There’s a rather telling detail in a piece in Politico on the reactions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to the attacks on 9/11.
In a television interview only a few hours after the twin towers collapsed in flames, Trump managed to work in a strange little boast about his real-estate empire:
“40 Wall Street,” he said, referring to his 71-story building blocks away from the now-collapsed twin towers, “actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan … And now it’s the tallest.”
Trump will always be Trump, I guess.
But the Politico story does note that aside from this little bit of brand-building, Trump was actually rather restrained in his response that day, at least by normal Trumpian standards:
A decade and a half before pledging to “bomb the shit out of” ISIS and proposing a deportation force and a Muslim ban, Trump didn’t talk about retribution or leap to conclusions about who was responsible. In fact, he avoided identifying potential enemies—any terrorist organization or Muslims in general.
We live in what is, in many ways, a much uglier America today, and Trump has been one of the leading enablers of this ugliness.
As Mic noted in a post yesterday, Islamophobia is much worse today than it was on 9/11/2001, and hate crimes against Muslims are on the upswing.
Immediately after 9/11, there was a significant rise in anti-Muslim activity.According to the FBI, in 2001 anti-Islamic hate crimes spiked by 1,600 percent with 481 incidents. CAIR noted another surge in 2006 — the reason for it remains unclear. Another spike followed the Park51 controversy in 2010, in which New York City considered building a Muslim community center and mosque near Ground Zero.
But the highest concentration of anti-Muslim crimes came at the end of 2015. According to CAIR’s latest report, 78 mosques were targeted for vandalism that year — more incidents than they had documented in any one year since they started tracking in 2009. Compare this to 2014, when CAIR only documented 22 similar incidents, or 2013, when they documented 20. The 2015 spike came after the attacks at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris and around the same time Donald Trump infamously proposed that the country should ban Muslims from entering until we “figure out what’s going on.”
Similarly, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that in 2014 while the rate of hate crimes overall had fallen compared with the previous year, hate crimes against Muslims saw a 14 percent increase.
The vicious attacks against Muslims have continued apace this year. The latest: an attack on two Muslim mothers in Brooklyn last Thursday. The New York Daily News reports:
A bigoted Brooklyn woman launched a sickening attack on two Muslim women pushing their babies in strollers — punching them in the face and trying to pull off their hijabs, prosecutors said Friday.
Emirjeta Xhelili, 32, hurled Islamophobic insults as she pounced on the two victims near her Bath Beach home about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
“Get the f–k out of here,” Xhelili, 32, allegedly yelled at the pair, according to prosecutors. “Get the f–k out of America, b—–s.” …
Brooklyn prosecutors said her attack included an attempt to knock over a stroller carrying a 15-month-old baby.
Happily, the baby (and both mothers) are ok, and Xhelili was quickly arrested.
The alleged attacker is, of course, a Trump supporter. The Daily News notes that
Her vile social media musings include several bizarre tweets cheering the candidacy of Donald Trump.
“America is the ark of Noah,” one reads. “Trump’s gonna win.”
Such is life in America fifteen years after 9/11.
H/T — Raw Story/Liberaland for highlighting the Trump quote.