[TRIGGER WARNING: ANTI-LATINX RACISM, DEHUMANIZATION, ABLEIST SLUR]
You've probably heard that Trump called Latinx immigrants "animals." Yes, he did. Now you need to brace yourself for Republicans to accuse all of us who are appalled and talking about it of taking his words out of context.
You can find the exact context on Politifact.
In Context: Donald Trump's comments about immigrants, ‘animals’
First, a county sheriff gives a short speech about how new laws are preventing them from treating immigrants like complete shit (like, perhaps, ANIMALS) and giving information to ICE. Trump calls it a disgrace, because of course. Then this:
Mims: "Thank you. There could be an MS-13 gang member I know about — if they don't reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it."
Trump: "We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we're stopping a lot of them — but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals. And we're taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that's never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It's crazy.
So, yes, it is very likely that when Trump said "these are animals," he was talking about MS-13 gang members.
Let's talk about that. First of all, you can say it's about "gang members," but we all know that is NOT who sparked this meeting. Trump is upset because of the "caravan" of people coming here to seek asylum. Gang members don't need to pretend to seek asylum to get here - they have the money and support to get here other ways.
At the same time, using the excuse of "I'm talking about gang members" opens you up to the ability to call every person who looks like they might be a Latinx immigrant "animals." And if they aren't gang members, you can just say you thought they were, right? But how do you determine whether someone is a gang member just by looking at them? Could this become a case of racial profiling?
I'm joking, of course. It already is a case of racial profiling. Racists will look for an excuse to dehumanize the people they hate as much as possible in order to spread their poisonous hate to others. It works. It's worked in every case of genocide there ever was.
On the other hand, are gang members animals? Or are they people forced into a situation because they have no other choice and have been raised in complete hell thinking this is their only option anyway so they pretend it's what they wanted all along?
Let's not forget that the horrific gang violence in certain areas of Latin America is the direct fault of the U.S. for starting a bullshit "War on Drugs" that created huge demand for drug production there.
Don't ever let anyone off the hook for dehumanizing Latinx migrants.