Aziz Ansari Pens Essay Calling Out Trump's "Hate-Filled Rhetoric" After Orlando Attacks

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Aziz Ansari

"By Mr. Trump’s logic, after the huge financial crisis of 2007-08, the best way to protect the American economy would have been to ban white males."

Aziz Ansari called for an end to Muslim hate speech and gun control legislation in an essay published Friday, in which he argues that not only is Donald Trump's "hate-filled rhetoric" dangerous, but also "makes no sense." 

In a New York Times opinion piece called “Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family,” the Master of None creator and actor explains how the Orlando, Fla., massacre led to "new levels" of prejudice. The actor says in the essay that “visceral” and “scary” hate speech about Muslim Americans that came after the Orlando attacks, and events like it, makes him afraid for his family of Muslim immigrants. 

“In our culture,” Ansari writes, “when people think ‘Muslim,’ the picture in their heads is not usually of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or the kid who left the boy band One Direction. It’s of a scary terrorist character from Homeland or some monster from the news.”

Ansari remembers being a student in New York after the 9/11 attacks, when someone yelled “Terrorist!” at him from a car window passing by. He argues that knee-jerk reactions and spewing generalized hate at groups like Muslim Americans doesn’t solve anything and simply “makes no sense.”

“The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window,” Ansari says, adding that “xenophobic rhetoric” has been a part of Trump’s campaign since the very beginning. “This is a guy who kicked off his presidential run by calling Mexicans “rapists” who were ‘bringing drugs’ to this country.”

He also argues that "the overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics," explaining that blaming an overly generalized group like Muslims for every shooting in the country isn't a solution to anything. 

“By Mr. Trump’s logic,” Ansari continues, “after the huge financial crisis of 2007-08, the best way to protect the American economy would have been to ban white males.

“He has said that people in the American Muslim community ‘know who the bad ones are,’ implying that millions of innocent people are somehow complicit in awful attacks. Not only is this wrongheaded; but it also does nothing to address the real problems posed by terrorist attacks."

In a tweet promoting the essay Friday, Ansari simplified his argument as such: "Trump wants to ban Muslim immigrants like my parents. I wrote a piece for @NYTimes telling him to go f— himself." 

Ansari ends with a call for gun control legislation in Congress. “One way to decrease the risk of terrorism is clear: Keep military-grade weaponry out of the hands of mentally unstable people, those with a history of violence, and those on F.B.I. watch lists. But, despite sit-ins and filibusters, our lawmakers are failing us on this front and choose instead to side with the National Rifle Association.”

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