NBC Pulls ‘Racist’ Trump Ad as Civilian Militia Groups Head to Border Amid Tension Over Caravan  

The caravan of Central American migrants traveling up through Mexico to the U.S. southern border is continuing to stir up political controversy. President Donald Trump is once again facing accusations of racism over his response to the matter, and now some of his supporters have decided to take illegal immigration issues into their own hands.

According to a new report, NBC News, Fox News and CNN have all announced that they will not air an anti-immigration ad sponsored by the 45th commander in chief, 72, which encourages viewers to vote Republican ahead of the midterms. The ad portrays members of the caravan, many of whom are women and children, as invaders and criminals and links them to an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing two law enforcement officials in California.

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“America cannot allow this invasion,” the voiceover exclaims. “President Trump and his allies will protect our border and keep our families safe.”

A spokesperson for NBC’s advertising sales department, Joe Benarroch, explained the decision to pull the ad in a statement published by NBC News: “After further review, we recognize the insensitive nature of the ad and have decided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible.”

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Fox News pulled the ad without refuting anything specific about its content or tone. “Upon further review, FOX News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either FOX News Channel or FOX Business Network,” Marianne Gambelli, the president of ad sales for the network, said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

CNN, meanwhile, never agreed to air the ad in the first place.

After Donald Trump Jr. complained on Twitter that CNN “refused to run” the ad, a CNN spokesperson responded in a tweet saying, “CNN has made it abundantly clear in its editorial coverage that this ad is racist. When presented with an opportunity to be paid to take a version of this ad, we declined. Those are the facts.”

In addition, Facebook stopped the ad from circulating via paid promotion because it allegedly violates the social network’s “sensational content” policy. That said, the ad is still up on President Trump’s verified Facebook page, where it has been viewed more than 300,000 times.

NBC, Fox News, CNN, Facebook and the White House did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment. On Monday, the president stood by the ad, despite accusations that it was offensive. “Well, a lot of things are offensive,” he told reporters, according to NBC News. “Your questions are offensive a lot of times.”

Amid ongoing threats from Trump, thousands of migrants are continuing their journey through Mexico and toward the U.S. border, in search of a safer and more prosperous life. According to The New York Times, the migrants — who are fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries, including Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — travel in caravans for protection against the criminals that stalk their trip north.

On Sunday, the migrant caravan, still about 4,000 people deep, entered the city of Cordoba in the Mexican state of Veracruz after completing what was known as the “route of death,” NBC reported. On Monday, several hundred travelers hit another milestone, arriving at Mexico City, according to BBC. The fractured group is still hundreds of miles away, and it’s unclear if it will reunite or where along the U.S. it will attempt to enter.

Amid Trump’s repeated attacks on the caravan, which he has turned into an election issue, some American citizens are so concerned about the issue that they’ve banded together to try to prevent the travelers from entering — alongside the military presence that the president has already ordered at the border.

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According to Defense Department planning documents obtained by Newsweek, an “estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the southwest border,” and there have been multiple “reported incidents” of them “stealing National Guard equipment.” The documents further explain that the groups “operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting .”

One of these organizations is the Minuteman Project, which refers to itself as “citizen’s Neighborhood Watch on the southern border,” the magazine reports.

“We believe our nation is under attack by foreigners who refuse to accept the rule of law on how to become a citizen in the United States,” the project’s national political director Howie Morgan told the outlet. “Instead of following the rules, they are using our nation’s laws as a shortcut to get in front of the line.”

The Minuteman Project also encouraged forming more militia groups in a message on its homepage. “Your presence is needed everywhere along the 2,000-mile border from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas at any time for the next 90 days,” the statement read.

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As tensions over illegal immigration reach new heights, the president is making progress with his long-standing campaign promise to build a wall dividing Mexico and the U.S.

On Friday, CBS reported that the Texas-based construction company SLSCO received a $ 220 million contract to, in February, start constructing an 18-foot reinforced concrete levee wall in the Rio Grande valley, the busiest section for border crossings. SLSCO will also raise the height of existing fences.


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George Takei Dismantles Racist, Sexist Criticism Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

CBS released a trailer earlier this month for its upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery,” the first television series in the franchise since “Star Trek: Enterprise” ended in 2005. 

The trailer excited many fans, but it also led to a familiar anger, as many people decried the casting of Michelle Yeoh, an Asian woman, as the ship’s captain and Sonequa Martin-Green, a black woman, as the ship’s first officer.

The trailer for “Star Trek: Discovery”

“Enough with your racial and gender quotas Hollywood,” one commenter wrote. Many others wrote similar comments, much of it even more vile. 

On Sunday, George Takei, who played the iconic character Hikaru Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series and multiple movies, joined MSNBC’s “AM Joy” to discuss the views of people who believe the Star Trek franchise is being tainted in an attempt to diversify the cast. 

On the show, he quickly and swiftly dismantled the criticisms, exposing the critics as ignorant of the intentions of creator Gene Roddenberry.

“Today in this society we have alien life forms that we call trolls,” he said. “And these trolls carry on without knowing what they’re talking about and knowing even less about the history of what they’re talking about.”

“Now these so-called trolls haven’t seen a single episode of the new series, because it hasn’t been aired,” he continued. “And they don’t know the history of Star Trek [either] … [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry created this with the idea of finding strength in our diversity ― and also the delight of life in diversity.”

He then added: “We had a guiding acronym ― IDIC ― which stood for infinite diversity in infinite combinations. We boldly went where we hadn’t gone before because we were curious about what’s out there. And when you go out into space you are going to have even greater diversity.”

During the interview, Takei also compared the ignorance of these “trolls” to the recent actions of President Donald Trump, whom he described as “ignorant” when it comes to issues of Japanese internment, which affected Takei’s family during WWII. 

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Kal Penn Responds To Racist Troll By Raising Thousands For Refugees

Kal Penn is turning racist vitriol into meaningful action to help other people.

On Saturday, the Indian-American actor posted a screenshot on Instagram showing a text-message conversation with a friend. The friend was talking about an Iraqi refugee turned away from the United States in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order halting the U.S. refugee program and suspending immigration from several countries.

Someone then messaged Penn saying that he doesn’t “belong in this country” and is a “fucking joke.”

So Penn responded in about the best way possible: by raising money to help refugees.

“To the dude who said I don’t belong in America, I started a fundraising page for Syrian Refugees in your name,” Penn wrote in a follow-up Instagram post.

The CrowdRise fund, which benefits the International Rescue Committee, doesn’t appear to actually show the person’s name, at least publicly. But by mid-afternoon Saturday, it had raised over $ 15,000 for the cause, and the amount was rapidly growing.

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Way to go, Kal!

You can donate to the fund set up by Kal Penn here.

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Chris Brown Disses Aziz Ansari Joke With Racist Instagram Post

Those who can’t take a joke probably shouldn’t try to crack one.

It’s a lesson Chris Brown may want to take to heart after attempting to diss comedian Aziz Ansari’s “SNL” monologue, in which Ansari compared the controversial singer to Donald Trump.

Ansari’s joke went like this:

I’m sure there’s some people that have different political priorities. I’m sure there’s some people that voted for him with reservations. I’m sure there’s a lot of people that voted for Trump the same way a lot of people listen to the music of Chris Brown.

It’s like, “Hey man, I’m just here for the tunes. I don’t know about that other stuff. I just like the dancing and the music. I don’t condone the extracurriculars.”

If you think about it, Donald Trump is basically the Chris Brown of politics. And “Make America Great Again” is his “These hoes ain’t loyal.”

Brown was not happy to be compared with a man associated with racist rhetoric — so he lashed on Instagram in a racist manner. 

FUCK NO!!!!!! Somebody tell ALADDIN HOP OFF MY DICK! .

A video posted by 1 YOU ❤️ 2 HATE (@chrisbrownofficial) on

Underneath a brief clip, Brown wrote, “FUCK NO!!!!!! Somebody tell ALADDIN HOP OFF MY DICK!” with a tears from laughing emoji.

Brown’s attempt at humor is not only problematic but inaccurate, because the fictional character of Aladdin is Middle Eastern, while Ansari is an American of Indian descent. Plus, attempting to get back at a comedian who jokingly compared you to Trump by making a racist statement is not the best way to set yourself apart, a fact noted by the Twittersphere.

The backlash didn’t stop Brown from going after Ansari in another Instagram post.

In this one, he said, “Can’t fuckin’ catch a break. This n***a said Donald Trump is the Chris Brown of politics. I swear I’m moving. Getting the fuck out of here. Don’t fucking trust what you see! Even salt looks like sugar.”

So far, Ansari hasn’t publicly reacted to Brown’s reaction, but HuffPost has reached out to him for a response and will update this post accordingly.

CORRECTION: This post has been clarified to reflect that Ansari is Indian-American.

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