Fabiola Santiago

Here is why the vicious video meme starring Trump as mass shooter is so wrong | Opinion

The vicious video shows a pastiche of President Donald Trump as a mass shooter walking into the “Church of Fake News” and executing media organizations, critics and political opponents.

He guns people down. He stabs them. He tackles Mitt Romney to the ground. He sets Bernie Sanders on fire. He strikes former President Barack Obama in the back and thrusts him against a wall. He shoots Black Lives Matter in the head.

No critic is spared, not even the late John McCain.

After the rampage, Trump stands triumphant at the altar smiling.

Made by right-wing provocateurs “The GeekzTeam,” the video meme played over three days last week at the pro-Trump American Priority Festival — #AmpFest19 — at the Trump National Doral Miami resort.

Now the organization is disavowing it, saying it wasn’t part of the official program. Trump’s spokeswoman says in a tweet Trump doesn’t condone violence, though he sure speaks its language.

And surprise, surprise, none of the Florida GOP leaders at the conference are owning up to seeing the video.

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It has become, all of a sudden, the ghost video. As if the sentiments expressed by the violence hadn’t come directly from the president’s mouth against the people and organizations massacred in jest — and from the conference’s radical GOP agenda.

You can’t grow the bacteria of hate in the party’s petri dish — and then claim no responsibility when the disease spreads.

The nasty speech that started as a campaign stunt by Trump in 2016 has become national state policy against immigrants, LGBTQ people and women. We’ve seen immigration agencies violate asylum law at the behest of Trump. We’ve seen service in the military by transgender people be demeaned, almost prohibited, and gay rights as we know them today threatened. We’ve seen a man credibly accused of sexual assault be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court when more worthy candidates have been rejected by GOP senators.

This is President Trump at a May 8 rally in the Florida Panhandle, claiming immigrants are mounting an invasion:

“How do we stop these people? You can’t,” he said.

“Shoot them!” someone yelled.

Trump smirks and smiles, sending a message of approval. This is between us MAGA buddies.

Every single undignified, despicable move by Trump has been backed by the GOP — and there’s little difference between the two these days, particularly in Florida, which is being prepped to re-elect Trump via a barrage of rallies, talks, and conferences like that of American Priority.

The mainstream media wasn’t allowed to cover the conference, which listed speakers such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Fort Walton Beach Congressman Matt Gaetz, both Trump lackeys who have imposed on the state the president’s immigration agenda. DeSantis was there but didn’t speak, according to spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré.

We only know of the video’s showing in the room next to the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, where main events took place, because there was at least one conscientious person at the alt-right conference who videotaped it and gave it to The New York Times, which tracked down its origin and history.

It’s not unlike a 2017 video — retweeted by Trump and made viral by his supporters — of another photoshopped Trump body-slamming and beating up a CNN logo.

In fact, the president denounced “the fake news media” once more in a rally Friday while this conference was going on.

Nor is the video that far off from the theme of the topics covered by American Priority, according to the lineup on the group’s website: How to get blacks and Jews to leave the Democratic Party (by two white female speakers); “in defence [sic] of men and masculinity (by white guys); CO2: The Myth in Global Warming (unbelievably, by a former National Hurricane Center director); and Education Indoctrination: How the Left has Poisoned Our Schools (the favorite topic of one of the attendees, Florida Sen. Manny Díaz Jr. of Hialeah).

The scheduled entertainment came by way of the three blondish bimbos who make up “The Deplorable Choir.” They fake-play guitar and sing songs with such lines as “trust in God but vote Republican.” If you don’t like Trump, they show you a map and tell you to “pick any country, get the hell out of here.” And oh, yes, they have “dreams of a border wall,” and they want to “keep our doctors and our guns.”

You get the picture.

The video fits right in with the plan.

Award-winning columnist Fabiola Santiago has been writing about all things Miami since 1980, when the Mariel boatlift became her first front-page story. A Cuban refugee child of the Freedom Flights, she’s also the author of essays, short fiction, and the novel “Reclaiming Paris.”