Trump’s recent retweets and remarks spark controversy

“Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” Wait, let me try that again: dark-haired Dutch boy (a natural-born citizen with no listed religious affiliation) beats up Dutch boy on crutches, truth.

For those of you who still manage to tolerate the insufferable circumstances of President Donald Trump’s Twitter, you may have noticed a few uncomfortable videos shared by, sigh, our president.

All three videos depicted Middle-Eastern-looking men acting violently, a weak attempt to… portray the danger of Muslim immigrants? Possibly. While the “immigrant beats Dutch boy” story was immediately debunked, the second video proved to be ambiguous as well.

A Muslim man was depicted destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary. While destroying of a religious relic (of any religion) is extremely offensive, using this video as a way to generalize an entire religious group is a degrading way of spreading xenophobic sentiment.

The third video was a sickening depiction of a mob beating a young man and dropping him from the roof of a building during the chaos ensuing after President Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow in Egypt circa 2013. It is important to note that these men (one of whom was put to death) were charged and prosecuted for their crime in 2015.

One of these men was waving what appeared to be an ISIS flag, which — once again — brings us to the point that ISIS is not, in any way, an accurate representation of Islam. It is both illogical and irresponsible to condemn all Muslims for the acts of an extremist terrorist group. While disgusting and gut-wrenching, this video does not accurately portray Muslims: there is a big difference between ISIS and everyday Muslims.

The thing people need to realize is that terrorism’s goal is to instill fear within you, to make you afraid of your friends and foes alike. ISIS kills and abuses thousands of Muslims each year for fighting against their hatred. Muslims are fighting just as hard as we are to rid the world of ISIS and its hate. By condemning all Muslims, you are letting the terrorists win. You are hurting others because of your fear. By letting this hatred into your heart, you are doing the terrorists’ job for them.

These unverified videos, while troublesome alone, demonstrate the danger of misinformation and negative propaganda as well as the progressing evidence of Trump’s incompetence.

Whether the videos were fake or real, the president’s choice to share them was extremely insensitive and inappropriate. Even disregarding the divisive impact of the videos, no political figure should be sharing videos of such violence without context or actual reasoning.

The White House response to his controversial posts was just as numb and offensive. When questioned about the credibility of the videos, White House Secretary of Press Sarah Sanders stated: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real,” according to the Washington Post. Sure, just completely disregard the integrity of the video…no!

Let’s not forget that the administration’s “facts” concerning their so-called threat are altogether wrong as well. Although immigrants (both legal and illegal) contribute to crime, only five percent of prison inmates in 2015 were non-citizens, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In addition, from 1990 to 2013 the number of immigrants more than tripled yet the violent crime rate fell by about 40 percent, according to the New York Times.

In fact,the most striking finding from our research is that for murder, robbery, burglary, and larceny, as immigration increased, crime decreased, on average, in American metropolitan areas,” stated researchers contributing to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

The disregard of fact in this administration is shockingly apparent. Political beliefs aside, the videos are in no way presidential. In fact, the woman who provided these videos is the leader of the alt-right group “Britain First” who is currently facing charges for hate crime in the U.K.

The president — regardless of who he or she is — should never be spreading possibly false (and in this case proven false) information. Due to Trump’s position of power, he has a great deal of influence over the citizens of our country, as well as worldwide. It has become clear throughout Trump’s presidency that he is continuously abusing this influence.

While Trump’s tweets target migrants, he is also specifically targeting Muslims, regardless of their national standing. Only one of the videos (the false one for that matter) identified the perpetrator as an immigrant while the other two simply identified the men as Muslim. This is not just a war on immigration but a war on an entire religion as well, a war in which ill-taught citizens are using misleading videos to display some warped reality of the Muslim ideals.

Many American citizens are using these videos to provide “evidence” for the validity of their xenophobic zeal and their fight for a white America. But these videos do not represent the truth of Americans or Muslims as a whole. Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike — we, as Americans, are not led by a creed of violence and pain, but one of love. However, while our country was born in the fire of rebellion and a love for freedom, I fear we have been led astray.

I wish I could say this isn’t the America I know– that this type of hate shocks me, that my home is not able to commit such cruelty–but that wouldn’t be true. I am not surprised by the hate, or the fear, or any of our bad sides as a country. Being born in a nation from which came the Trail of Tears, years of slavery, abuse of immigrants, forced assimilation, Japanese internment camps — I am not surprised.

Disappointed? For sure. But I have been disappointed for over a year now.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Trump has posted unofficial and inappropriate messages. Over recent months, he has shared many violent videos, immature personal attacks, false information and unapproved promises regarding policy.

Just recently, we experienced a mind-numbing demonstration of his insensitivity during his ceremony to honor native World War II veterans. Although the ceremony was a very respectable thing for him to do, he then chose to ruin the sentiment by mocking a fellow politician, Senator Elizabeth Warren, using the racial slur “Pocahontas” due to her unverified claims of native blood. To top this all off, the ceremony occurred in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson — the president responsible for the genocidal march (known as the Trail of Tears) that killed thousands of natives.

If our own president cannot display a simple symbol of gratitude to men who risked their lives fighting for a country whose government has done little but harm them, what can be expected from our citizens?