Nearly three days went by after the murderous rage of a known white-supremacist terrorist in Portland, Oregon took the lives of three Americans without a word from the Tweeter-in-Chief.
On Friday, Jeremy Joseph Christian was publicly harassing female train-commuters with anti-Muslim insults when bystanders attempted to intervene. Christian then attacked them with a knife, killing Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23 while injuring another man, Micah David-Cole.
Christian was later arrested and is facing murder charges.
One would think that after such an egregious act of violence against brave, honorable and noble Americans – who literally gave their lives defending the very essence of inclusion that has historically “made America great” – the typically outspoken President would have had something – anything – to say on the matter.
But no. Instead, his office was radio-silent up until yesterday when the @POTUS and NOT his own @realdonaldtrump account tweeted this meticulously crafted and vanilla-branded message:
The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.
— President Trump (@POTUS) May 29, 2017
Despite the out-of-character composition of this three-days-late message, the fact that it came from the official @POTUS account – which has 18 million followers – and not from Trump’s personal account, @realdonaldtrump – which has nearly 31 million followers – adds insult to injury. While It is commonly known and accepted that the President does not tweet from the official presidential Twitter account – rather, White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino Jr. composes the @POTUS tweets on behalf of the administration – the actual president’s lack of messaging for solidarity and respect in light of this horrific crime is a real problem.
The problem is hardly with the fact that the words themselves are someone else’s (most of what all past presidents have ever uttered began with a speechwriter of some sort), but rather that the very idea of a white supremacist murdering Americans who defended valiantly a person of seeming Muslim descent on American soil flies directly in the face of the president’s past actions, words and comments regarding the extremist threats faced by this society.
Donald Trump would not dare to put his own words around this, as it would be detrimental to his brand of brash populism. It would upset the white nationalists that constantly defend and support his themes of exclusivity and vilification of the Muslim community. It would negate his “us against them” mantra against the “other” – a mantra that arguably won him countless numbers of votes in the election and keeps his numbers high even as his policy-driven presidency falters on all sides. It would by all counts be a self-admission that his very brand of nationalistic xenophobia is breeding hate more than it would ever admit.
“This story may not neatly fit into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail and that has followed you into the White House,” wrote veteran journalist Dan Rather in an epic open letter to the president. “They were not killed by an undocumented immigrant or a ‘radical Islamic terrorist.’ They were killed in an act of civic love, facing down a man allegedly spewing hate speech directed at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab.”
Rather’s letter has since been shared over 160,000 times on Facebook.
“Perhaps Portland, Oregon is off your radar,” Rather concludes. “It is, after all, a rather liberal place. It’s even a ‘sanctuary city.’ But it is still an American city. And you are its President.
“Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next.”
Trump’s slow and steady reluctance to condemn hate crimes perpetrated by white America are part and parcel to this rhetorical schtick. While he typically wastes little to no time to personally denounce terror attacks conducted by Muslim extremists, the president often quickly denounces terrorist attacks by people who identify as Muslim and has no issues whatsoever profiling the entire religion as complicit in worldwide terror.
To attach his public persona to a message that would contradict this narrative would be above that which this president is capable.Click here for reuse options!
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