In the wake of the widespread outrage over the separation of migrant families due to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, pro-Trump media has struggled to come up with a coherent defense for the president. One of the issues they have run into is how to defend the president’s policies and actions without sounding cruel or appearing to lack compassion.
On Friday morning, Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade decided the direction he’d take is to essentially dehumanize the kids who had been separated from their parents and held in detention centers, noting that we shouldn’t care as much for them as Americans.
“Like it or not, these aren’t our kids,” Kilmeade said. “Show them compassion, but it’s not like he is doing this to the people of Idaho or Texas. These are people from another country and now people are saying that they’re more important than people in our country who are paying taxes and who have needs as well.”
It didn’t take long for Kilmeade’s comments to get noticed. And the reaction from folks in media and political circles was swift, intense, and harsh.
The idea of treating children differently is appalling. And to do so so to motivate a political agenda is even more so. Shameful. https://t.co/T2WnDlD46r
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) June 22, 2018
The party of “fuck kids.” https://t.co/RLvA5R2MiD
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) June 22, 2018
tired: "all men are created equal"
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@jbouie) June 22, 2018
A reminder that these ghouls look at these children as sub-human, less-than deserving of human empathy. https://t.co/4otnkd0TqW
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) June 22, 2018
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 22, 2018
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) June 22, 2018
how is this not the definition of white supremacy https://t.co/NLrU1lCFa8
— 332 days ago Trump promised 24-hr Hezbollah answer (@MattNegrin) June 22, 2018
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 22, 2018
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) June 22, 2018
Kilmeade really is an actual, in-his-heart, white supremacist. It seems to come from a deep place and not some ideology he came to.
His intuitive reaction, again and again, is to label the foreigner subhuman. https://t.co/KcaCVKxSXL
— Adam Davidson (@adamdavidson) June 22, 2018
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) June 22, 2018
“These are not our kids” … the motto of modern conservatism https://t.co/FQzxmjlvYh
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) June 22, 2018
We have reached out to Fox News for comment or clarification on Kilmeade’s remarks and will update this piece if we hear back.
UPDATE: Kilmeade addressed the comments on both Twitter and his Fox News radio show. You can check out those remarks in full here.