Commentary

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace: Trump Is 'Talking About Exterminating Latinos'

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words” … well, let’s be honest. Words can start riots.

Following the tragic mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, the media and voices on the left are now having a field day pinning the crime on Donald Trump. There’s scant evidence that the murderer who pulled the trigger was motivated by the president in any way, but no matter.

While liberals are now tripping over themselves to blame Trump’s rhetoric for a mass shooting, they seem oblivious to how their own words are fanning the flames of more hatred. Case in point: An MSNBC journalist just claimed that the president was “talking about exterminating Latinos,” a claim invented out of thin air.

On Monday, the left-leaning MSNBC network predictably tore into Trump, saying he deserves blame for the shooting of Hispanics at a Walmart because he is against endless illegal immigration.

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USA Today columnist Raul Reyes set the ball rolling by claiming that the president’s alarm over recent mass caravans of migrants was the equivalent of racism.

“Then he ramped it up again to the invasion, the warning people of a caravan and words like ‘infestation.’ What do you do with an infestation? With an infestation, the natural conclusion is attempt an extermination,” the columnist said. “So, to me there’s very little distinction between his inciting this violence and the fact it’s now happening.”

Let’s pause right there for a minute. Notice that Reyes just made a stunning leap and then tried to pin his own statement on the president. Even the politically illiterate know that Trump’s famous solution to caravans has been pretty simple: “Build the wall.”

The only person bringing up the word “extermination” here was Reyes himself, with the dishonest implication that Trump had said it. Neat trick.

And while it’s true that Trump has used the word “infestation” before, it wasn’t about migrants. It was about the murderous MS-13 gang, a ruthless transnational group whose motto is “kill, rape, control.”

But MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace then took the absurdity to a new level. Where her colleague had only implied that Trump wanted to “exterminate” immigrants, Wallace said it openly — as fact.

“President Obama used the power of the presidency to try to pass comprehensive immigration reform, with the Latino community, Latino leaders, at the table,” Wallace said. “You now have a president, as you said, talking about exterminating Latinos.”

Not a single member of the MSNBC panel objected or corrected her. Think about that for a moment: A professional journalist on a major news network falsely claimed that the president was “talking about exterminating Latinos,” a claim completely made up, and nobody batted an eye.

This is blatant lying. It’s one thing to be outraged by the El Paso shooting. We should be. And it’s well within the bounds of discourse for opponents of Trump to state their opinion that his past comments were harmful, if that’s what they believe.

Do you think Wallace should apologize for her statement?
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But to insert words into the president’s mouth on national television and falsely claim that he is “talking about exterminating Latinos” is not only shockingly dishonest but also dangerous. It throws fuel onto an already simmering fire of distrust on both sides when what everybody needs to do is take a deep breath and a step back.

Here’s what President Trump actually said after the Texas shooting. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America.”

If we assume for even a moment that the left is correct, that calling MS-13 an “infestation” or speaking out against illegal immigration is so inflammatory that it could spark violence, then falsely claiming that the president wants to exterminate an entire race is a hundred times more negligent.

It’s almost as if those in the establishment media desperately want to accelerate anger on both sides and then watch in glee as the country tears itself apart. That doesn’t have to happen. This rhetoric needs to stop now, and the American people need to reject it outright.

UPDATE, Aug. 7, 2019: After this article was published, Wallace issued a statement on her comment, saying it was a “mistake” and “unintentional.”

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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