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Trump’s repeated use of the Mexican rapist trope is as old (and as racist) as colonialism

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Donald Trump took time away from a tax reform meeting in West Virginia on Thursday to say, again, that Latin American men are a bunch of rapists, which is why we need stricter immigration laws in the United States. “And remember my opening remarks at Trump Tower,” he began, referring to his presidential campaign kickoff speech in June of 2015 when he said that Mexico is sending, “rapists” along with drug traffickers and drugs.

“When I opened. Everybody said, ‘Oh, he was so tough,’ and I used the word rape. And yesterday, it came out where this journey coming up,” he said referring to the annual Pueblo Sin Fronteras caravan for immigrant rights currently traveling from Central America through Mexico to the United States, “Women are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before. They don’t want to mention that. So we have to change our laws.” (On Friday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump was referring to the Central American women too often raped on the journey to the United States to seek asylum, which is one reason they formed the caravan in the first place.)

When it comes to rallying his voter base, the men-of-color-as-sexual-predator trope has to be the most failsafe tool Trump can invoke, since white men have been using this lie to scare white women and each other into submitting to racism for as long as race relations have existed.

White men have been using this lie to scare white women and each other into submitting to racism for as long as race relations have existed.

The myth of black and brown men as sexual predators towards white women is a deeply psychological motivator that activates people’s basest survival instincts, one that’s been around as long as white men have been colonizing places filled with darker-hued humans. And, it’s clearly been highly effective for getting voters to leave logic behind; It’s part of how Donald Trump won the White House.

The assertion that Mexico is sending rapists to the United States was a test run for how to generate attention in a crowded primary — say something racist and beyond the pale to make the liberals mad, which Steve Bannon’s even acknowledged — that got him more screen time than any of his Republican competitors and continues to gain him media coverage and excite his supporters.

It’s that excitement, that unseemly pleasure that men like Trump apparently take in asserting that we should all fear the sexual predation of non-white men, that makes it so easy for me to believe that the entire racist structure of colonialism is founded upon white men’s sexual insecurities. There is a perverse pleasure taken in making these warnings, in calling us savages, in generating and regenerating the myth that they are protecting “their” women (and thus their pale future) from the voracious sexual appetites of non-white men. They can feel their obsolescence encroaching; they always have.

It takes a rapist to believe that everyone else is intent on rape.

The vilification of men of color also serves as an indicator about some white men’s own malicious intentions: It takes a rapist to believe that everyone else is intent on rape. In the United States, from the colonial period to well into the 1960s, white men raped women of color with impunity even while setting up their white female counterparts as beholden to them for protection against men of color. Through this mind-bending logic, they managed to create a system there were virtually no legal consequences for a white man who raped a black or brown women, while black men could only ever be rapists to white women (and thus strung up at the nearest tree after any accusation, regardless of evidence).

And today we have a white, male president who has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by at least 15 women since the 1980s and who has admitted on a tape — which we have all heard — to being the type of man who gropes unsuspecting women’s genitals with impunity because of his status. This very president won the White House on a platform that accuses nameless, faceless Mexican boogeymen of traveling all the way to the United States, risking life and limb, to commit rape against American women.

And now he has accused them of committing so much more rape in their home country that the numbers are unseen before in human history, in an effort to deny asylum to, among others, the very women he accuses them of victimizing. His voter base laps up his baseless accusations against whole swaths of humanity while chanting “build a wall,” choosing to believe that immigrants of Latino descent are subhuman — the very savages their forefathers once swore they were — and unworthy of consideration as political refugees fleeing violence and extreme poverty.

Donald Trump doesn’t care about rape victims or potential rape victims, whether they’re white women or Central American migrants who have formed a caravan to escape that fate.

Yes, poor people in Mexico and Central America are vulnerable targets for crime, just like they are in the United States. Yes, women traveling alone and across a foreign country with few resources are at risk for being assaulted, sexually or otherwise, just like they are here.

Yet in fact, one international data crunching website says that rape is twice as prevalent in the United States than in Mexico. And we’ve seen ample proof in the past year that even privileged, white women and men in the United States are at risk of being raped or sexually assaulted because sex crimes are, sadly, all too common among human beings regardless of race or nationality and sexual predators come in every skin color.

Donald Trump doesn’t care about rape victims or potential rape victims, whether they’re white women or Central American migrants who have formed a caravan to escape that fate. He’s simply willing to twist the very real fear of a very real crime that doesn’t discriminate by race or country into a racist projection against immigrants that misinforms voters, further victimizes the disenfranchised and drives an even bigger wedge between cultures. And to do all of that for political gain is, quite frankly, the most inhuman thing of all.

Cindy Casares is the founding editor of Guanabee.com and has contributed to The Guardian, The Texas Observer and Latina.com. She grew up on the border of Texas and Mexico and currently resides in Austin, Texas.

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Afghanistan: Youngsters protest online against order telling girls not to go to school | World News

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Afghan girls and boys have joined a social media protest against a decision by the Taliban to prevent young females going to school.

Putting their own safety at risk, many have created makeshift banners to make their points, opposing an edict by the Taliban government that female middle and high school students should not return to school for the time being, while boys of the same age can resume their studies this weekend.

It comes as the interim mayor of Kabul is telling female city authority employees to stay home, with only those whose jobs cannot be done by men allowed to work.

Banner reads: "What is our crime that we are prevented from education?"
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Banner reads: ‘What is our crime that we are prevented from education?’

The moves are further evidence the Taliban, which overran Kabul last month, is enforcing its harsh interpretation of Islam despite initial promises that it would be tolerant and inclusive.

Among the slogans on the banners displayed by the youngsters are statements like: “What is our crime that we are prevented from education?” and “I won’t go to school without my sister. I support my sister. We are equal.”

Sky News has blurred the faces of some of those protesting, as there are fears they could be at risk in a country that appears to be clamping down on the right of expression.

Banner reads: "You took our holy land, so don't take our education from us"
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Banner reads: ‘You took our holy land, so don’t take our education from us’

On Sunday, just over a dozen women staged a protest outside the new ministry, holding up placards calling for the right of women to participate in public life.

The protest lasted for about 10 minutes before a short verbal confrontation occurred with a man and the women got into cars and left, as members of the Taliban watched from nearby cars.

Kabul’s new interim mayor, Hamdullah Namony, told his first news conference that, pending a further decision, most of the 1,000 or so female city authority employees would be required to stay home.

He said exceptions would only be made for women who could not be replaced by men, including some in the design and engineering departments and the attendants of public toilets for women.

The Taliban flags are seen on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan
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The mayor of Kabul has told many female employees of the city authorities to stay home

Mr Namony added: “There are some areas that men can’t do it, we have to ask our female staff to fulfil their duties, there is no alternative for it.”

During its previous rule between the mid 1990s and 2001, the Taliban had forbidden girls and women from schools, jobs and public life.

In recent days, Taliban officials told female university students that classes would take place in gender-segregated settings, and they must abide by a strict Islamic dress code.

Banner reads: "We won't go to schools, until our sisters are allowed to go to school"
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Banner reads: ‘We won’t go to schools, until our sisters are allowed to go to school’

Under the previous US-backed administration, before it was deposed by the Taliban in August, men and women had sat alongside each other in universities, for the most part.

On Friday, the Taliban shut down the ministry for women’s affairs, replacing it with a government department responsible for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice”, with the job of enforcing Islamic law.

Amid deteriorating conditions for ordinary Afghans, many of whom previously relied on international aid, witnesses said an explosion targeted a Taliban vehicle in the provincial city of Jalalabad, the second such deadly blast in as many days in an area where Islamic State militants are said to dominate.

Banner reads: "I don’t go to school without my sister. I support my sister. #We are equal"
Image:
Banner reads: ‘I don’t go to school without my sister. I support my sister. #We are equal’

The Taliban and IS extremists are enemies and battled each other before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last month.

Initial reports said five people were killed, with a child among the two civilians said to have died. The Taliban were not immediately available for comment.

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Boris Johnson tells world leaders he is growing ‘increasingly frustrated’ at their efforts to tackle climate change | Politics News

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Boris Johnson has criticised other world leaders over their efforts to tackle climate change, telling them he is growing “increasingly frustrated” that their commitments are “nowhere near enough”.

Speaking during a meeting at the United Nations in New York, the prime minister said the gap between what has been promised by industrialised nations and what they have so far delivered remains “vast”.

Co-hosting a discussion on the issue at the UN General Assembly, Mr Johnson urged fellow leaders to renew their efforts to meet a key financing pledge to help developing nations.

The PM wants to get countries to commit to giving $100bn (£73bn) a year in support to developing nations to cut their carbon emissions and shield themselves against climate change.

But he earlier told reporters there was only a “six out of 10” chance of this target being met before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November – which he then said will be “a turning point for the world” and “the moment when we have to grow up and take our responsibilities”.

He told Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby: “We have been here before, we have all heard lots of positive noises, let’s see where we get to.

“We are not counting our chickens.”

However, Joe Biden’s climate envoy sounded upbeat when questioned by Sky News.

“I think we’re going to get it done by COP and the US will do its part,” John Kerry said.

Asked if the US president will announce more money this week, he replied: “I’m not hoping… I’m telling you to stay tuned into the president’s speech and we’ll see where we are.”

Chairing the climate discussion on Monday, Mr Johnson noted that “everyone nods and we all agree that something must be done”.

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Kerry ‘confident’ of $100bn climate target

“Yet I confess I’m increasingly frustrated that the ‘something’ to which many of you have committed is nowhere near enough,” he continued.

“It is the biggest economies in the world that are causing the problem, while the smallest suffer the worst consequences.

“And while progress is being made all over the world, the gulf between what has been promised, what is actually being delivered, and what needs to happen… it remains vast.

“Too many major economies – some represented here today, some absent – are lagging too far behind.”

And the PM warned countries there would be consequences if the financing target is not met, saying: “If you say that the lives of their children are not worth the hassle of reducing domestic coal consumption, will they vote with you in fora such as this?

“Will they work with you, borrow from you, stand with you if you tell the world that you don’t care whether their land and their people slip below the waves?

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“To be merely a bystander is to be complicit in their fate – yet that is exactly what you will be if you fail to act this year.”

Ahead of the UN meeting, Downing Street said developed countries had “collectively failed” to meet the target.

Figures released last week by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that $79.6bn was mobilised in 2019, more than $20bn off the target.

Watch the Daily Climate Show at 6.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

The show investigates how global warming is changing our landscape and highlights solutions to the crisis.

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Serbians block roads in Kosovo in protest over license plate restrictions | World News

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Protesters have blocked roads in northern Kosovo after authorities stopped cars with Serbian plates from entering the country.

Police in Jarinje, Kosovo are forcing drivers from Serbia to remove or hide license plates and use temporary registration details that are valid for 60 days and cost €5 (£4.30).

Serbia, which lost control of Kosovo in 1999, does not recognise Kosovo and has stopped cars with Kosovo license plates from entering the country.

Kosovo's special force deployed armoured vehicles as hundreds blocked the roads in Jarinje, Kosovo
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Kosovo’s special force deployed armoured vehicles as hundreds blocked the roads in Jarinje, Kosovo

Almost 50,000 Serbs who live in the north of Kosovo and share a border with Serbia, refuse to recognise Pristina’s authorities and as restrictions came into force on Monday, cars and trucks blocked roads in protest.

Police in Kosovo deployed riot gear and armoured vehicles as the blockades built up and Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, said the move was not taken to harm drivers but was a retaliation measure against Belgrade.

“Today there is nothing illegal or discriminatory,” Mr Kurti said in parliament.

“Just as yesterday, today and tomorrow, Serb citizens will move freely and safely.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said the situation is very “serious and difficult”.

“When you are dealing with people who are not responsible, it is difficult to find a solution,” Mr Vucic said.

Drivers waved a Serbian flag as they protested against the government ban on entry of vehicles with Serbian license plates
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Drivers waved a Serbian flag as they protested against the government ban on entry of vehicles with Serbian license plates

The two countries began talks in 2013, mediated by the European Union, to resolve the issues, but little progress has been made.

Kosovo is recognised by around 110 countries, including the United States, Britain and most western countries, but Russia, Serbia’s traditional ally, does not recognise it.

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