Aziz Ansari's essay on Donald Trump is a must-read for every American.
The comedian has had it with The Donald.
On June 24, 2016, comedian Aziz Ansari penned an essay in The New York Times on Donald Trump's Islamophobia.
It's filled with heart, common sense, and cold, hard facts.
All of which are, you know, the most obvious attributes lacking from the reality-TV-star-turned-presumptive-GOP-nominee's increasingly perplexing campaign for the White House.
The essay, "Why Trump Makes Me Scared for My Family," nails several points about why Trump's candidacy is so dangerous and how it's directly harming many Americans.
"Today, with the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and others like him spewing hate speech, prejudice is reaching new levels," Ansari wrote. "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."
Every word is worth the read. But here are three main takeaways from Ansari's essay.
1. Trump's Islamophobic policy platforms are ludicrous. And Ansari has the math to prove it.
"The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics."
Citing data that suggests the number of U.S. Muslims with potential ties to terrorism barely registers above 0%, Ansari spells out why Trump's baseless Muslim travel ban proposition not only paints families like his own as more dangerous — it's completely nonsensical.
Really, if we're going to be fearful of Muslims, we should probably be just as scared of white guys (at least, according to, you know, data).
2. White people can't know what it feels like to bear the brunt of Trump's racist rhetoric, Ansari explains.
"I asked a young friend of mine, a woman in her 20s of Muslim heritage, how she had been feeling after the attack. 'I just feel really bad, like people think I have more in common with that idiot psychopath than I do the innocent people being killed,' she said. 'I’m really sick of having to explain that I’m not a terrorist every time the shooter is brown.'"
Believing that Muslims inherently have an extra responsibility to condemn terrorism to prove they're not part of the problem is flat-out wrong. We don't ask white Christians to apologize for the Westboro Baptist Church — why should we demand apologies from 3.3 million American Muslims?
Trump's blanket statements grouping everyone of a single faith with extremism have real effects. They play into the message of actual terrorists that seek to drive a rift between the West and Islam, validated by Islamophobic violence.
No one should feel forced to apologize for a stranger's acts they had nothing to do with.
3. When it comes to a more level-headed method in preventing terrorism than barring Muslims? Ansari suggests letting fewer military-style weapons get into the wrong hands.
"Suspected terrorists can buy assault rifles, but we’re still carrying tiny bottles of shampoo to the airport. If we’re going to use the 'they’ll just find another way' argument, let’s use that to let us keep our shoes on."
Lawmakers may detest terrorism, but they seem to hate taking on the National Rifle Association even more.
Despite the fact that military-style guns were used in the mass shootings in Orlando, San Bernardino, and Sandy Hook, and despite a recent filibuster and 24-hour sit-in in the House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., still has yet to push through any substantial gun control measures to help curb the violence.
Trump presents a unique form of bigotry we haven't seen in a presidential race in quite some time. We need more people like Ansari calling it like it is.
"The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window," Ansari explains.
And the last thing we need is a bigoted driver with road rage behind the wheel in the White House for the next four years.