Two Boston men landed in jail today for an act of vile racism and cruelty that they’ve credited to Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
The two men assaulted a homeless Latino man who was sleeping in a subway station. The two brothers, Scott and Steve Leader were arrested after witnesses phoned 911. The victim, Guillermo Rodriguez, explained to police what happened to him, as reported by the Boston Globe.
“In the early morning of Aug. 19, the Leader brothers allegedly approached the victim and urinated on him while he was sleeping outside the JFK/UMass MBTA station. When the victim asked the brothers why they did that, they allegedly walked away laughing, the district attorney’s office said.
Scott and Steven Leader returned after leaving the area and attacked the victim by kicking, punching, and repeatedly striking him with a pole, prosecutors said. The brothers then allegedly walked away again, laughing and high-fiving each other, according to the statement.”
Witnesses followed the two brothers while waiting for police and led officers directly to the two disgusting offenders. Both were arrested. Scott Leader’s bail was set at $75,000 and his brother, Steve’s, was set at $50,000. The brothers made several statements to police that indicated that they were confessing to the crime. One of those statements stood out, in particular.
“According to a police report, they told officers, ‘Donald Trump was right: All these illegals need to be deported.’ Prosecutors said Scott Leader told arresting officers that he believed the attack was justified because the victim was homeless and Hispanic. The pair also allegedly threatened police officers while in custody.”
While Trump’s friends and fellow GOP supporters such as Geraldo Rivera and Ben Stein have frantically insisted that Trump has never displayed any type of racist behavior in their presence, statements like those entirely miss the point. What is important is what Trump’s rhetoric is inspiring among his followers, and the validation of bigoted beliefs among particular segments of white Americans.
Trump continues to insist that his supporters’ anger stems from a dissatisfaction with government leadership and an economy that has left them behind, a recent Pew Research Center study shows that Trump’s supporters are also far more likely to believe that it is the existence of non-whites who are responsible for their unhappiness with the current climate in the United States.
Trump’s anti-PC stance is based entirely on an anger he has tapped into with his base who are endlessly incensed over the growing movement away from racism, xenophobia, sexism, and homophobia. If they cannot display these behaviors, make these statements, and support bills that harm and discriminate against those who do not fit a white, hetero, Christian, male standard, their superiority is threatened. Trump validates those feelings of anger and fear against all those who don’t fit the standard and has become the poster boy for the worst among us.
Trump’s own reaction to this horrifying crime is evidence that he both understands and continues to perpetuate the racism that has fueled his success as a GOP candidate.
“Trump, a real estate developer and reality television personality, initially described the attack as an outcome of passionate views on immigration but later called it ‘terrible.'”
God forbid Trump denounce such a disgusting, racist act outright. He might offend his base.
For The Young Turks’s coverage of this story, see the video below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube