The White House on Monday took its dehumanizing campaign to brand MS-13 gang members as “animals” to a new level.
A 480-word “article” published on the White House press site Monday morning referred to MS-13 members as “animals” eight different times.
The statement went on to list the most heinous crimes allegedly committed by suspected gang members affiliated with MS-13, the transnational street gang founded in Los Angeles.
“MS-13’s animals are accused of stabbing a man more than 100 times and then decapitating him, dismembering him, and ripping his heart out of his body,” noted the press release, referring to a September 2017 incident in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb outside Washington DC.
The statement mentioned some of the the same crimes White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders raised last week when she was asked to clarify President Donald Trump’s comment that “ these aren’t people, these are animals.”
Those comments led to a media controversy over whether the press had taken Trump out of context, with outlets like CNN and The Associated Press bowing to pressure and clarifying that Trump had made them after someone else spoke about MS-13.
Other outlets like the New York Times defended their handling of the comments.
Experts say the White House’s campaign against MS-13 is wildly out of proportion with their actual threat. For example, MS-13 gang members predominantly live in just three metropolitan areas around Los Angeles, Long Island, and Washington, DC, according to the Times. But the White House’s statements could quickly make you suspect your brown neighbor from any Latin American country is a violent MS-13 “animal.”
The White House press release also claimed that “recent investigations have revealed MS-13 gang leaders based in El Salvador have been sending representatives into the United States illegally to connect the leaders with local gang members.”
But academics have noted that “there appears to be no empirical evidence that MS-13 members in the United States are overwhelmingly foreign-born nationals.”
The police chief in Montgomery County, the suburb outside Washington DC, told the Times earlier this year that “MS-13 is certainly a threat, just not the one the president is making it out to be.”
Trump is scheduled to visit Long Island this Wednesday, where he is expected to talk about the need to deport MS-13 gang members.