President Trump signed a veto of the congressional resolution reversing the national emergency he declared in order to seize money to build his big, beautiful dumb wall on the southern border.
To justify his veto, the president invoked the language of white supremacy that mirrored the sentiments behind the manifesto of the shooter who killed 49 people in two New Zealand mosques on Thursday:
Trump said: “If we had the proper protections, we wouldn’t have to apprehend them.” He called bill intended to revoke declaration “dangerous” and “reckless.”
“I will be signing and issuing a veto,” Trump said. “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is.”
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) March 15, 2019
“People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is,” Trump said. He said it’s an invasion of drugs and people.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 15, 2019
That the White House would hold an event in which the president complained about an “invasion” crossing the border with Mexico the day after a white supremacist in New Zealand killed 49 dark-skinned Muslims is an exceptional example of tone-deafness. The language and imagery of an “invasion” by dark-skinned people underlies the ideology of white supremacy expressed by the New Zealand shooter, the American who killed eleven Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue last year, Dylan Roof in South Carolina in 2015, and countless other terrorist acts carried out since Trump took office. Trump using it on any day is horrific, but using it less than 24 hours after the New Zealand massacre is as blatant an indication of just where his sympathies lie as one can imagine.
Just to drive the point home, here is Trump’s response when asked about whether there is a growing threat of white supremacist terrorism:
Required implicitly by his position as the leader of the world’s multi-ethnic, pluralistic democracies to denounce the sort of racism and xenophobia on murderous display in New Zealand, the president of the United States instead repeated it from his desk in the Oval Office. It would be incredible if it wasn’t so awful.