Trump's Relentless Campaign of Stochastic Terrorism: Rep. Ilhan Omar Edition

[Content Note: Islamophobia; misogynoir; stochastic terrorism.]

On Friday, Donald Trump tweeted a video that interspersed clips of Rep. Ilhan Omar speaking about 9/11 at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and footage of the Twin Towers burning on 9/11. Alongside the video, Trump tweeted the text: "WE WILL NEVER FORGET!"

Omar's speech had been the focus of manufactured conservative outrage for days by the time Trump issued his disgusting and incendiary tweet. (For more on that, see Eli Rosenberg and Kayla Epstein at the Washington Post), so Trump, always the opportunist, saw a chance to throw some Islamophobic red meat to his deplorable base.

It was also another opportunity for Trump to further his campaign of stochastic terrorism against marginalized people and/or his critics. I shared my thoughts about that on Twitter over the weekend:
What Donald Trump is doing is stochastic terrorism. The president is targeting a member of Congress in a way that not only makes her unsafe, but makes every Muslim (and other non-Muslims frequently targeted by violent Islamophobia, like Sikhs) unsafe.

Here is a piece I wrote last year about Trump's campaign of stochastic terrorism.

It's critical to understand the president's despicable, dangerous strategy.
Stochastic terrorism is "the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf."

That is: Leverage visibility and influence to dehumanize your enemies and cast them as threats, then sit back and wait for your most radical and/or unstable supporters to take violent action. It helps significantly if you've also leveraged your power to give access to deadly weaponry to as many people as possible.
As I have said many times, Trump did not invent bigotry. But he amplifies it, and he empowers its most vicious purveyors (including himself), every chance he gets.

* * *

Sometimes lost in all the technical analysis of what a corrupt and radical and dangerous president Donald Trump is, is the fact that he's an extraordinarily awful human being. Just a toxic, bigoted, vengeful, dishonest, sadistic piece of shit. There is an abuser at the wheel.

It's increasingly problematic for the press to avoid straightforwardly addressing that Trump is an awful human being, b/c his nature is why this isn't going to get better. The fewer checks on his power, the worse it will get. His unfettered cruelty is terrifying to contemplate.

That the press persists with the obscene pretense that it's somehow impolite to bluntly call someone a bad person — even if he is demonstrably a white supremacist, nativist, patriarchal, authoritarian pigshit, who publicly mocks disabled people for laughs — will kill us all.

This has been my pinned tweet since two days after the election, when it was all the rage to admonish me to "give Trump a chance." And it will stay pinned until he is gone, because I know exactly who he is.
Not going to "give him a chance." I'm going to resist every single thing he tries to do, b/c he's used every chance he ever got to hurt ppl.
I've seen a number of people saying that Trump attacked Omar despite the fact a Trump supporter was recently arrested for making a direct threat on her life — but Trump isn't attacking Omar in spite of the existing threats to her life; he's attacking her because she is already vulnerable, so that threats against her will increase.

And so they have:
Rep. Ilhan Omar says she's faced increased death threats since President Trump spread around a video that purports to show her being dismissive of the 2001 terrorist attacks. "This is endangering lives," she said, accusing Mr. Trump of fomenting right-wing extremism. "It has to stop."
Yes, it does. Donald Trump has to be disempowered immediately, because he is not going to stop out of the goodness of his heart. He has none.

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