Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the Untied States is offering “absolutely nothing other than hate” and warned it conjured up segregationist policies of former Gov. George Wallace (D-AL).
Ellison said, “Well, people are very concerned. It’s obviously something very frightening, worrisome. They wonder about this and wonder what comes next. And many are wondering will our responsible leaders denounce this much the same way George W. Bush did right after 9/11 when fear of backlash was ever present. You know, I actually think this is the moment where leaders of real integrity have to say, this is not the right thing.”
He continued, “Look, Paul Ryan and I are not in the same party and disagree on most things economic. On other things as well. But when he said this is not American, I was proud of our Speaker of the House. At that moment he was the Speaker of the House of the whole United States, not just a party. And so, look, I mean, this is time where people need to be counted. Just like when George Wallace was barring the door in segregation, today, tomorrow and forever, just like when Joe McCarthy was doing what he did, you know, good Americans said, ‘You know what? I may pay a personal price in terms of disapproval of some people, but I’m going to say it’s wrong because it’s wrong.’ And so this is the moment that we’re in. And I don’t accept Senator Cruz saying, ‘Well, I’m not going to pile on, I don’t really agree.’ No, this is the moment where real integrity is on the line. And people have to step up and say persecuting a religious minority and scapegoating them is absolutely unacceptable. That’s the moment we’re in.”
He said, “Muslim kids like all American kids aspire to be president of the United States. They want to be soldiers, they want to be cops, they want to be firefighters, they love this country and want to serve it. So when somebody who is aspiring to be president and has a pretty good shot at being it in the Republican nomination says you’re not a part of us, you’re not welcome here, you don’t belong. That is really worrisome. And I tell you, it’s not just Muslims, it’s other folks who remember and can — have studied Japanese internment. Who have studied ugly epics in American history, that we do not want to return to. And I think that it’s not just a Muslim thing. I have people from Christian and Jewish communities calling me and saying, wait a minute, this is not going to work. This is unacceptable. And I just hope that this provokes in the good decent people of America of which the majority are overwhelmingly will stand up and say no to Donald Trump and anybody who wants to try to win an election by parodying this divisive hate.”
He added, “I’m concerned about the people who do support him. He’s offering them absolutely nothing other than hate. he’s not trying to solve the problems of the american people. and yet he offers people hate, and because he channels their frustration he gets support. but I hope the people who have been supporting him begin to ask, what are we getting out of Donald Trump other than who we should dislike?
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