From the moment he began his campaign, Donald Trump has attempted to paint immigrants as imminent dangers to both the safety and livelihood of Americans.
On Monday, he continued this trend in a pretty despicable fashion by telling a blatant and dangerous lie about the gunman responsible for the Orlando shooting, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured. During a speech on terrorism, the real estate mogul stated,
The killer was born an Afghan, of Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States.
But there's just one thing: The gunman was actually born in Queens, not far from where Trump was born. He was an American. Like it or not, this monster was born in this country, and he was a US citizen.
Trump deliberately ignored the gunman's American citizenship to reinforce his call for banning all Muslim immigration to the US.
It was a desperate attempt to paint all Muslim immigrants as dangerous radicals bent on undermining America from within.
Trump's remarks appear to have been ad-libbed, but the words from the prepared text aren't much better, as they suggest letting any immigrants from Afghanistan or the other majority-Muslim countries poses a danger to the US.
Trump's position on this issue is fundamentally bigoted.
Like other Islamophobes, he's trying to portray the majority of Muslims as violent extremists, which is simply not the case.
All of this also comes not long after Trump generated controversy by suggesting a judge presiding over two class-action lawsuits against Trump University would be unfair to him because of his Mexican heritage. The judge was born in Indiana.
Donald Trump's reaction to the horrific shooting in Orlando is a textbook example of what not to do in the wake of a tragedy:
Never make it about yourself.
Don't encourage divisiveness.
And definitely don't respond to an act of hate with more hate.
To top it all off, Trump even suggested President Obama might be sympathetic toward terrorism.
What Trump is doing is dangerous and helps the terrorists far more than the president's refusal to say "radical Islam." Terrorist organizations, like ISIS, want Muslims to believe the West is at war with Islam, as this notion is central to its recruiting efforts.
Simply put, Trump is fueling the propaganda of terrorists.
Does the Muslim world have a good relationship with homosexuals? No, quite frankly, it does not.
But this doesn't mean all Muslims hate gays, nor does it mean the Orlando gunman is representative of all of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims. Not to mention, homophobia is not unique to any single faith or set of beliefs.
Here are the facts: The Orlando gunman was born in America. He legally purchased two guns last week, in spite of previously being investigated by the FBI, and went on to kill dozens of people in what was the worst mass shooting in American history.
Muslims account for a very small portion of those who have perpetrated mass shootings in this country. To ignore this fact is to deny gun violence, and hate crimes are very common problems across multiple demographics in America.
As tempting as it may be to blame this crime on outsiders, it was committed by one of us. We can either acknowledge the truth and do something about it or live in denial and watch more people die.