"Mexicans Are Rapists"

"Ban Muslims."

You probably think Donald Trump said the first of these things, and proposed the second. I would think that too, if I only listened to the media, because I see these claims being made again and again.

Mexicans Are Rapists

Let's look at the first one. What did Trump actually say? Here is the best I can do at reconstructing the original quote in a couple of minutes of Googling:

"Mexico isn’t sending their best people. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists."

He's complaining about illegal Mexican immigrants. And he begins by saying "Mexico isn’t sending their best people."

OK, it is very weird to talk about Mexico "sending" immigrants our way. But note: he is very specifically differentiating "their best people" from the illegal immigrants from Mexico. Mexico, this implies, has lots of excellent people: but those aren't the ones illegally immigrating here.

Secondly, the rest of the sentences are clearly an elliptical way of saying, "Some of them bring drugs. Some of them are rapists." Because what he adds after that is "Some of them are good people."

This was certainly an inflammatory way of talking. Someone more careful would have been sure to add the "some," and then would have made the caveat "Most of them are good people."

So yes, Trump says things he perhaps shouldn't*, to get attention and get people riled up. But he never claimed that "Mexicans are rapists."

Ban Muslims

I see this a lot: "Trump proposed banning Muslims."

What the hell is "banning Muslims" even supposed to mean?

In any case, what he actually proposed, and what he continues to propose, is to suspend immigration from some Muslim countries until tighter security procedures can be put in place. Now, you might think that is a good idea, or you might think it is a bad one, but it is a lot different than the notion of "banning Muslims."

But Trump says these things a couple of times, and it takes work to look up his original words. The media repeats thousands of times the distortions that he wants to "ban Muslims" or that he claims "all Mexicans are rapists," and that effectively drowns out whatever he really said.

You might consider why the media is working so hard to distort what Trump actually says.

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* "perhaps": Because I don't know if an outsider who wasn't willing to shock people could possibly have won the GOP nomination.


8 comments:

  1. Are you sure this is what the media is doing or they are being just as lax about what they say as Trump? Or is Trump the only one entitled to omit some? One might want better quality without expecting it.

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  2. Gene, let me address the two things separately:

    1. He said, "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." The clear implication of that is "I know for a fact there are large numbers of illegal immigrants from Mexico who bring drugs, crime, and rape. And I assume, though I'm not sure, that there is also a small number of good people among them." Also, the way he later justified his remarks was absurd: he said he wasn't talking about the general population of illegal immigrants from Mexico, he was talking about the ones that "Mexico sends" - he claimed that the Mexican government sends criminals to the U.S. to avoid incarceration costs. That's an absurd conspiracy theory, and clearly not what the original remark meant.

    2. His exact words were that he's "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." There is no ambiguity there. He has only walked it back to "certain Muslim countries" or "countries that are compromised by terrorism" fairly recently.

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    1. 1) Yes, the original remark was not nice, and was exaggerated, and so on. What it WASN'T was a claim that "all Mexicans are rapists."

      "That's an absurd conspiracy theory, and clearly not what the original remark meant."

      Hmm, that certainly would explain the "they're sending us" part, wouldn't it? Otherwise, that's pretty bizarre.

      2) Yes, it is a temporary ban until better security can be put in place. The original way he put this may still have been a very bad idea. But what it WASN'T was a "ban on Muslims."

      Trump is a loudmouth who talks before thinking things through, and deliberately says outrageous things in order to attract attention. I'm with you 100% on those points. And I *wish* instead (as I've repeatedly noted) that I had the chance to vote for Dwight Eisenhower, or Rand Paul, or Jim Webb, etc. etc.

      But we're going to get Clinton or Trump, and the only question now is which will be worse.

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  3. "What the hell is 'banning Muslims' even supposed to mean?"

    Just what it says. It seems straightforward.

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    1. And would you explain what "just what it says" means? Because I have no idea. Are people suggesting that Trump wanted to KICK OUT Muslim CITIZENS from the US?! Because that SEEMS to be what they are suggesting. And that is really ridiculous, and nothing like it was suggested.

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  4. With regard to "banning Muslims" the only thing I could say in anti-Trump's defense is that it's fair to assume that Trump speaks vaguely and elliptically by habit. So, it's sometimes necessary to read into what he says to make any sense of it.

    That said, what is our news media good for if they can't "show him the better way" (as my dad always used to say) by actually being clear and specific? Somebody may or may not think that Trump seems like the kind of guy who would deport all Muslims, but he certainly never said that.

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    1. Right: he was clearly always talking about Muslim immigration, and he was clear from the start that this halt was temporary, "until we can figure out what is going on."

      He speaks vaguely and off-the-cuff, but when pushed to clarify, he says what he meant is that immigration should be halted from certain countries until better security measures are in place.

      Which, whether or good idea or not, is certainly not a nutty idea, as testified to by the recent problems in Europe.

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