On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump urged an auditorium of his most fervent supporters to join him in his latest favorite act of performative racism: Calling MS-13 gang members “animals.”
“I have to listen to Pelosi and these people saying, ‘We have to respect them. They’re human beings,’” Trump complained to the crowd at a rally in Nashville, TN. “They’re not human beings. They’re not human beings.
“This is why we call the bloodthirsty MS-13 gang members exactly the name I used last week.” he continued, putting his hand to his ear. “What was the name?” At that, the auditorium erupted into a chorus of “animals!”
Gosh, isn’t racist audience participation fun?
Tuesday night’s rally marks the latest in Trump’s campaign against MS-13 (and, by extension, the entire Latinx immigrant community, whom he has repeatedly and deliberately conflated with gang members and criminals). It comes two weeks after the president first used the “animals” moniker during a racism-soaked White House roundtable on immigration. After facing criticism over the term, the administration escalated its usage, sending out a press release titled, “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13.”
Anyway, that was the President of the United States leading a room full of people in a chant about how certain other people aren’t actually human beings.