You can view the video here. (Archive Here) Don Lemon on CNN:
“Now, another one. And then you have all of them in a row. And, you know, we talked, we messaged about it a little bit this weekend. I keep trying to point out to people and not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity. But we keep thinking that the biggest terror threat is something else, someone people who are marching, you know, towards the border, like it’s imminent. And the last time they did this, a couple hundred people came, and you know, most of them did get into the country, most of them got tuckered out before they even made it to the border.”
“So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right. And we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban. So, what do we do about that?”
Once again, the media attempts to conflate two very different ideas:
- That many people are against illegal immigration in any form.
- That some people are racist.
That people want to avoid the migrant caravan of 7,000+ people looking to illegally cross the US border does not support the notion that being against illegal immigration is an attack based in racism.
In fact, the media has been working overtime to blur the very lines between illegal and legal immigration.
This article here references only Trump’s positions and actions against illegal immigrants but doesn’t mention the word once in the title or even in the article until more than half way down the page. For those browsing headlines and reading the first few paragraphs, the takeaway is this: “Trump stokes pre-election fear of immigrants to drive voters.” Is this intellectually honest?
You don’t have to look far to find more examples of the media conflating legal and illegal immigration:
Article Titled: “Migrant And Refugee Advocates Call On Trump To Tone Down Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric” (Emphassis Added) :
“This wasn’t just an anti-Semitic act. But it was also an act against refugees and against immigrants,” said Mark Hetfield, the CEO of HIAS. The Jewish organization was founded in the 1880s as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and now helps resettle refugees from all over the world in the U.S.
The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh was one of many across the country that had participated in a “National Refugee Shabbat” this month that was organized by HIAS.
Just before the attack there, the alleged shooter, Robert Bowers, posted on social media accusing HIAS of bringing violent “invaders” into the country.
“The reason he had targeted the Jewish community on this particular day is because he saw Jews as helping refugees come into the country,” Hetfield said. “And President Trump didn’t mention that.”
“They have to come in legally. Like all of the millions of people that are waiting on line right now. They’ve can’t break into our borders. They’re not going to,” Trump said.
Reading this article, it is clear that Trump is making a very clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration.
But if you read headlines and the first few paragraphs, you’d believe that Trump is anti-legal immigration. Which he is demonstrably not in both action and rhetoric.
This trend of headlines contradicting the bodies of the same articles is the basis on which NewsFake.org was founded. Fake news isn’t just a talking point, it’s a real, living phenomenon.
What does this have to do with Don Lemon?
It shows that Don’s own rhetoric builds on the previously laid groundwork of mainstream media deceptions that Trump is against all immigration, and is therefore creating a racial divide. Looking past the very obvious fact that not all immigrants are different colors, and that immigration law applies to white immigrants in the same way it applies to brown or black ones, there still fails to be a smoking gun in which Trump has explicitly said he wants to discriminate against a race of people- which would be the bare minimum for the racism litmus test.
There are suggestions that he “dog-whistles” which indicates that he means things he hasn’t said.
There are suggestions that blocking illegal immigrants from Mexico is racist. Mexican is not a race.
There are suggestions that blocking travel from largely Muslim countries is racist. Islam is not a race.
Side note: It should be noted that the so-called Muslim ban is neither a complete ban on Muslims (affecting only 12% of Muslims in the world), nor specifically targeting only Muslims (ban affected non-Muslims from listed countries). Source
There are suggestions that he was racist when he called Mexicans rapists. Once again, Mexican is not a race. Further, this commits the same fallacy as above- conflating legal and illegal immigration. Further, the fake news distorts the statement, suggesting not only that he called immigrants rapists, but that he was referring to all Mexicans. See article: “Trump basically called Mexican rapists again.”
The actual text of his speech: [archive]
Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people.
It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.
The media has taken some serious liberties with the spoken phrase “they’re rapists” given that in context it makes much more sense that Mexico is sending “their rapists.” But even if you do not want to agree to use a more charitable interpretation of a homophone, the context here is clear. Trump is talking about illegally crossing the border. He is not talking about ALL Mexicans, only the ones crossing the border. He is not talking about ALL immigrants, only those who choose to do so illegally. He is not referring to every illegal immigrant (“some, I assume, are good people”) but a subset of those coming here illegally.
It’s not a stretch to believe those who are willing to break US law to enter the country illegally are also willing to commit other crimes, such as smuggling drugs or sex trafficking. In fact, according to the newspaper La Jornada, [archive] 30% of surveyed women attempting to cross the border into the USA reported that the smugglers (coyotes) forced them to have sex as payment.
Further, it is estimated that 17,000 to 19,000 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States each year.
Trafficking is the recruitment and possible transport of persons within or across boundaries by force, fraud, or deception for the purpose of exploiting them economically. Victims are lured with false promises of good jobs and better lives, and then forced to work under brutal and inhuman conditions. Victims of trafficking are exploited for purposes of commercial sex, including prostitution, stripping, pornography live-sex shows and other acts. However, trafficking also takes place as labor exploitation, including domestic servitude, sweatshop factories, agricultural work and more. After drug dealing, human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing.
Most empathetic individuals would agree that stopping this exploitation of people is paramount to a free and safe society. Trafficking requires unprotected borders.
Yet, when Trump stands firm on his position that illegal border crossings should stop, he is reported as being racist and unsympathetic to the plights of others. This is a misdirection and simply used as propaganda. Anybody who makes these claims should be treated skeptically.
So we’ve uncovered that Trump’s racist rhetoric is actually just a collection and foundation of thinly made conflations by the media over the past few years. Then where do we have actual evidence of racism causing a divide in our country?
“So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right. And we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban. So, what do we do about that?“
The group actually being demonized by race are white people. There is actual rhetoric to ban white men. It’s not a dog whistle. It’s not a misinterpreted homophone. It’s not an allusion to racism.
It’s just plain racism. By Don Lemon. Endorsed by CNN.