After a shooter who killed 22 people in an El Paso, Texas shopping center described his massacre as a response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” Americans noted that President Donald Trump frequently used the term “invasion” to describe Latinx immigrants.
The ideological parallels between the shooter’s manifesto and Trump’s anti-immigration talking points are chilling.
How much does the Texas shooter's manifesto echo the rhetoric of @realdonaldtrump? Watch below to find out. And for more short videos on politics like this, sign up for @TheRecount here: https://t.co/VBkZD8F1kU pic.twitter.com/ZHgQaivWqm
— TheRecount (@therecount) August 6, 2019
That didn’t stop Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade from defending Trump and his use of the term “invasion,” to describe immigrants crossing the southern border.
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade is defending using the term "invasion" to describe migrants crossing the southern border this morning: "If you use the term 'invasion,' it's not anti-Hispanic, it's a fact." pic.twitter.com/dOsgYVgrV2
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) August 6, 2019
“When you have over 110,000 people coming a month, over a million last year and well over a million this year. If you use the term ‘invasion,’ it’s not anti-Hispanic, it’s a fact.”
People knew exactly what the term is meant to imply.
Invasion is an act of war. It implied that guns must be used to counter the "invaders".
— Sergey Kofanov (@SergeyKofanov) August 6, 2019
Use of "invasion," when it isn't an army cannot be a factual claim because it necessarily involves a subjective judgment. In this case, it just happens to coincide with Kilmeade's apparent racism. pic.twitter.com/PLW5gxqnZp
— Bubba Karras (@MichaelDKarras) August 6, 2019
How is it a fact? Are the people coming as a military force, taking over areas? No. Are the people breaking the law by coming to America? No, they are using the existing system as it was intended to be used, claiming refugee status.
— Turnabout (@Turnabo55482572) August 6, 2019
People were pretty sure they knew what “invasion” is supposed to imply.
If Fox&friends uses the term invasion it is triggering fear and hate in some of their viewers. They do it intentional to charge up the Trump base.
— Minimuh (@Minimuh2017) August 6, 2019
I see we are upping the racist rhetoric in an attempt to normalize it within conversation
— Bren (@thebrenofbrens) August 6, 2019
It’s a Dog whistle
— Stephen Coniglio (@stvcng) August 6, 2019
Fox is famously Donald Trump’s favorite news network, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the network is defending a term Trump’s administration and campaign has worked tirelessly to normalize the term.
Since May of last year, Trump’s 2020 campaign has run approximately 2200 ads using the word “invasion.”
According to Facebook's ad archive, Trump has run around 2,200 FB ads since May 2018 mentioning the word "invasion." Scrolling through, all of them seem to be about immigration. pic.twitter.com/0Q5TEewfL3
— Natalie Martinez (@natijomartinez) August 4, 2019
It’s unclear whether the president or his campaign will soften the violent rhetoric against immigrants or if, as happens often, Trump will double down.
Whatever happens, Fox is likely to follow his lead.