“We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in. … You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”
- Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States of America
March 16th, 2018
Yes, biologically we are all animals but the legibility and intent of Donald Trump’s statement was clear and not a scientific assessment. It is not okay to call other people animals within the context of what Donald Trump said in that meeting, not even if some of the undocumented immigrants are current or former gang members from North, Central, or South America. The reason is this: we cannot pretend as if these type of gangs and their constituents are birthed of a neutral substance, unaffected by centuries of conquest, destabilization, and regional conflict largely created by Europe and the US. If these gang members are animals, then they are the animals that were created by the barbarism of our own country. If these are the animals that we made, then what does it make us. The hens always come home to roost, don’t they? If Americans are haunted by the specter of the darker tendencies of a globalized world, then they are haunted by a terror of their own making. This does not excuse the terrible acts carried out by these gang members, but our house is made of glass and we need to tread carefully with the stones we are willing to throw and those we wish to throw them at. The people that elected Donald Trump will make no distinction between gang members and our mothers, fathers, and children; to them, we are already animals.