, said the attack on the Philadelphia mosque “certainly was influenced” by Mr. Trump’s language.
“He started the statements that inspired others to take action against Muslims and he bears responsibility for that,” Rev. Holston, who oversees 38 OIC affiliates in 22 states, said in an exclusive interview with Techbook Online.
Whether Mr. Trump would be welcome to campaign at the OIC affiliates across the country remains unclear, but all the affiliates, the reverend said, will be speaking out against Mr. Trump.
Mr. Nutter, frustrated with the “cartoon clown” that has remained the center of attention for months, said Mr. Trump’s “message of hate” has no place in Philadelphia, should have no place in Pennsylvania and should be “rejected by the majority of god-fearing, prayerful American citizens.”
Mr. Trump’s image today graced the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News, which, too, likened the tell-it-like-it-is billionaire to Mr. Hitler.
Both Mr. Nutter and Mr. Jim Kenney, the Mayor-Elect, think it’s fair to draw a comparison between Mr. Trump and Mr. Hitler, who aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany.
“He’s taken a page from the play book of Hitler: demonize a group; blame that group for a country’s problem; and then seek to ban or eliminate that group as a solution to a problem that does not exist,” said Mr. Nutter.
A third-generation Irish immigrant, Mr. Kenney is aware of his people’s history: in the 1800s, at the height of anti-Catholic sentiment, several Catholic churches were burned.
Mr. Kenney said this sort of “ugliness and stupidity” repeats itself generation after generation and those of a sane mind—Mr. Kenney during an exclusive with Techbook Online called Mr. Trump an insane person—must fight against it.
At the root of what fuels Mr. Trump and his audiences, Mr. Kenney said, is racism, a racist attitude towards people who are different from them.
“Some of Trump followers can’t get over the fact we have a black president,” he added.
The year Mr. Barack Obama was elected to President has often been pointed to as the time in history when racism became less sub-terrain and more overt.
One clergyman today at the press conference said to me in 2008 this level of hate was brewing across the country, but the image of a black man in charge of the free world began to bring the bigots out their shells and now, in Mr. Trump, they have someone they can believe in.
Mr. Trump’s hate speech is only exacerbated by an American media that lingers and publishes his every word, no matter how buffoonish it is.
What’s the media’s motivation? Because Mr. Trump—who Rev. Holston said is, for good or bad, a leader in America—is great for the media business: he is, in his own words, a ratings machine.
Mr. Jeff Zucker, the President of CNN International, and Mr. Dan Abrams, the former managing director of MSNBC, have both recently alluded to the appeal Mr. Trump has with the masses, and, as is an unwritten rule in media, you give the people what they want.
But, Mr. Nutter warned against that unspoken policy, today urging the media to really consider how much air-time they’re willing to allocate to a man who spews “crap.”
Mr. Nutter says while Mr. Trump has the constitutional right to state his beliefs, the recent slew of offensive utterances aren’t about constitutionality, but rather mortality.
His comments, the mayor said, have crossed the line into hate speech and “it needs to stop.”
“He doesn’t understand the danger of his language,” said Mr. Nutter, who said the world hasn’t seen this level of fear-mongering since the early 1920s and 30s. “Donald Trump’s comments are a threat to the moral security of the United States of America.”
It’s the United of States of America, moreover the love for it, that appears to drive Mr. Trump to push his politics with so much abrasiveness: the country, at war with terrorists, doesn’t have the time to be politically correct, Mr. Trump often suggests.
But his angst with immigrants is directly opposed, said the reverend, to his idea of making America great again.
“The greatness of America is found in the immigrants. Every immigrant class that came to the country has added to its wealth; its culture and the essence of what it means to be an American. To make America great again means you want more immigrants to come here, because it’s immigrants that has made America great,” Rev. Holston said.
When asked “What’s the cost of Mr. Trump’s free speech?,” Rev. Holston responded: “It’s costing us the very soul of America.”
‘Exploring Generations of Black Activism,’ a live broadcast featuring black male thought-leaders on Saturday, December 19th, 2015 beginning at 1pm EST and heard exclusively on www.TheDrVibeShow.com, will be moderated by Christopher “Flood the Drummer” Norris.
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