On Saturday, Donald Trump stood by and watched as his rabid supporters at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama (a city with a long history of racism, discrimination, and violence against black people) — on his order — swarmed an African-American, violently punching, kicking, and dragging him simply because he expressed an opinion that was unpopular among them.
And although his campaign released a statement that “the campaign does not condone this behavior,” Trump appeared on Fox News the very next day to inform the public that, in reality, he not only condones this behavior, he encourages it.
Asked about his supporters’ violent actions, Trump complained to Fox and Friends that the man was “so obnoxious” and “was screaming.” Because the gentleman was so — “uppity” seems to be the word someone like Trump would use under normal circumstances — the billionaire says he had it coming:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was disgusting what he was doing.”
“This is not the way Bernie Sanders handled his problem, I will tell you, but I have a lot of fans and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble,” Trump said, justifying his supporters’ actions.
What was the man doing? CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond says that the protester was shouting “black lives matter” — a concept with which Trump and his “White Power Rangers” wholeheartedly disagree. Diamond says the man later removed his sweatshirt to reveal a t-shirt bearing the same message.
“At least a half-dozen attendees shoved and tackled the protester, a black man, to the ground as he refused to leave the event,” Diamond reports. “At least one man punched the protester and a woman kicked him while he was on the ground. All of the attendees who were involved in the physical altercation with the protester were white.”
This isn’t the first time Trump’s supporters have gotten violent with a minority they hate at a rally. Last month, a group of Trumpshirts dragged a Hispanic man to the ground by his collar and kicked him, with a man Trump later identified as a random supporter eventually dragging the pro-immigration protester out. Later in his speech, Trump himself threatened to become “violent” if protesters continued to interrupt him.
“See the first group, I was nice: ‘Oh, take your time,'” Trump said at the Miami rally. “The second group, I was pretty nice. The third group, I’ll be pretty more violent. And the fourth group, I’ll say, ‘Get the hell out of here!'” A week prior, Trump’s followers spat on and pushed immigration activists.
Each time Trump’s supporters become violent, the 2016 Republican frontrunner excuses and even applauds it. After two Trump fans beat a Hispanic homeless man with a metal pipe and urinated on him in August, the popular Republican described them as “passionate” individuals who “love this country and want this country to be great again.”
Of course, he’s not opposed to racism, either. After a supporter famously screamed “white power” at a speech in August, the man who Republicans want to be POTUS explained that white supremacists are “very receptive to the message of ‘making America great again’ because they want to be proud Americans again.”
Recently, Trump cracked down on Muslims in America, suggesting that he wants to have them wear special little badges like Hitler did with the Jews, build a national database to track them, and close down mosques.
“Just like Hitler” is a phrase that should not be used lightly, but Trump’s actions could easily lead one to make that comparison — especially since he is exactly the sort of person who would keep a book of the German dictator’s speeches by his bedside for light reading. Donald Trump is “just like Hitler,” and his followers are his functional brownshirts.
And Republicans want him to be President.
Think about that while you watch him, again, excuse his racist and violent supporters’ actions:
Featured Image via Gawker/Screengrab