God have mercy on us all

Blame for one of the mass killings this past weekend is being placed firmly at the feet of Donald Trump and his hate-filled, racist rhetoric. This hate speech didn’t begin yesterday. It began when (or before) Trump ran for president, and it has festered as he continues with it on a daily basis.

Naomi Elster, Ph.D., points out that according to the New Yorker, following Trump’s election, a 12-year-old girl was accosted by a white man, who told her: “Now that Trump is president, I’m going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” A 12-year-old girl is no threat to anyone. Neither are the babies that were shot in El Paso by Patrick Crusius. Elster further points out that in the first week following the election, “437 racist, sexist or xenophobic incidents” have occurred, and they were against the very groups that Trump denigrated during this campaign. These incidents are no coincidence. George P. Bush, who is the Texas General Land Office Commissioner and son of former Governor Jeb Bush, believes that we should call these incidents what they are: White terrorism.

Democrats in Congress and presidential candidates alike place the blame for these acts of terrorism on Donald Trump. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, where yet another mass shooting occurred this weekend, is calling for calm and sensibility. “Our country is better than this divisive racist talk by the president of the United States,” Brown said on CNN Sunday. Brown said that he does know that “white supremacists feel empowered by this president.” He also hoped that Republicans wouldn’t merely offer “thoughts and prayers,” but they have already done just that. That phrase is now so meaningless, it has become an internet meme.

Thoughts and prayers are useless when Republicans continue to block gun control legislation presented by the Democratic House and while they pretend that limiting the purchase of guns won’t change anything. Baloney. Why not try something? No, they’re far more concerned with keeping their relationship with the NRA than protecting the lives of American citizens and tourists. The danger isn’t at our border; it’s already inside.

Beto O’Rourke, who formerly represented El Paso in Congress, has been very outspoken in his belief that Trump’s racist and white nationalist rhetoric is encouraging these attacks. O’Rourke, speaking with Jake Tapper on CNN, said that Trump is a white nationalist. O’Rourke said, “This cannot be open for debate. He doesn’t even pretend to respect our differences or understand we are all created equal.” O’Rourke is right.

Trump’s rhetoric is clear. He is a racist. That has been clear from the beginning, from his denigration of immigrants, insults against women of color in Congress, and his “very fine people” comments when referring to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Think about it: How many fair-minded, non-racist people would say such things? Worse, he is the leader of the free world, and he is using his platform to incite people’s so-called grievances and to label people as “enemies.” Thanks to Donald Trump, we face real danger within the confines of our country from people who are supposed to be our brothers. God have mercy on us all.

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