Tag Archives: anti-immigrant rhetoric

Own your role in this tragedy, Mr. President

I want to endorse a contention that is coming from those who support Donald J. Trump.

It is that the president of the United States is not exclusively responsible for the carnage that erupted in El Paso and Dayton … or at any of the other American communities that have experienced the wrath of anger spewed by lunatic shooters.

I also agree with the president who has blamed an array of circumstances for what transpired in El Paso and Dayton: the lack of mental health awareness; the Internet and its propensity for spreading hate speech; and, yes, video games, although the last target of blame seems dubious.

However, I must once again implore the president to expand the level of responsibility for the madness that keeps erupting.

Donald J. Trump needs to own the rhetoric he has spewed since taking office and while he was running for the presidency.

I realize I am asking for an impossible occurrence. Donald Trump doesn’t apologize. He doesn’t take ownership of the things he does wrong. He won’t acknowledge that his anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-Muslim rhetoric has inspired these madmen. He won’t recognize that as president of the United States, his words weigh far more than others, such as, say, chump bloggers who live out here in Trump Country.

He is our head of state. He is our commander in chief. Donald Trump is the president of the world’s mightiest nation.

That role should compel him to measure his words with great care.

He does not measure anything. He has no filter. He blasts out those Twitter messages with no outward regard for the consequences that they deliver.

I am not going to endorse the notion that Donald Trump is “responsible” for the carnage. I am, however, going to say once more with feeling that he needs to recognize his own role in the complicated morass that produced this dangerous moment in our nation’s history.

If only he would listen.

POTUS’s ‘outreach’ didn’t go well, or so we must presume

Donald Trump’s attempted outreach to two stricken American communities appears to have not gone according to plan.

I say “appears” because the White House did something quite unusual. It didn’t allow live coverage of the events involving the president. Instead, it released video prepared for public consumption.

You know the drill. El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio were victimized by lunatic gunmen. Twenty-two people died in El Paso; the suspect is a reputed anti-immigrant zealot from North Texas whose actions appear to have been inspired by the president’s own fiery anti-immigrant rhetoric. Nine more died in Dayton later the same day; the gunman there was shot to death by police just seconds after the loon opened fire.

Trump decided to go to the cities ostensibly to lend comfort. It didn’t go well.

Reports indicate he had a cordial meeting with the Dayton mayor and other public officials. Then he tweeted messages en route to El Paso aboard Air Force One criticizing them and the media coverage of the Dayton visit. Good grief, man!

Then he went to El Paso. Reports came out today that said several of the victims who are hospitalized refused to meet with the president. A spokeperson referred to the terrible stress the victims are enduring, suggesting they were too traumatized to meet with the president of the United States. OK. Whatever.

I am trying to recall a time when a president of the United States experienced such profound repudiation from communities stricken in the manner that befell El Paso and Dayton. I cannot remember it happening. Not to President Reagan, or President Clinton, or President Bush 43 or President Obama.

This president, though, is different in every manner one can imagine. The chilly reception well might have something to do with the way he sought to compare the reception he got in El Paso with what greeted Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, when he poked fun at the “meager” crowd that O’Rourke allegedly attracted.

How in the name of self-indulgent narcissism does a president say such a thing in public, out loud at a time he should be concentrating solely on the victims? I guess it has something to do with what has been undeniable for a very long time: Donald Trump does not possess the capacity for empathy.


From our heartbreak, seeing signs of hope

Our hearts are broken across the land as we ponder what happened within hours of each other in two communities, in El Paso and Dayton.

Moronic madmen opened fire on innocent victims. Twenty-two of them died in El Paso, nine in Dayton; dozens more were injured. Police arrested a young man in El Paso and will charge him with multiple counts of capital murder; the cops gunned down the Dayton killer.

We grieve as a nation.

There might be a glimmer of hope arising from our sorrow. How does it present itself?

It might be occurring on the twin-track debate that has commenced.

We’re talking simultaneously about measures we might be able to enact to tighten control of gun purchasing and ownership. No, I’m not talking about watering down the Second Amendment. I stand with those who support the amendment’s guarantee that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

There must be a legislative remedy that withstands constitutional scrutiny. Congress hasn’t acted on it. It refuses. Donald Trump won’t take up that cudgel. The gun lobby continues to throw around its weight in the halls of power.

I am not going to join those who want Congress to return immediately from its recess to enact such legislation. Lawmakers will return and then they get to work. I want them to listen to their constituents’ concerns.

Indeed, just this morning, my congressman, freshman Republican Van Taylor, was visiting with constituents here in Princeton, where I am absolutely certain he heard from those who are concerned about the gun violence that keeps erupting around the country. He needs to keep his ears open as he travels through the Third Congressional District of Texas during his time away from Capitol Hill.

The second track is equally important. It deals with the hateful rhetoric we are hearing from politicians, namely from the top! Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric must end. He won’t acknowledge the role his statements have played in the spasm of violence. The El Paso shooter apparently acted out of hatred for Mexican immigrants. Much of a screed published just minutes before he opened fire at the Wal-Mart complex mirrors the rhetoric that Donald Trump has bellowed at campaign rallies since before he became president.

We must continue to have this debate, too, even as we enter a presidential election year.

Many of us had hoped that the Parkland, Fla., high school massacre would engender a long-standing debate. Many of those students became articulate spokesmen and women for the cause of gun reform. Their voices have faded into the background.

Now comes the latest chorus. The debate runs along dual tracks: gun violence and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

I want the debate to continue for as long as it takes, even as we seek to mend our broken hearts.