President Donald Trump today publicly endorsed disgusting, far-right Islamophobia and racism.
There is simply no other conclusion to be drawn from his decision to retweet three posts by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First – an anti-Islam, anti-immigration, fascist organisation.
Each of the tweets contains deeply inflammatory material, specifically designed to whip up hatred towards Muslims.
The first is captioned: ‘VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches’.
The second is captioned: ‘VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!’
The third is captioned: ‘VIDEO, Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!’
The first video President Trump posted depicted ‘Muslim migrant’ according to Jayda Fransen, beating up a ‘Dutch boy on crutches’
The second video shows a ‘Muslim man’ speaking to the camera and then bashing a statue of Virgin Mary on the ground, shattering her
The third video President Trump retweeted shows an ‘Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!’
None of these videos has been independently verified.
All of them might be faked, spliced, photo-shopped – who the hell knows? Stuff like this flies around the internet all day every day and much of it cannot be trusted.
The content is particularly untrustworthy when posted by someone like Jayda Fransen, who is a truly vile piece of work.
A year ago, Fransen, 30, was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment after she hurled abuse at a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.
She was fined around $2500 for screaming abuse at Sumayyah Sharpe during a ‘Christian patrol’ of a park in Luton, a town just north of London.
Fransen admitted telling her victim that Muslim men ‘cannot control their sexual urges’ adding ‘that’s why they are coming into my country raping women across the continent.’
Ms Sharpe was with her four young children at the time.
Judge Carolyn Mellanby said in her verdict on Fransen: ‘I have no doubt the words used towards her (Ms Sharpe) represented everything against her and what she believes in. In other words, offensive, insulting, abusive, and in my judgement intended to cause offence and alarm and distress to her religion.’
Fransen and Britain First leader Paul Golding have also both been separately charged with racially and religiously aggravated intentional harassment following a police investigation into the distribution of hateful leaflets and online videos.
And just last week, Fransen was charged with using ‘threatening, abusive and insulting words or behavior’ during a speech she made at an event in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The videos were posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, a far-right group that stands against the Islamisation of the United Kingdom. She is nasty and dangerous
So we are talking about very nasty, very dangerous people.
Last year, during the very polarized EU Referendum campaign, an extreme right-wing terrorist named Thomas Mair shouted ‘Britain first!’ before shooting dead Jo Cox, a young female member of parliament.
There was no suggestion that Mair was involved with or influenced by the organization.
Now that group has, astonishingly, just been given the presidential seal of approval.
Fransen, naturally, was so thrilled when she saw Trump’s retweets, she instantly responded in hysterically happy capital letters:
‘THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN’S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!’
These words, and the breathless excitement that accompanied them, made me want to physically puke.
Within minutes, Fransen’s Twitter follower count began rocketing.
That, as I know from personal experience, is what happens when Trump retweets you; it makes you more popular.
So she now has thousands more people to contaminate with her despicable bigotry.
Trump’s retweets sparked immediate outrage and criticism from all quarters, even from some media entities normally sympathetic to him, like Infowars, which is run by preposterous conspiracy theorist Alex Jones,
‘Yeah,’ tweeted its editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson, ‘someone may want to tell whoever is running Trump’s Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics.’
Not great optics?
They’re absolutely appalling optics.
I don’t know what on earth possessed Donald Trump to offer such a stunning, shocking and repulsive endorsement of these racist Muslim-despising scumbags.
Either he had no idea who these people really are, or he did know and decided they were worthy of his support.
The first makes him a bloody fool.
The second makes him a bloody disgrace.
I don’t know what on earth possessed Donald Trump to offer such a stunning, shocking and repulsive endorsement of these racist scumbags.
He’s either a fool or a bloody disgrace
Whatever the truth, the massive damage has now been done.
The President of the United States has officially endorsed the extreme far-right in a way he has never done so transparently before.
By doing so, he has also endorsed a blind, pathological hatred of all Muslims.
Mr President, please do not underestimate the enormity of what you did today.
You’re the most powerful person on earth, and your words carry huge weight, as do your retweets.
You have now effectively told all the world’s bigots, racists, Islamophobes and white supremacists that you’re with them, that they’re YOUR kind of people.
Just read and watch their joyful reaction all over social media.
They can’t believe their luck, and I can’t believe what you’ve done.
Casually tossing videos like this out to tens of millions of people, purely to encourage hatred of Muslims, is almost beyond belief.
You might as well have addressed the American people from the Oval Office with a Ku Klux Klan hat on.
As Brendan Cox, husband of murdered Jo Cox, said: ‘Spreading hatred has consequences and the President should be ashamed of himself.’
I’ll go further: this isn’t just shameful, Mr Trump, this is the worst thing you have done as President.
I urge you to immediately undo those three re-tweets, and apologize unreservedly.
That won’t repair the terrible damage you’ve done.
But it will at least acknowledge that you understand just how wrong it was.
If you don’t, we will be left to assume that you too are a hateful Islamophobe and racist.
Are you, Mr President?