John Legend said that President Trump “to apologize for the demonizing of Muslims” after 50 people were killed in a mosque shootings in New Zealand.
John Legend said that President Trump needs to speak out against hateful ideology, and “must apologize for the demonizing of Muslims” after 50 people were killed in a mosque shootings in New Zealand on Friday.
The singer, in an interview published by NowThis on Sunday, said after shootings that took place in Christchurch, where dozens were killed and injured, the president owes an apology.
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“He needs to apologize for the demonizing of Muslims,” the Legend said. “He should apologize for demonizing brown people who have tried to come here and have a better life. He characterizes their desire to come here and work, and feed their family as an invasion.”
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After the slaughter, Trump said that the attacks were a “terrible, terrible thing,” but later said that illegal immigrants to the U.S. are part of an “invasion.”
“When the people of such influence and such stature agree with such a hateful, evil ideology, it encourages them that will go out and do something really evil and nasty, like what happened in New Zealand,” the Legend said. “We need the president to speak out against him.”
Legend, 40, said Trump has “the wrong use of this rhetoric, and anyone who encouraged him, or cheered him on in this type of rhetoric needs to apologize.”
“They must make it clear that it is not acceptable for our use of this kind of violent rhetoric that leads to this kind of violent action,” the “All of Me” singer told the news outlet.
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He added that white nationalism is a “global threat” inspiration “coming from America now, and the American president. Our American president must say, ‘This is evil. I don’t subscribe to. I do not know embrace. I’m not winking. I’m not equivocating about. This is evil and I am speaking to.”
The alleged gunman of the attack called Trump “a symbol of a renewed white identity, but Trump downplayed any threat of white nationalism.
He said that he did not believe in white nationalism was a growing threat around the world, and said: “I think it’s a small group of people who are very, very serious problems, I think. … If you look at what happened in New Zealand, maybe that is the case. I don’t know enough about it yet. But it is certainly a terrible thing.”
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Trump, who as a candidate a proposal for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., has criticized as slow to condemn white supremacy and violence. After 2017 a clash between the white nationalists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one protester dead, Trump said there are “very fine people on both sides of the confrontation.
Many experts who track violent extremists have identified white nationalism as a growing threat in the U.S. and abroad. In January, for example, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League said domestic extremists killed at least 50 people in the U.S. in 2018, up from 37 in 2017, and said: “White racists were responsible for the vast majority of the murders, that is usually the case.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.