If You Asked Me, Letters & Opinion

Trump Played A Bad Card

Republican candidate, Donald Trump
Republican candidate, Donald Trump

THE high-pitched showboating by Republican candidate Donald Trump seems to have no end. But the 69-year-old American billionaire’s ostensible best shot at living in the White House has seen him mouthing off relentlessly in his bid to out-poll his rivals. Notwithstanding the fact that Republican candidates agree that kicking the Democrats out of office next year will take a collective effort, The Donald thinks he can do the job by himself.

Over the course of the current political campaign heating up in the United States, we’ve seen Trump go from not believing in polls when they didn’t show him in the lead to bragging about them when they did. We’ve also seen him getting special treatment from the American media at the expense of the other candidates, apparently because whenever Trump speaks, ratings peak. Even if everything the very man who accused Barack Obama of not being American-born – and was later proved wrong — becomes more ludicrous by the minute.

Trump’s latest outburst has landed him into more political hot water than he probably imagined. In the wake of the San Bernardino terror attack a week ago that left 14 people dead and 21 injured, Trump called for all mosques across the U.S. to be placed under surveillance. A Muslim couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, both of whom are of Pakistani descent, are said to be the masterminds behind the attack that targeted close to 80 people at a holiday party.

Now regarded as the most deadly terror attack on U.S. soil since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, the incident has called into question the efficiency of U.S. law enforcement agencies. And while many such agencies have acknowledged that they do need to step up their surveillance and intelligence, Trump called for something more, something draconian: a complete ban on all Muslims entering the United States. According to Trump, that measure needs to be adopted “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

While the South Carolina crowd to which he made that statement on Monday cheered, Trump has since been criticized by President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion. Even the Pentagon had a few words for Trump’s reckless comments: “Anything that bolsters ISIL’s narrative and pits the United States against the Muslim faith is certainly not only contrary to our values but contrary to our national security.”

Trump’s insipid comment is now fuelling a debate in the United States, particularly among the nearly 3 million Muslims (about 1% of the U.S. population). Many argue that while Islam stands for peace, there are Muslims who might harbour radical views. However, they believe that Trump is lighting a fuse under the powder keg by painting an entire religion with the same brush.

On the other hand, there are Americans who applaud The Donald for what they claim to be standing up in defence of America and not continuing the politically-correct rhetoric of openness. Many Americans fear that with the influx of refugees from Syria and other parts of the East posing a direct threat to the West, America’s borders would no longer be useful, they fear, when radicalism manifests itself into homegrown terrorism.

In response to the criticisms, Trump said on Tuesday that his plan was “no different” from that of President Franklin Roosevelt, whose wartime measures included putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps in the United States during World War II and “was highly respected by all”. However, some of his critics liken Trump to Adolf Hitler.

The question is, though, was Trump’s comment fair?

If you asked me, I think it was not. Ignorance, I believe, has no bounds in the world, including in the upper chambers of political wannabes. Most of us can attest to some politician – here and abroad – making senseless, baseless and insensitive remarks when they would have been better off keeping their mouths shut. If politicians are like this when they think they have power, just imagine what happens to them when they do get it. But if you think the ignorance resides only with the political figures, then you definitely need an education on how ingrained the problem is.

Just last Tuesday, I met a friend of mine, Natasha, in Constitution Park with three of her female friends, one of them a Muslim. After introducing them to me, Natasha bade them farewell and the two of us made our way out of the park. That’s when she told me the story about the Muslim friend being “sweet-talked” by a guy on the sidewalk a few blocks away.

After the Muslim sister failed to accede to his sexual advances, the brother saw nothing better to do but shout out to his friends, “She must be ISIS.” My friend told me that upon hearing his statement, the Muslim sister smiled and they continued walking.

Like Trump, that brother needs to understand that across the globe there are people who use religion for either good or bad reasons. However, religions are institutions; people are breathing creatures that have feelings, aspirations and expectations of respect from their fellow men and women. If you asked me, Reverend Jim Jones and Timothy McVeigh were Christians who cared less about what religion their victims were. But should we daresay America needs to expel its Christian citizens?

Religious fanaticism has been around for ages now. There was a time when people were burned at the stake if caught with a Bible. Today many are forced to leave their villages behind – or die in cold blood – if they profess to be Christians. Conversely, Muslims are targeted because there are those who take the route of spilling blood as opposed to spreading peace. The world is the way it is religiously because people still find it hard to be tolerant of other people’s religions. It’s as if we have an exclusive right to God.

As for Trump, it seems that the Republicans will do anything to ensure he doesn’t get the nomination. In fact, House Speaker, Paul Ryan, has already denounced the billionaire’s remarks, adding that Trump’s latest statement should exclude him from ever becoming president. Trump played a bad card and deserves to be trumped by his rivals for it.

One of the key lessons I learned from the Trump incident is the timeliness in which responses came following the Presidential hopeful’s unflattering remark. Here in Saint Lucia, months pass without political allies ever distancing themselves from words that serve to divide rather than heal. That needs to change.

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

7 Comments

  1. /

    By now, it is no secret that I believe all Caucasians are “victims” of white supremacy, which produces a god complex in these sick folk. I keep asking myself, “how and what makes this murder of innocent civilians in San Bernardino, Calif. the “WORST TERRORIST ATTACK SINCE 9/11” ?

    I am sure many of you heard of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Mass murder when Adam Lanza, murdered at least 20 school children and injuring numerous ? yes ? So of course I ask why is the murder of 14 in San Bernardino, Calif. the WORST ? hint: Muslim.

    See, Adam Lanza was a Caucasian Christian who hated American Kindergarten children enough to blow their brains away, and that you see in not Terrorism. See how sick and deceitful those “mind-shapers” are ?

    How does one explain this, someone help me please ?

    As vice president, Dick Cheney was a prime architect of the worldwide torture regime implemented by the U.S. government (which extended far beyond waterboarding), as well as the invasion and destruction of Iraq, which caused the deaths of at least 500,000 people and more likely over a million. As such, he is one of the planet’s most notorious war criminals.

    President Obama made the decision in early 2009 to block the Justice Department from criminally investigating and prosecuting Cheney and his fellow torturers, as well as to protect them from foreign investigations and even civil liability sought by torture victims. Obama did that notwithstanding a campaign decree that even top Bush officials are subject to the rule of law and, more importantly, notwithstanding a treaty signed in 1984 by Ronald Reagan requiring that all signatory states criminally prosecute their own torturers. Obama’s immunizing Bush-era torturers converted torture from a global taboo and decades-old crime into a reasonable, debatable policy question, which is why so many GOP candidates are now openly suggesting its use.

    But now, the Obama administration has moved from legally protecting Bush-era war criminals to honoring and gushing over them in public. Yesterday, the House of Representatives unveiled a marble bust of former Vice President Cheney, which — until a person of conscience vandalizes or destroys it — will reside in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

    https://theintercept.com/2015/12/04/u-s-first-shields-its-torturers-and-war-criminals-from-prosecution-now-officially-honors-them/

  2. /

    Did you hear about the man who entered New Orleans’ airport with explosives and a machete? No? Well, you would have if he’d been Muslim.

    A Muslim American man carrying a duffel bag that holds six homemade explosives, a machete, and poison spray travels to a major U.S. airport. The man enters the airport, approaches the TSA security checkpoint, and then sprays two TSA officers with the poison. He then grabs his machete and chases another TSA officer with it.

    This Muslim man is then shot and killed by the police. After the incident, a search of the attacker’s car by the police reveals it contained acetylene and oxygen tanks, two substances that, when mixed together, will yield a powerful explosive.

    If this scenario occurred, there’s zero doubt that this would be called a terrorist attack. Zero. It would make headlines across the country and world, and we would see wall-to-wall cable news coverage for days. And, of course, certain right-wing media outlets, many conservative politicians, and Bill Maher would use this event as another excuse to stoke the flames of hate toward Muslims.
    Well, this exact event took place at the New Orleans airport—that is, except for one factual difference: The attacker was not Muslim. Consequently, you might be reading about this brazen assault for the first time here, although this incident took place in March and did receive a smattering of media coverage over the weekend.
    The man who committed this attack was Richard White, a 63-year-old former Army serviceman who has long been retired and living on Social Security and disability checks. He was reportedly a devout Jehovah’s Witness.

    Given the facts that a man armed with explosives and weapons traveled to an airport and only attacked federal officers, you would think that the word “terrorism” would at least come up as a possibility, right?  But it’s not even mentioned.

    Instead, law enforcement was quick to chalk this incident up to the attacker’s alleged “mental health issues.” That was pretty amazing police work considering this conclusion came within hours of the attack. There was no mention by police that they had even explored whether White had issues with the federal government stemming from his military service, if there was any evidence he held anti-government views, etc.

    Perhaps Mr. White truly was mentally ill. Interviews with his neighbors, however, don’t even give us a hint that he had mental problems. Rather they described White as a “meek” and “kind” man who a few had spoken to just days before the incident and everything seemed fine. You would think these neighbors would at least note that White had a history of mental illness if it was so apparent.

    Now I’m not saying definitively that I believe Mr. White was a terrorist. My point is twofold. One is that if White had been a Muslim, the investigation into his motivation by the media and maybe even the police would have essentially been over once his faith had been ascertained. If a Muslim does anything wrong, it’s assumed to be terrorism. (Apparently we Muslims can’t be mentally ill.)

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    1. Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting: Dec. 14 Marks 3 Years Since Tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

      Connecticut marks 3rd anniversary of Sandy Hook horror

      State and U.S. flags across Connecticut were flying at half-staff Monday to honor the memory of the 20 children and six school staffers fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown three years ago.

      The town and the school district were handling the anniversary in a mostly low-key manner. The Newtown Public School District website made no mention of the anniversary Monday morning. The town’s website included a brief mention of an Interfaith Gathering for Prayer and Comfort set for 7 p.m. at a local church.

      “Faith leaders from the various Newtown religious communities will guide the community by reading from our sacred texts, offering prayers for our community and allowing for times of silence for each individual to reflect and/or pray in his or her own way,” the Rev. Matt Crebbin of Newtown Congregational Church said of the event.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/12/14/connecticut-marks-3rd-anniversary-sandy-hook-horror/77277876/

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  3. The Hypocrisy.

    In contrast, when a non-Muslim engages in a violent attack, even on federal government employees, law enforcement and the media immediately look to the person’s mental history, not possible terrorist motivations.

    No wonder so many parrot the line, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” When the press uses the word terrorism only in connection with the actions of Muslims, the average person would assume that’s the case. However, as I have written about before, in recent years overwhelmingly the terrorist attacks in United States and Europe have been committed by non-Muslims.

    My second point is that this could have in fact been act of terrorism. White clearly targeted only the TSA officers. He didn’t assault others in the airport, such as the passengers waiting on line at the security checkpoint. And for those unfamiliar, there has been a great deal of animus directed at the TSA by some conservatives and libertarians. Simply Google the words “stop the TSA” and you will see pages of articles denouncing the TSA as an organization hell bent on depriving Americans of liberty.

    For example, Alex Jones’ Infowars website is filled with anti-TSA articles claiming that the TSA’s goal is not to prevent terrorism but to “harass” travelers and get into “our pants.” Glen Beck warned in the past that the TSA was potentially becoming President Obama’s “private army” with the goal being to take away our liberties.

    And in 2012, Senator Rand Paul lashed out against the TSA for what he viewed as the agency’s improper treatment of him. In fact after the incident, Paul penned an op-ed denouncing the TSA, writing that “it is infuriating that this agency feels entitled to revoke our civil liberties while doing little to keep us safe.”

    Even more alarmingly, the attacks on the TSA have not been limited to words. In October 2012, Paul Ciancia traveled to LAX, where he took out a rifle from his bag and shot two TSA officers, killing one. Ciancia had written anti-government tracts in the past and was—to little media fanfare—actually charged months later with an act of terrorism.

  4. /

    I am truly unable to recall the number of times I have made statements about the Racist characteristics of the Caucasian Christians who have created a God in his own image and imposed this destructive abomination of worshiping a naked white man on those of darker complexion. I have been called a Racist by confused and retrograde Negroes whose dream-of-a-lifetime is to marry a Pale skin woman to become white and human. These demented self-hating Negroes and Negresses are a dangerous Frankenstein creation; the Negro hates the Beautiful Chocolate African woman, encouraging her to kill her hair with hot irons and chemicals, giving her compliment of encouragement about how “beautiful” her chemicalized hair looks like the Caucasian dead hair.

    It is a total mistake to be so tunnel by allowing your attention to be totally focused on Donald Trump. Trump is leading the Republicans because millions of these Caucasian Christians love him for calling Mexico a land of Murderers and Rapist, never mind Mexico is a renowned Christian country, that these Caucasian Christians invaded and sized huge areas of Mexican land. Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico were all stolen from former Mexican lands.

    You must understand that the people who came as a God-fearing people, were in reality a people worshiping Satan in the form of that Naked Bloodied White man nailed to a post, and created in their Image. God is neither Man nor Woman, stone, snake, spirit, NOTHING IN CREATION. I am in good spirit now, but may be a bad spirit later – Spirit is creation ! however, God/Allah is UNIQUE – NOTHING CAN BE COMPARED TO GOD. FROM THE QUR-AN

    Surah Maryam/Mary the mother of Jesus

    They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!” (88)

    Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! (89)

    At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin. (90)

    That they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. (91)

    For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. (92)

    Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant. (93)

    He does take an account of them (all), and hath numbered them (all) exactly. (94)

    And every one of them will come to him singly on the Day of Judgment. (95)

    On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love. (96)

    So have We made the (Qur’an) easy in thine own tongue, that with it thou mayest give Glad Tidings to the righteous and warnings to people given to contention. (97)

    But how many (countless) generation before them have We destroyed? Canst thou find a single one of them (now) or hear (so much as) a whisper of them? (98)

  5. Wherefore at thou COCOSEK (is that a pun on shriveled virility 🙂
    This piece of writing by The Son of Man is exhibit A of how to write! PERIOD!
    AND he restrained within the stringent limits of our “politically correct -democracy/”
    This- no matter what our perspective/bias/ – on religion- is stimulating to rational mental schemata-
    no matter how fluid or crystallized its constructive developmental status.
    The gift of God that separates humanoids from the animals is executive functioning via rational cognitive processing-
    SOM frequently indicates , that the majority of us prefer the easy means of burying our heads in the sand- ostrich (animal) style.)
    Heckle/harass the messenger with no regard to the message within /between the LINES.
    ESPECIALLY- when the verifiable standard of CITATION is profuse:
    Let me cite one example:
    A blogger responder, nom de plume COCOSEK (as in shrivelled virility).
    This ignoramus attacked the minister of education on this current news front page article.
    The minister was NICELY stating a fact that even here in SUPER RICH America is a daily REALITY!
    There are school buildings in urban USA -that only within the past 10 years and CURRENTLY are undergoing ABESTOS (Cancer causing ) removal / abatement etc.
    It is a very expensive program -short of building an entire new GREEN building.
    Many of these sick buildings dominate impoverished communities- where fiscal $ are earmarked for supplies and maintenance instead of CAPITAL revitalization proects such as the aforementioned abestos removal project.
    Instead of exploring the outlined problems , mold etc and its relation to the TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT (as in EXPENSIVE CYCLICAL maintenance) –
    the demented washed up virility of COCOSEK – attacks the ministers RELIGION and MANHOOD!
    -NOT THE FRIGGING ISSUE!!!
    What a demented idiot!
    Hello ! We live in a TRoPICAL environment and until we can engineer buildings and or maintenance protocols that can stand up to THE NATURAL environment (let alone the bad toxic stuff we put into them (e.g., abestos)…
    then we can only get what we can AFFORD!!
    Pardon the detour – the above response by SOM is excellently written at a critical flashpoint in our existence on this human forsaken planet.
    I do know and interface with Muslim New Yorkers -daily –
    I prefer to treat and respect them as I would MYSELF -as the by product of INTER GALACTIC STAR DUST from Divine Creation.
    We humans have abandoned the one gift that GOD gave to us -a rational executive functioning system centered in the organic brain.
    We must learn to align this greatest gift with profound humility to his Divine Majesty-
    or else the “4 horsemen” WIN, n’est pas?

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