Voicing concern over Donald Trump's "vitriolic" and "hate-filled" rhetoric, Indian- American actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has said such discourse is scary and makes him "afraid" for his family.
Voicing concern over Donald Trump’s “vitriolic” and “hate-filled” rhetoric, Indian- American actor and comedian Aziz Ansari has said such discourse is scary and makes him “afraid” for his family.
“Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels.
It’s visceral, and scary and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense,” Ansari, a Muslim-American, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.
Ansari, a writer and director and creator of the Netflix series ‘Master of None’, recalls that in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando, he had told his mother to not go “anywhere near a mosque” and to “do all your prayers at home”.
“I am the son of Muslim immigrants. As I sent that text, in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Orlando, Florida.
I realised how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshipped. Being Muslim-American already carries a decent amount of baggage,” he said, adding that people are not reminded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai or legendary American basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when they think of a Muslim but of a scary terrorist character from the TV show ‘Homeland’.
Ansari, whose parents hail from Tamil Nadu, said the “vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric” coming from Trump “isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window.”
He slammed Trump for suggesting that millions of Muslims living in America are complicit in such shootings in the US soil because the community “know who the bad ones are”.
“Not only is this wrongheaded; but it also does nothing to address the real problems posed by terrorist attacks.
By 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,” he said.
Ansari accused Trump of making “xenophobic rhetoric” central to his campaign long before the attack in Orlando, slamming him for calling Mexicans “rapists” and saying that Muslims in New Jersey were cheering in the streets after the 9/11 attacks.
Ansari said Trump appeared to be the one who was “celebrating after an attack” when on the day of the Orlando massacre, he began a tweet with the words “Appreciate the congrats”.
Ansari asserted that the overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen as any white person has with any of the “white terrorists who shoot up movie theatres or schools or abortion clinics.”
Citing estimates, he said there have been 49 mass shootings in America and more than half of those were perpetrated by white males.
“I doubt we’ll hear Mr Trump make a speech asking his fellow white males to tell authorities ‘who the bad ones are’, or call for restricting white males’ freedoms,” he said.