By now, we’ve all probably heard of the famous offensive and discriminatory Donald Trump quotes that took both the professional and social media by storm. He continuously attacked the American Latino and Muslim communities by calling Latino immigrants “criminals” and “rapists”, proposing Muslim ID cards, and suggesting America bans all Muslims from entering the country. Not only do such comments prove that Trump is a senseless bigot who does not mind stereotyping and criminalizing an entire race or population, but they’re stupid, too. What will the consequences of alienating a large segment of the American population be? How will you ensure that people entering the U.S.A aren’t Muslims, Trump? I wonder what Donald Trump thinks the signs of being a Muslim are. Is it brown skin? A long beard? Well, at least that means white Muslims are in no direct danger then.
The most amusing (yes, amusing) part about Donald Trump’s remarks though, is not what he said, but the responses he received. London’s mayor said “the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump”. Legendary actor Harrison Ford (a.k.a Han Solo) needed to remind Trump that his role as the U.S President in Air Force One was just a movie when Trump said “I love Harrison Ford. He stood up for America.” Laughing and sarcastic, Ford filmed a video saying “It was a movie. It’s not like this in real life. But… how would you know?!” Even J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, tweeted that “Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.”
Trump’s comments are so absurd and idiotic to many of us, that we often dismiss them as mere jokes, especially when you live several thousand kilometers away from America. We watch his videos for a laugh, ridicule his proposals, and share celebrity comments making fun of him on social media because they’re amusing. Yes, we’re often also disgusted and annoyed and bothered, but a lot of the time the comment’s just “oh, Trump… well he’s just an idiot.” In the midst of the social media posts, the jokes, and the memes, let’s not forget, however, how much of a serious issue this is. The innocent people suffering from hate crimes probably do not think Trump is funny. The consequences of these remarks felt by the people Trump is marginalizing and dehumanizing are not amusing. They are frightening, threatening, and definitely worrying, because the problem is not just Trump. The problem is what Trump stands for, what he represents, and most importantly, that Trump has supporters who, as he said, “are very passionate.”
Now, where else have we seen “passionate” supporters backing racism, discrimination, and injustice? No, not the classic Nazi example, but here, today. As an Egyptian, I always relate events back to those taking place in my home country. Current Egyptian President Abdelfattah El Sisi is a ruthless dictator who, backed by passionate supporters, violates countless basic human rights as he crushes oppression. If you watch his videos, you’ll probably end up laughing as well. The difference between Sisi and Trump is that Sisi has the power and the position, while Trump is still waiting for it. Personally, I do not think it is possible for Trump to win the U.S elections (counting on you, Americans!), but that’s not the issue. The issue is that as much as we’d like to think of Trump’s comments as absurd and unreal, there are places around the world where such ideologies are enforced. Trump’s claims and proposals could be just that for now… proposals… but their influence and consequences are still very possible and real.
If Trump gets away with calling Latinos racists and Muslims terrorists in front of every major news agency, what’s to stop anyone else? Donald Trump is raising the voice of ignorance in the world, and whether he intends to or not, he is advocating for hate crimes, bigotry, and racism. Of course, with Santorum saying “all Muslims are Jihadis” without checking what the Arabic term even means, and Ben Carson saying he’s OKAY with “the deaths of thousands of innocent children and civilians”, these Republican candidates are not helping either. That is why we do not let them get away with it. Whether in New York or on the other side of the world, we need to constantly raise our voice against bigotry and discrimination; Trump or not. No number of articles is too much when people’s security is at risk because as Dr. Suzanne Barakat, Deah Barakat’s sister, said “before long, Mr. Trump, you are going to have blood on your hands, and it’s going to be because of what you said.” By then, we’ll be wondering… how did the world let this happen?