By Sheryl Estrada
In Newton, Iowa, Thursday night, when asked by NBC news if his White House would call for a database that tracks Muslims in the U.S.,Trump said, “I would certainly implement that. Absolutely.”
He commented there should be many systems “beyond databases” and he’d get Muslims registered by using “good management.”
“What you have to do is [have] good management procedures,” he said.
Later on, the reporter asked him, “Is there a difference between requiring Muslims to register and Jews in Nazi Germany”
Before walking away, an annoyed Trump responded, “You tell me.”
Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to backpedal on his statements and blame the reporter:
I didn’t suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015
In a Yahoo News interview published on Thursday, Trump refused to rule out a database for Muslims, or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. “We’re going to have to we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”
When asked if the push for increased surveillance of Muslims could include warrantless searches, Trump said, “We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule.”
Following the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Trump has been talking of warrantless searches and possibly closing mosques, as well as an aggressive response to terrorism. Yahoo News also reports, “He has spoken wistfully of the New York City Police Department’s mosque surveillance program, which was abandoned last year after generating substantial controversy.”
In response to Trump’s database comments, Republican opponent and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said, “I find it abhorrent that Donald Trump is suggesting that we register people.”
In a tweet, Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, called the comments “shocking rhetoric,” adding “It should be denounced by all seeking to lead this country.”
Clinton’s opponent Bernie Sanders said, “We will not destroy ISIS (the Islamic State) by undermining the Constitution and our religious freedoms.”
He also called Trump’s statements “outrageous” and “bigoted.”
Black Activist Attacked at Trump Rally
In Birmingham, Ala. on Saturday during a Trump rally, 31-year-old Black Lives Matter activist Mercutio Southall was shoved down, kicked and tackled for disrupting Trump by shouting, “Black lives matter!” CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond posted video to Twitter.
“Get him the hell out of here, will you, please” Trump said. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!” The crowd then cheers.
Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) November 21, 2015
On Sunday morning, Trump made a comment about the incident on Fox News:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said. His campaign said it “does not condone” the physical altercation.
A Track Record of Divisive Rhetoric
Trump perpetuating anti-Muslim rhetoric is consistent with his track record of marginalizing groups of people, notably Latinos.
During the Republican presidential debate on Nov. 10, Trump compared his plan for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s program in the 1950s, which deported more than 1 million people to Mexico.
Eisenhower’s program, which Trump did not call by name, was known as “Operation Wetback.” Undocumented Mexican immigrants were transported to remote locations inside of Mexico, far from the boarder. “Wetback” is a derogatory term referring to people of Mexican descent.
At his presidential campaign launch in June, Trump discussed immigration and referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists:
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. 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.
DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti wrote in his column, “Trump and the Destruction of the Republican Party,” about the political candidate’s divisiveness:
[Trump’s] “brand” now embodies every ugly impulse bigots have had for the last 50 years. It’s not casual, it’s not even rational he continues to espouse his ridiculous birther slander against the president. He rails about Mexican rapists even though net Mexican migration is roughly zero and has been for the past five years. It continues in the face of losing almost all of his business partners. He has done more to unite Black and Latino interests than anyone in American history.
Latino groups, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Move On, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and the National Council of La Raza, have all publically denounced Trump. In early November, the organizations held demonstrations urging NBC to disinvite Trump as the guest host on “Saturday Night Live.” The show proceeded as scheduled.
Trump has also made disparaging comments about women, including Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that” Trump was quoted as saying in a Rolling Stone article. “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president”
Despite his divisive statements, a poll released by Morning Consul found that, for the Republican nomination, Trump leads with 38 percent of the vote, “twice the level of support of his nearest competitor, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who takes 19 percent.”