Writing in the Washington Post, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin chided supporters of President Donald Trump who say it’s not fair to blame his rhetoric for stirring up violence.
“President Trump’s apologists express outrage when his affirmation of white supremacist themes (e.g. “an invasion”) is linked to mass shootings by white supremacists,” Rubin writes. “(Try to imagine them taking that position if President Barack Obama had echoed radical Islamist themes.) Trump’s defenders and that gaggle of conservatives who attack Trump critics go so far as to claim it is Trump’s critics who provoke racism because they accuse Trumpers of racism, or something like that. Frankly, it’s basically: “Blah, blah, blah … Don’t accuse Trump of racism when he demonizes black and brown people. … Blah, blah, blah.”
Rubin goes on to cite an ABC News report that found at least 36 criminal cases where the perpetrator directly cited Trump as their inspiration.
The ABC review notes that this development is unique to the Trump era. “ABC News could not find a single criminal case filed in federal or state court where an act of violence or threat was made in the name of President Barack Obama or President George W. Bush.”
Rubin concludes by noting Republicans’ hypocrisy.
“In the face of all of this evidence and their willingness to attribute responsibility to speakers when the ideology at issue is Islamist fundamentalism, why do so many GOP members of Congress, conservative outlets and conservative pundits deny Trump has anything to do with the epidemic of white supremacist killings (not to mention the rise in hate crimes)? It doesn’t take too much imagination to conclude that if they acknowledged the facts in front of their faces, they’d have to seek Trump’s removal, renounce their support for him and make amends for spouting Trump propaganda. And we can’t have that, can we?”