In an op-ed piece published today in The New York Times, popular actor and comedian Aziz Ansari says prejudice is on the rise — and hate speech from Donald Trump and others is contributing to it.
“It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray. It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense,” writes Ansari, known for his role on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and for his comedy concerts on Netflix and Comedy Central.
Ansari, the son of Muslim immigrants, talks about cautioning his mother not to go near a mosque in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings. “I realized how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful about how she worshiped,” he notes.
Focusing on Trump, Ansari writes: “He has said that people in the American Muslim community ‘know who the bad ones are,’ implying that millions of innocent people are somehow complicit in awful attacks. Not only is this wrongheaded; but it also does nothing to address the real problems posed by terrorist attacks. By Mr. Trump’s logic, after the huge financial crisis of 2007-08, the best way to protect the American economy would have been to ban white males.”