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In a speech Friday in Long Island to law enforcement officers, Donald Trump used racist language and encouraged violence, urging officers to be “rough” on suspects. Among other comments, Trump told the assembled officers: “When you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’”
Trump also praised acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan for being “a tough guy.” Trump used his speech, addressing the MS-13 gang, to play on bigoted and dehumanizing themes about immigrants that he has often used to rile up crowds in the past, saying: “They’re animals,” and, “we will find you, we will arrest you, we will jail you, and we will deport you.”
Friday’s speech comes days after another offensive, immigrant-bashing speech Trump delivered in Ohio; both speeches included remarks that encouraged violence. And they come amidst a rapid spike in ICE arrests by Trump’s administration.
Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, had the following statement in response to Trump’s recent anti-immigrant and pro-brutality speeches:
“Trump’s speech today was chilling even by his standards. Trump’s wildly racist, startlingly anti-immigrant fear-mongering is a reminder of the ways in which he is trying to radicalize and incite some Americans for personal political gain. One consequence is the spike in racial harassment and assault reports since his election.
“In Trump’s version of America, calls to brutalize people under detention, especially undocumented immigrants, are met with raucous applause by law enforcement officials and chants of ‘U-S-A’ —and that is terrifying. We are still early in this administration, and we must prepare for the possibility of years of Trump or Pence working to accelerate efforts to incite violence, tear families apart, and grievously harm immigrant communities.
“MoveOn members within America’s immigrant communities and those standing beside immigrant communities will fight together to persuade Congress to resist Trump’s radical anti-immigrant agenda, including refusing to fund his obscene border wall. Likewise, MoveOn members of all identities will continue to mobilize together against police violence and criminalization, no matter how much of a green light Trump’s Justice Department tries to give them.
“We will work tirelessly to protect all of our families, our communities, and our country from Trump’s ugly attempts to escalate white nationalism and state-sponsored brutality and terror.”