Tom Trento, founder and director of The United West, is urging his listeners to be on the look out for two young men who appear to be Arab who, he says, were involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. In the announcement for his April 18 broadcast, Trento doesn’t even attempt to hide his bigotry. Referring to the two spectators shown in pictures taken at the marathon, Trento writes “Hey Mohammad & Mohammad … call the FBI or be at the mercy of angry Americans.” Then he tells his followers, “Let’s find these guys!” and warns that they may be armed and dangerous.
All of the above was part of an announcement to lure listeners to tune in to his show, “Trentovision,” today at 5:00 p.m. EST when he promises a “complete update on the possible role of Saudi Arabia in this bombing.”
There is no evidence to indicate that these two men are the suspects that authorities are seeking. (One of them has apparently taken to Facebook to defend himself.) But it is clear that this type of fear-mongering is dangerous. One need only look to the Bronx to see just how harmful it can be.
Reports say a Bangladeshi man was beaten in an unprovoked attack there just hours after the Boston Marathon bombing. The victim said one of his attackers said “Yeah, he’s a f-king Arab” before the group pounded on him, leaving him semiconscious and with a dislocated shoulder. NYPD is investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
It is important that the suspects are found and apprehended and that the general public allows law enforcement officials to do their job. In the meantime, Islamophobes, such as Trento — who will exploit people’s fears to gain a larger following — must be called out for the hate-mongers that they are.