, 6 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I see that a lot of people are claiming Trump was "only" referring to MS-13 members with the "animals" remark that's now making the rounds again.

Come on. Do you really not know how Trump's dehumanization game works at this point?

Here's a refresher:

The crux of this is that the fluidity of Trump's remarks -- the fact that you can't really be sure *who* he's calling "animals" -- is *the whole point.*

This is exactly how dehumanizing language works. It's precisely what makes it a dog-whistle:

If you read the full quote, you *cannot know* who he's referring to.

The context is a discussion of MS-13, but then *he* fluidly conflates this with "people" we're "taking...out of the country," a larger category he describes as "bad."

The conflation *is itself* the statement.
Remember this?

Trump "read aloud a few made up Hispanic names and described potential crimes they could have committed, like rape or murder."

Reporters: "Trump was 'only' talking about Hispanic criminals, not trying to tar Hispanics more broadly!"


I'm "calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US."

Also Trump: "Thousands and thousands" of US Muslims celebrated 9/11.

Reporters: "Trump is 'only' talking about the Muslims he thinks celebrated 9/11. He's not trying to smear all US Muslims!"
The rules governing when the ultra-savvy set will suddenly permit themselves to lapse into absurd levels of blind credulousness are opaque and very hard to fathom. FIN
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