No. From what can be seen in the video compilation that ABC news published it doesn’t look like Donald Trump called a Sikh protestor’s turban “one of those hats”. If you read their news article though, you’d be forgiven for thinking that he did.
In the clip that shows a Sikh protestor being ejected from a Donald Trump rally, the video edit cuts back to Trump asking the audience “…he wasn’t wearing one of those hats was he? Was he wearing one of those things? No, and he never will.” As he utters the first sentence, Trump points in to the crowd from which one can deduce that he is pointing to a supporter’s hat; the protestor was shown being escorted out at a balcony level, whereas Trump points downwards into what is presumably the floor section of the crowd. One can also safely assume that the protestor is no longer in the auditorium, so that finger-point is definitely not at him, meaning it’s at one of Trump’s supporters in a hat/cap perhaps like one of these ridiculously highly priced pieces on his campaign website. His final sentence, that the protestor will “never” wear one of those hats, is pretty clear that he has not been referring to the turban.
ABC news who published the video as part of a news article titled ‘Protester in Turban Removed from Trump Rally‘ left understanding what happened up in the air, reporting:
The man stood up and revealed a sign reading “Stop Hate” at Trump’s event in Muscatine.
“He wasn’t wearing one of those hats was he?” Trump said, referring to the man wearing a turban, as the protester was being removed.
It seems at least the first portion of the video showing the Sikh protestor being ejected from the rally was recorded by Josh Haskell a reporter and producer for ABC Politics. Who compiled the video and published it in the manner that leaves it open to interpretation that Donald Trump refers to the turban as a ‘hat’ and thus throws Sikhs in with people who wear “those hats” (presumably the Taliban) is unknown.
— Josh Haskell (@joshbhaskell) January 24, 2016
I’m no Donald Trump fan, far from it, so why have I jumped on clearing up this non-issue? Because it is wrong and incredibly dangerous to report this as a jibe made against a Sikh protestor. Journalists and the news media have a responsibility to be accurate and clear when reporting events. Thanks to social media, it takes only an instant for things to spiral out of control online and for a new kind of mob rule to take hold. ABC news poorly reported this incident – one would hope without intention – and as such it could be construed from their article that Donald Trump made a jibe about the Sikh protestor’s turban, that he was wearing “one of those hats” which some would understand as a reference to the turban worn by some members of the Taliban. That could lead to no end of trouble, albeit just online, but these things have a habit of filtering out into the real World. If you don’t like Donald Trump, use the millions of quotes he openly gives that show him in his true light – don’t bring Sikhs into the equation to do such ‘dirty work’.