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Why Trump’s comments about the New Zealand attacks are so disturbing

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- Commentary

President Donald Trump has issued a response to Friday’s shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, where at least 49 people have been killed.

In a tweet, Trump posted:

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The White House also issued a statement:

The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.

The president’s responses quickly came under criticism for what they left out. Although Trump’s response did mention “mosques,” he didn’t specifically mention Islamophobia — unlike Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who tweeted, “We don’t back down in the face of Islamophobia and racism at home or abroad”— or name “Muslims” specifically as the victims. In a tweet, former President Barack Obama assured “the people of New Zealand” that “we grieve with you and the Muslim community.”

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been highly critical of Trump following the Christchurch attacks—which, according to New Zealand authorities, were motivated by both white supremacist views and anti-Islam views.

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At a Friday press conference, CAIR’s founder and executive director, Nihad Awad, asserted that Trump’s rhetoric had encouraged anti-Islam bigotry. Trump, Awad told journalists, has been “able to normalize Islamophobia and give legitimacy to those who fear Muslims and fear immigrants.”

Awad called for Trump to condemn the New Zealand shooting as a “white supremacist attack,” and the CAIR founder told reporters, “It is no secret that Mr. Trump has campaigned on white supremacist ideology, on division and fear. He campaigned against immigrants, against Mexicans, against African-Americans, against women, against Muslims. Muslims have received the lion’s share of his attacks.”

Awad went on to say that if Trump “would like to be the leader of the free world, he has to change his policies—and he has to reset the tone by committing himself to unity, equality.”

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In the Nation, John Nichols described Trump’s response to the Christchurch massacre as “muffled” and complained that it should have been more forceful. Nichols wrote, “On one of the darkest days in history for Muslims worldwide, the president’s initial response to the New Zealand killings failed to mention Muslims, Islam, Islamophobia, white supremacy, racism, bigotry or violent hatred that targets people based on their religion.”

One of the most vehement responses to the attack came from the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt, who asserted during a Friday interview with NPR that it “clearly was motivated by white supremacy.

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Greenblatt told NPR, “We’ve got a big problem on our hands, and we need to recognize that social media allows white supremacy, much like other forms of hate, to travel across borders. And we’ve got to recognize it for the global terror threat that it really is.”

Another word missing from Trump’s response was “terrorist.” In contrast, Democrat Hillary Clinton’s response specifically mentioned “white supremacist terrorists.”

Clinton was quite forceful in her response as well, tweeting:

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Leaders in Europe, meanwhile, have been quick to describe the shooting as terrorism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her solidarity with New Zealand Muslims “who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred” and asserted, “We stand together against such acts of terrorism.” And French President Emmanuel Macron declared, “France stands against all forms of extremism and acts with its partners against terrorism in the world.”

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McConnell under pressure to wrap up Trump impeachment trial quickly without alienating wavering GOP senators

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According to a report from Politico, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is under pressure from the White House and some of his Republican colleagues to move quickly to acquit Donald Trump by speeding up his impeachment trial while not upsetting some wavering GOP lawmakers who are fearful for their reputations in an election year.

The report notes that a Trump acquittal is a foregone conclusion, with GOP lawmakers admitting as much.

“The question is going to come to ‘Have you heard enough to make a decision or do you want witnesses?’ If people say, ‘We’re ready to vote,’ we’re going to vote right then,” explained Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).

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Are Trump and his circle manipulating the markets for personal gain? Here’s the evidence

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Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstructing a congressional investigation into his attempt to blackmail a foreign country into aiding him in the 2020 presidential election. He is now the third president in American history to have earned that ignominious distinction.

Trump will not be convicted by the Republicans in the Senate for his crimes.

The public evidence is damning. There is no evidence that could possibly exonerate him. Trump is publicly bragging about committing crimes against the Constitution and the American people. The Republican Party and its propaganda news media have decided to ignore reality and fully immerse themselves in TrumpWorld. They have pledged total loyalty to him and no evidence will move them. The Republicans and their news media and public are authoritarian lemmings.

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SNL imagines Alan Dershowitz and Mitt Romney in hell during impeachment trial sketch

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The skit began with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about impeachment.

They were then joined by Alan Dershowitz (played by SNL alum Jon Lovitz), who spoke of his previous clients, Jeff Epstein (played by Adam Driver), O.J. Simpson and Claus von Bülow.

But Dershowitz suffered a heart attack and met the devil in hell, where he was reunited with Epstein.

“Yes, hello, everyone, it’s I, Alan Dershowitz,” he proclaimed. “It’s wonderful to be here. Because I’m not welcome anywhere else. There’s a lot of haters out there -- for no good reason. But like I said to my client and dear friend Jeffrey Epstein, haters gonna hate!”

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