You may have noticed that Trump is using his usual nativist and racist tropes to declare war on California. Californians simply aren't interested in his hate for Mexicans, but that's not stopping him from stirring the pot.
Last week he tweeted this gem, where he said in part, "Soooo many Sanctuary areas want OUT of this ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept."
Here's the whole tweet:
Cadet Bone Spurs is hoping there are till enough George Deukmejian racists out here in California that he will somehow energize a white supremacy revival out here in order to breathe life into the nearly-dead California GOP. Good luck with that.
During today's White House briefing, Jim Acosta pressed Sarah Sanders for clarification.
"When he used the word "breeding" was he making a derogatory term about Latinos in California that they breed a lot or that they are prone to breeding," Acosta asked.
Curtly, Sanders replied, "No, he's talking about the problem itself growing and getting bigger."
That is not at all what he said. "Ridiculous, crime infested & breeding concept" does not refer to the problem at all. It refers to the people protected by sanctuary cities.
As if to confirm that she was lying, and not very well, she shut Acosta down entirely when he followed up.
"Would you elaborate on that?
"I've answered it."
And with that, she moved on to the next reporter.
As CNN notes, "breeding" is a racist term, intended to imply that immigrants come to the country to have babies who are American citizens. It's of a piece with their cries to end "birthright citizenship" and their slurs of "anchor babies." It's intended to evoke nativist anger.
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Fear of immigrants from certain countries "breeding" has been a staple of nativist thought for hundreds of years. The "breeding" fear has been affixed to Jews from Eastern Europe, Catholics from Ireland and Italy, Chinese and, now, Latinos, Filipinos, Africans and Haitians. This is dog-whistle politics at its worst.
"Breeding" as a concept has an animalistic connotation. Dogs and horses are bred. So his use of it is, at best, dehumanizing to the immigrants he appears to be referring to.
Of course it is. He meant it exactly as he wrote it. Perhaps Stephen Miller helped him a little with spelling (but not grammar). But it is authentic Trump, oozing hate, sparking others to hate.
Update: Rather than clip this video, I'll just put the summary here. If this is how they're spinning it now, they should just stop. Especially Jason Miller, who now argues that "breeding" means "breeding contempt." Please. Just stop and admit what this is about.