Mellanöstern och Nordafrika Tidningen
Published On: Fri, Sep 16th, 2016

Deplorables, Rapists and Islamophobia

On September 9 Hillary Clinton gave a talk at an LGBT Gala for Hillary Clinton in New York City and trashed Donald Trump, who is certainly no supporter of LGBT rights, giving him a dose of his own negative rhetoric. Her remarks immediately caused the Trump people to accuse of her of attacking his loyal supporters.

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By: Jeff Darcy

Here is what she said:

We are living in a volatile political environment. You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.

It is important to note that she also address the other basket of his supporters, saying:

But the other basket — and I know this because I see friends from all over America here — I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas — as well as, you know, New York and California — but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

Whether or not the “grossly generalistic” deplorable basket is half full or half empty, the issue is not really the percentage but the fact that a significant number of Trump’s supporters are indeed “deplorable” if not even more so. The word “deplorable” literally means something lamentable or that deserves censure. Any rational and moral person should censure supporters who are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic.” Look who belongs to that basket of deplorables for Trump: the KKK White supremicist David Duke; the sexual harrassment offender Roger Ailes, fired from Fox News; alt-right Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon; right-wing commentator Ann Coulter, who after 9/11 wrote about Muslims: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”; and his many fans who attend rallies and shout unprintable epithets against Hillary and President Obama.

If this is the worse that Donald Trump’s camp can blame Hillary for, it shows how desperate they are to shore up those very deplorables. Until this day Trump has yet to retract his insistence that Obama was not born in the United States and thus never eligible to be President, nor has he apologized for his litany of insensitive remarks against Mexicans, Muslims and women. When Trump early on in the primaries suggested that Mexicans coming over the border were rapists and criminals, that was deplorable. When he called for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States, that was deplorable. When he insisted that he had seen Muslim New Yorkers celebrating the 9/11 disaster on cable TV, that was deplorable. When he praises Vladimir Putin as a great and strong leader, ignoring that the man is a thug and the Russian economy is in free fall, that is deplorable. When he says that President Obama has reduced the top military brass to a rubble, that is deplorable.

Although the presidential race has tightened with less than two months to go until election day, Trump will have a difficult time winning given his lack of support among African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims, most women and even many well-known Republicans. His utter lack of knowledge of foreign affairs, apart from his casino and hotel deals, will no doubt show in the upcoming presidential debates, if he does bother to show up. But he is touted with a total lack of criticism by the ideological Fox News clique, who are so antagonistic to President Obama and Hillary Clinton that even a completely unqualified media buffoon like Trump can do no wrong. I have faith that the bulk of the American population will recognize the deplorable nature of Trump and overcome their unease with the establishment candidate Clinton to defeat the deplorable Donald Trump. But the realist in me is saddened that there are so many deplorables in America willing to release their bias and hate.

About the Author

- Anthropologist and historian with 40 years of experience researching and working in Yemen. Varisco is currently the President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies, Senior Fellow at the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg of Bonn University, and an expert advisor to MENA Tidningen.

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