It’s no secret that the world has taken notice that Donald Trump — the leading 2016 presidential contender — is an unrepentant, hateful bigot. Not only does Trump’s rise to right-wing stardom worry the leadership in his own party, but the billionaire is making people nervous worldwide. Across the “pond,” citizens in the United Kingdom see Trump as this century’s Adolf Hitler — and with good reason. After all, he spews anti-Semitic hate speech against Muslims, stereotypes Jews, has darker-skinnned individuals beaten at his rallies, and has promised to look into the prospect of riddding the United States of an entire group of people. He has also been known to keep a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside, which probably doesn’t make him appear any more likeable.
Suzanne Kelly of Aberdeen, Scotland, who once campaigned against Trump’s plan to build “the greatest golf course in the world” on the Menie Estate in 2013, has started a petition to keep The Donald from entering the UK. With the constant outpouring of hatred from Trump, Kelly feels that he has no place in Scotland or anywhere else in the United Kingdom. Citing his comparison of Mexicans to rapists and his suggestion that all Muslims in the United States be monitored, Kelly writes:
The signatories believe Donald J Trump should be banned from UK entry for his continued, unrepentant hate speech and unacceptable behaviour. His unacceptable behaviour is well documented, and we feel it foments racial, religious and nationalistic intolerance which should not be welcome in the UK.
The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. This same principle should apply to Donald J Trump. We cannot see how the United Kingdom can condone his entry to the country when many people have been barred for less.
Trump wouldn’t be the first right-wing zealot to be banned from the United Kingdom. Notorious “birther” and anti-Muslim crusader Pamela Geller and fellow bigot Robert Spender, founders of hate group Stop Islamization of America, were barred from entering the UK in 2013 because their presence would not be “conducive to the public good.
“We condemn all those whose behaviours and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form,” a government spokesperson said at the time.
The petition, expected to be live in a few days, needs 10,000 signatures before Parliament is required to respond. If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Trump ban will be considered for debate.
Kelly has also started a petition asking Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen to strip Trump of an honorary degree the school granted him in 2010 over heavy opposition. A former principal of his school said he was “appalled” at plans to honor Trump, calling the decision to grant him the honor was “an insult to decent people everywhere.” He returned his own honorary doctorate to the university in protest. “I would not want to hold the award after Mr Trump has received his.” Kelly’s petition to the school petition reads:
We feel that Donald Trump’s unrepentant, persistent verbal attacks on various groups of people based on nationality, religion, race and physical abilities are a huge detriment to RGU. Hate speech must not have a place in academia, in politics or on the world stage. We are confident RGU will agree with the petitioners, and act swiftly.
It’s hard to imagine a petition barring Trump from the country failing to gather 10,000 or even 100,000 signatures, so it will certainly be interesting to watch this situation unfold.