The United States has had cause for shame more than a few times in its history. The internment of Japanese-American citizens and others during WWII comes immediately to mind. Turning away over 900 Jewish refugees fleeing from Hitler and his Nazis on the ship St. Louis in 1939. Our treatment of Native Americans throughout history. Slavery. And the list goes on. Likely most nations have their own list, for none are without fault. But today, we should hang our heads in shame at the response of the so-called leader of this nation to the horrific events in London last night.
Two separate things stand out here. Immediately after hearing of the attacks, Trump, in his usual bombastic fashion, made use of the tragedy to propagandize his travel ban:
“We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
“We must stop being politically correct and get down to the business of security for our people. If we don’t get smart it will only get worse”
And he apparently couldn’t resist using the tragedy of Britain to taunt those of us in the U.S. who support more rigid gun regulations:
“Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!”
Gun control advocates noted that the number of casualties would almost certainly have been much higher if firearms had been involved.
Mr. Trump, do not use the heartbreak and tragedy of others to promote your own agenda! This is immoral, unconscionable, and proves once again that you are not a leader, not a kind or good man, and have no morals, no ethics, no conscience. You are turning our nation into a pack of thugs and hooligans.
The second faux pas came as a response to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, after Mr. Khan said the following to the citizens of London:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things, the police, all of us need to do, is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world, but we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.”
Please note that he was telling the good people of London that there was “no reason to be alarmed” over the increased police presence in the following days. But Trump, in his usual brash, inept manner, misunderstood, or simply chose to ignore, the meaning of Mr. Khan’s statement and tweeted:
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!””
The reply from Mayor Khan’s office was dignified and put Trump in his place:
“He has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police — including armed officers — on the streets,”
It was not the first time a member of the Trump family criticized Mr. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of any major Western capital. In March, after a terrorist attack in London, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, posted a link to an article in Britain’s Independent newspaper from the previous September quoting Mr. Khan about terrorism. Then, as now, the mayor’s remarks were taken out of context and unjustly critiqued by a Trump:
“You have to be kidding me?!: Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan” wrote the junior Donald.
Proof, I suppose, that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Then, as now, Mr. Khan’s response was eloquent, given the circumstances:
“I’m not going to respond to a tweet from Donald Trump Jr. I’ve been doing far more important things over the last 24 hours.”
Frankly, I think Mr. Khan is a much more qualified individual to lead a nation than Donald Trump. He obviously has a more even temperament, does the right thing when the situation is critical, and doesn’t wallow in the muck with the likes of Trump.
So once again, my friends, Donald Trump has given us a reason to hang our collective heads in shame. And to apologize, once again, for the behaviour of the man-child who temporarily occupies the Oval Office.