Wingnut Week In Review: Brussels and Bigotry

Terrance Heath

The dust had not yet settled, the smoke had not yet cleared, and the body count had not yet begun before right-wingers used the terrorist attacks in Brussels to spout their usual brand of bigotry.

Normally, when there’s a mass shooting or an act of right-wing terrorism here at home, conservatives are the first out of the gate admonishing us that it’s “not the time” to “politicize” what’s happened. Apparently, that doesn’t apply to terrorist attacks where radical Islam is involved. Fox host Brian Kilmeade let that double standard slip out when he pointed out that Fox only covers terrorism when it appears to involve Muslims.

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): You know what [the Israelis] do? They profile.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Well, they profile and, I’m sorry, but we turned on the television this morning, I started watching you at 6 a.m., it wasn’t a Seventh Day Adventist who carried out the attack. No one in this country would think–

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): He screamed – You know, the first thing we heard is, after screaming out an Arabic phrase, shots went out, and a bomb blew up. That starts the last 5,000 terror attacks that we opened up our show with over the last twelve years.

And with that, the wingnuts were off to the races.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump expanded his proposed security measures. “I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what is going on. Look at Brussels, look at Paris, look at so many cities that were great cities,” Trump said on Fox News.

Former U.S. Secretary Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said on Fox News that Trumps ideas were “preposterous.”

Trump also to NBC News that “waterboarding would be fine and if they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding.”

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) actually managed to out-Trump Donald Trump. In a campaign press release, Cruz called for security patrols in America’s “Muslim neighborhoods.”

“For years, the west has tried to deny this enemy exists out of a combination of political correctness and fear. We can no longer afford either. Our European allies are now seeing what comes of a toxic mix of migrants who have been infiltrated by terrorists and isolated, radical Muslim neighborhoods.

“We will do what we can to help them fight this scourge, and redouble our efforts to make sure it does not happen here. We need to immediately halt the flow of refugees from countries with a significant al Qaida or ISIS presence. We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.

“We need to secure the southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. And we need to execute a coherent campaign to utterly destroy ISIS. The days of the United States voluntarily surrendering to the enemy to show how progressive and enlightened we are at an end. Our country is at stake.”

There was some inevitable blowback. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough slammed Cruz’s proposal for increased policing of Muslim communities as “the exact opposite of what we need to do. It makes us less safe.” CBS host Norah O’Donnell busted Cruz for his utter ignorance. “You don’t even know how many Muslims are in America,” O’Donnell said when Cruz admitted not knowing there are three million Muslims in the U.S., whom he somehow wants to “patrol.”

It was the same just about everywhere on the right.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee used the attacks to justify shutting out refugees from Syria and Iraq. “Right now, we should suspend all refugees coming from Syria, Iraq and any countries involved in a war where ISIS is a factor,” King told the Washington Examiner.
Former New York City mayor and failed presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News that President Obama should have cut his trip to Cuba short because the Brussels attacks were his “Pearl Harbor.” (Even though it wasn’t anywhere near U.S. soil.)
Giuliani also called Hillary Clinton “a founding member of ISIS,” and said that as president he would pardon anyone who tortured.
Fox News’ Peter Johnson Jr. said the president attended a baseball game with Cuban president Raoul Castro following the attacks because he wanted to look “cool.”
Radio host Michael Savage asked GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump to advocate closing mosques in America, following the Brussels attacks.
Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham said that “political correctness can sometimes kill,” and suggested that “political correctness” was to blame for the Brussels attacks.
Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt asked Lt. Col. Oliver North if it’s a “good strategy” to bomb Molenbeek — a neighborhood in Brussels.
Fox News guest Zuhdi Jasser said that “this is a war,” and the U.S. needs to “not be afraid to profile.”
On her radio show, Ingraham attacked Muslim immigrants saying, “Middle Eastern countries have got to be told … we’re cutting you off. … You are not going to come into this country and destroy what’s good about America.”
Former congressperson Michele Bachmann wrote in a column for WorldNet Daily that God is using acts of terrorism to humiliate President Obama, for skipping the AIPAC conference to go to Cuba.

Twitter lit up with hatred, as the right-wing’s favorite #StopIslam hashtag popped back up.

Fortunately, #StopIslam stopped trending shortly afterwards, overwhelmed by messages of unity, acceptance, and peace.

Here’s the best of the rest of the worst in wingnuttery this week:

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