Yesterday, a group of amateur rappers released a hip-hop anthem video entitled “CIT4DT” – an acronym for “Choppa in the Trunk for Donald Trump” – in which they advocated the assassination of Donald Trump and made graphic references to how they would carry out the murder themselves. The media quickly began to publicize the anthem and even criticize it in a positive manner, which has prompted several sources from around the web to wonder if the media is in favor of or even responsible for the recent Donald Trump death threats.
And we’re not talking about small- or even medium-sized media outlets. Sure, plenty of such sources jumped on the story, but what is truly notable is that even some of the largest, most well-read, and most reputable news sites on the internet complimented and made light of the hate mongering song.
Take Billboard, for example, who wrote that the Donald Trump death threat song, in which the rappers threaten that they will beat Trump to death with a shovel if he steps foot in Baltimore, is just a harmless “viral protest song.”
“A trio of Baltimore hip-hop artists have landed a barrage of verbal blows on Trump in a terse, funny and sometimes crude track,” they wrote, talking about the compilation of brutal murder threats like a playful pop song.
The Baltimore Sun did a similar job of making the threats to kill Donald Trump seem acceptable by writing that the song has a playful “schoolyard insults spirit” to it.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 1, 2016
The sources also make sure to provide an outlet for the group of rappers who made the death threat anthem to tell the public they were just fooling around.
“We didn’t mean no harm by it,” said Abdel Ibrahim, the true identity of the rapper “Dooley.”
The Producer of the "Kill Trump" song CIT4DT's good friend is in prison for first-degree murder, FYI. https://t.co/wH3awiUZoG
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) April 1, 2016
“My religion says don’t even kill. I wouldn’t kill an innocent fly.”
And that brings us to another point: is the heightened media exposure and support of this video just an enabler for the spread of racist ideas?
All those involved in the video are black. Ibrahem, at least, is Muslim. And obviously, only an extremely small portion of the black and/or Muslim population exhibits the same hate-filled speech and outwardly violent tendency thrust into the limelight in this video.
Once again, DONALD TRUMP ISN'T RACIST. pic.twitter.com/CK4RERSj6C
— We Need Trump (@WeNeedTrump) March 28, 2016
But bringing such a hate-filled video into the spotlight and pushing it as a viral sensation when it showcases a specific group acting in an obviously undesirable fashion could be seen as a way to reinforce racism against that group, notes The Root.
— Ababa (@Moore_Please_) March 31, 2016
This is especially true when the articles that were written to accompany the death threats almost all draw attention to the race/religion of the perpetrators.
For example, Infowars, one news source that reported on the Donald Trump death threats set to music, went out of their way to point out just how incredibly Muslim Ibrahem is, even though it was really apropos of anything being discussed.
“The main protagonist behind the song is Abdel Ibrahim, a Sudanese Muslim who includes the phrase ‘all praise be to Allah’ on his Twitter profile.”
The article does not use this information to illustrate a point, set up a future point, or serve any narrative purpose other than to show that Ibraham follows Islam and is deeply religious, neither of which are relevant to anything else being discussed in the story.
One could make the argument that Ibraham’s religious preferences are an interesting thing to mention, even if they do not really have to do with the story. Realistically, though, the human mind just doesn’t keep separate information like that. When people hear that someone is black, or Muslim, or Jewish, or any of the other ethnoreligious groups, and that person is also a violent hate mongerer, and those two things are pretty much the only information they get about the person, they will generally associate those two traits a tiny bit more closely going forward.
— Christine Marat (@kyramarat1) March 30, 2016
This would certainly not be the first time the mainstream media has been accused of subtly reinforcing harmful stereotypes; there is an entire field of research concerning indirect suppression of minorities by the media and its relation to politics.
Another possibility of why the media uncharacteristically got behind such an inflammatory video is that they are secretly in favor of the Donald trump death threats.
The media is blaming Trump for "inciting violence" while videos that advocate assassinating him go viral. https://t.co/MrpJ40OtmD
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 1, 2016
After all, points out The New York Times, even Trump’s own Republican party thinks he is giving conservative politics a bad name and at this point would do nearly anything to put an end to Trump’s run.
Republicans “are now becoming preoccupied with a different grim prospect: that Mr. Trump might become a kind of zombie candidate — damaged beyond the point of repair, but too late for any of his rivals to stop him,” they write.
It's almost like #DonaldTrump is really a democrat in disguise sent to assassinate the Republican Party and there standing by watching him!
— SUNKILlilMOON (@zephyhead) July 7, 2015
No politician would ever go so far as to make Donald Trump death threats, but it is not inconceivable that the right-wing establishment, which is generally accepted to go hand-in-hand with some huge media influencers like FOX News, would give additional credence to strongly anti-Donald Trump sentiments like “CIT4DT.”
Trump shatters the Republican Party https://t.co/tkIMajO5jp Fox and republicans created a culture of bigotes and hatred now can't control it
— rick c (@RickC00) February 24, 2016
Of course, this is just speculation, and it is likely the truth of why the video is being trumpeted by so many large news sources is much less dark. Many people across the nation (and the rest of the planet) strongly disapprove of Donald Trump, and, although they would never think of actually harming him, they might take guilty pleasure in hearing a fantasy of him meeting a grisly death at the hands of others.
In other words, “CIT4DT” is probably just so popular because it’s really entertaining, and lots of people recognize it is not a serious endeavor.
Anyway, does it really matter? Trump has had death threats fired his way from sources much more threatening than a few unknown rappers from Baltimore in the past, and nothing ever came of them. Also, Trump wears a bulletproof vest to each of his public appearances just in case someone did decide to take a shot at him.
'Murder Donald Trump': Twitter Users Threaten To Assassinate Republican Front Runner | Alternative https://t.co/Rx5TPnw2wp
— pete john (@petejohn10) February 22, 2016
Do you have any thoughts on all this? Let us know in the comments below.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]