Two university students in Kansas were attacked, verbally and physically, by an alleged Donald Trump supporter early Saturday morning while picking up snacks at a gas station.
The students, one Muslim and one Hispanic, were assaulted after they noticed a white man using racist language toward a black man. The white man then turned his ire toward Khondoker Usama, the student body vice president at Wichita State, and his friend.
“Then suddenly it turned onto us, calling us ‘brown trash, go home. Trump will win,’ ” Usama told the Wichita Eagle. “You want to live in this country, you better leave.”
Usama said his friend responded with defiance. “This is my country; who are you to tell me that?” The situation escalated, and despite Usama’s best efforts to make peace, the confrontation turned physical as the man punched Usama’s friend and took him to the ground. Usama tried to get in between the man and his friend but was punched, then backed away because he thought the man might be reaching for a weapon.
“He kept kicking the student who was laying on the ground,” Usama said. “He was kicking him; it was a gut-wrenching scene. He saw that I was calling the police and got back on his motorcycle and circled around us and was saying ‘Trump, Trump, Trump, we will make America great again. You losers will be thrown out of the wall.’”
Asked about whether or not he thought it was a hate crime, Usama responded: “When you just start a conversation with someone calling out ‘brown trash,’ there is no other motivation I see other than a hate crime.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference with Usama on Monday to call for a hate crime probe of the attack.
CAIR blamed Republican Presidential frontrunner Trump last month for a nation-wide rise in Islamophobia.
“We live in a nation today where people like Trump, where people like the Republican GOP have mainstreamed Islamophobia,” CAIR’s St. Louis branch director Faizan Syed told CBS at the time. “(They) have made it O.K. It’s O.K. to take out a gun and threaten somebody.”
Trump’s language concerning Muslims and Hispanics in particular has left a number of Americans angered or outraged. Trump continues to defend his The normally apolitical Brandon Stanton, owner of the Facebook account Humans of New York (HONY), published an open letter to the real estate mogul on the HONY page Monday.
…over the last two years I have conducted extensive interviews with hundreds of Muslims, chosen at random, on the streets of Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan. I’ve also interviewed hundreds of Syrian and Iraqi refugees across seven different countries. And I can confirm— the hateful one is you.
Trump has repeatedly defended the rhetoric he uses at his rallies. Among the myriad of defenses he’s cited are his rejection of political correctness exercised by establishment politicians.
“The reason there’s tension at my rallies is that these people are sick and tired of this country being run by incompetent people that don’t know what they’re doing on trade deals, where our jobs are being ripped out of our countries,” Trump said on Meet the Press Sunday.
He added that supporters are “not angry about something I’m saying — I’m just a messenger.”