April 12th, 2016
It’s no surprise that Donald Trump‘s plan to build a wall to stop drugs coming into the US from Mexico, has many holes in it. But at a campaign rally in Albany, NY on Monday, Trump defended the wall and his idea to force Mexico to pay for it, reports The Hill. Drugs from Mexico are “pouring into the country” and “poisoning our youth,” he declared.
The remarks recalled Trump’s racist campaign launch speech last June, when he opined: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Whether it was Chinese immigrants who came to work on the railroads bringing in their dangerous opium, post-civil war black Americans “forgetting their place” and getting “violent” from cocaine, or Mexican immigrants after the Great Depression smoking a mysterious drug called “marihuana” (a name which Harry Anslinger, then head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, intentionally used to rebrand what was commonly called “cannabis” so that it sounded foreign), politicians and the media have worked hand-in-hand to create narratives that criminalize certain drugs and people perceived to use them.
In response to GOP concerns that Trump’s racism against Mexicans might push away voters, Trump reassured them: “I have great relationships with Mexico and Hispanics. Thousands of Hispanics work for me. They’re great, great people. They’re going to vote for me.”
Trump’s linguistic tics may be idiosyncratic, but his racist rhetoric around drugs is old and stale.