Lena Dunham called Donald Trump racist in a tweet on Monday before drawing parallels between the president and white supremacist/mass murderer Dylann Roof.
Dunham was responding to a series of tweets from “Full Frontal” writer Travon Free, who questioned how CNN identifies people as racists. Free concluded his thread by writing, “I’ll end this by trying to help every journalist and analyst in America: [Donald Trump] is a racist. Feel free to take it from there.”
Dunham agreed with Free, and added, “Not only is he a racist, but he’s a racist with untreated mental illness. So under [different] circumstances he’s Dylann Roof.”
In 2015, Roof opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. He killed nine members of the predominately African-American church and was convicted of 33 federal hate crime charges before being sentenced to death.
Dunham emphasized the courage of black Americans standing up to Trump. “Do people get how much bravery it takes to stand up to the [president], whether you’re rich or not? These players are black Americans,” she wrote, continuing, “Along with the president’s ire, they get every violent racist who supports him. They are deluged with threats. Have to shield their families.”
Recently, Trump attacked NFL players for taking a knee during the National Anthem in response to racial inequality. The president attested those who engage in such protests should be fired.
Dunham addressed her status as a white woman before continuing to commending protesters. “I’m not an NBA player, I’m just some random white girl on cable reruns, and since the election the violence in my feed has been terrifying,” she wrote. “Imagine their national stage, the abuse they know they’ll get for doing the right thing and the fact that they do it anyway? True applause.”
Her connection drew mixed reactions. One Twitter user called out Dunham’s comparison for going too far in comparing Trump to a mass murderer. “I dislike [Donald Trump,” but you’re reaching far with this one,” he wrote, to which Free responded, “Did he not say ‘I could shoot someone on Fifth Ave., and still get elected?’ He did. A racist who talks about getting away with murder.”
Another user attested that Trump is “even scarier than Roof,” writing, “He holds a nuclear arsenal at his vulgarian fingertips and is afraid of ‘the other.'”