Strength, Not Fear; Love, Not Hate

On Tuesday, a man in a rented Home Depot truck plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians just blocks away from the World Trade Center, killing eight people and injuring more than a dozen.  The man was Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, 29, a Uzbekistan native who came to the US legally in 2010. It is said today that he had been planning this attack for weeks, and that he said he carried it out under the name of Daesh (aka ISIS).  Donald Trump, predictably, wasted no time politicizing the tragedy to further his own agenda with the following tweets:

“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems” said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness!  @foxandfriends

We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter).  @foxandfriends

The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.

I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!

We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!

There is much that could be said here, such as that Trump has no understanding of the root causes of terrorism, causes to which the United States has contributed.  But my point today is that this is not a time to politicize such an event, further adding to the divisiveness of this nation at a time when unity should be called for.

We should not be surprised by his inappropriate behaviour, however.  Remember back in June, immediately following a terrorist attack in London, when Trump then attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan, tweeting …

At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both say they have not been contacted directly by Trump, and both are quite content to leave it that way.  Cuomo said, of Trump’s tweets …

“The president’s tweets, I think, were not helpful. I don’t think they were factual. They tended to point fingers and politicize the situation. His tweet wasn’t even accurate, as far as I’m concerned. That was a bipartisan law that was passed that had basically no relevance to the facts of this situation. … As I said before, you play into the terrorists to the extent you disrupt and divide and frighten people in this society. The tone now should be the exact opposite.”

I couldn’t have said it better.  What do terrorists want?  They want attention and they want to create an atmosphere of fear.  Trump certainly gives them both.

It is wrong to politicize this situation.  Trump’s job, if only he would do it, is to bring unity, to express compassion and concern, but not to jump to conclusions without having information, not to further divide the nation by turning it into a partisan issue, attacking a well-respected senator.  Is “attack” the only mode this ‘man’ knows?

I keep thinking of how President Obama, were he still in office, would be responding.  I think he would have personally called both Cuomo and De Blasio, and I think his speech would be much more moderated, more calming rather than trying to stir fear.  After the aforementioned London attack, here is how President Obama reacted:

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families in London. No act of terror can shake the strength and resilience of our British ally.”

That, my friends, is how a president should respond. I miss Barack Obama, especially at times like this.  That said, my heart goes out to the good people of New York City and the family & friends of the victims of this tragedy.  But we must not allow the event nor the rhetoric to instill fear in us.  No nationality, no religion, no single group of people can be blamed nor held to account for the actions of one individual.  This man did what he did for reasons we may never understand, but his actions are not representative of the religion Islam, nor are they representative of people from the Middle East.  Our only reaction must be empathy, humanity and kindness.  Anything else lowers us to the standard of those who prefer hate to love.  Give someone a special hug today. Practice strength, not fear; love, not hate.

27 thoughts on “Strength, Not Fear; Love, Not Hate

  1. None of the measures Trump has called for would have stopped this attack. The man was here for several years on a Visa which means he can’t legally be sent to Guantanamo. His extreme vetting and silly wall wouldn’t have stopped him. His travel ban doesn’t include Uzbekistan or the country that the 9/11 terrorists came from. He is just hot air and bluster, but when the Vegas attacked happened, the silence was deafening. This man performed the same act as the white supremacist that ran down people in Virginia. One’s a terrorist and the other is not acknowledged as a terrorist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know this, and I know this, and quite likely even Trump is well aware of this. However, he will use it and milk it for all it’s worth if it helps him get his way. As you note, he is silent about the Vegas attack, for it was a white, U.S. citizen that committed the atrocities. And he was silent about the 4 Green Berets killed in Niger on October 4th, for it was in part his own actions that led to their deaths. But anything perpetrated by a Muslim, a Latino … and he’s all over it with hiw self-righteous babble. (Can you tell I am fed up with him?)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps Donald Trump is the wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. His words don’t seem to do anything other than inflame an already dangerous situation, and he has been less than gracious in offering his sympathies to the bereaved and hurting.
    Having lived and worked in London, I know what it’s like to have the constant threat of terrorism hanging over my head, and in New York many must now have that same feeling of mostly ignored dread. My heart and prayers are with the dead, hurting and frightened. There really is no safe place in the world today ~ it is down to us all to be aware of our surroundings and be sensibly vigilant.
    I agree with President Trump on one thing ~ that there should be much greater control of immigration ~ and I guess that’s one of the two things on which you and I disagree.
    But, lots of warm hugs and kisses Jill. ❤ ❤ ❤ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, for even after this, I support immigration. Not without some caveats, of course, but to ban all because of their religion or because of their nationality … to me that is unconscionable. But, as you said, you and I are adult enough, sensible enough, to disagree with respect, and so we do. Actually, I listen to what you say, as you listen to me. We will just never quite see it from the same set of eyes, but that is okay. Mutual respect. Love ‘n hugs, my dear Jack! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Both of our countries were made by immigration, and certainly England wouldn’t be the vibrant and prosperous nation we are, had it not been for the influx of new cultures and peoples from time to time. However, the majority of the English people voted against uncontrolled immigration in the European Union Referendum…. How controlled immigration can and should work is a matter for each nation to decide.
        Mutual respect Jill, love, hugs, and kisses. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Agreed … each nation must decide for themselves what is best. The trouble I have with Trump’s immigration plans is that they are in contrast with what the majority of the people want. Plus, he uses unreasonable fear tactics to accomplish his goals. Dirty pool, if you ask me.
          Mutual respect to you also, Jack … it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to disagree without raised voices and ugly words. Hugs ‘n love to you, too! ❤ 🙂

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  3. Dear Jill,
    Instead of providing solace, support and words of encouragement, the president took this as an opportunity to cater to his base.
    I also miss having a gentleman in the White House like President Barack Obama.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s ridiculous. I hate ISIS for the methods it chooses to achieve what it wants, which is certainly not in the best interests of the people of the Middle East or their Religion. But today I actually found myself hating Trump more than the terrorist. He has no soft words for anyone, no empathy no sympathy, no caring.New York must be reeling under the enormity of this atrocity but not a kind word from Trump. I sometimes doubt he’s even American at all, probably a Russian slipped in when young to bring the country to it’s knees.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • He has no idea how to communicate except with anger and vitriol. Compare his words with those I saw this evening by Obama … “Michelle and I are thinking of the victims of today’s attack in NYC and everyone who keeps us safe. New Yorkers are as tough as they come.” I know which I would rather hear.
      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Jill, it pains me to see innocent people harmed. It pains me to see people influenced by a twisted version of a religion where leaders take advantage of the minds and bodies of children and gullible people to do their mayhem. No God would support killing innocent people. If that is what one believes, they need to get another religion.

    As for the MITWH who is not known for his empathy, I have not heard words to comfort victims and their families. I have not heard words to say stay strong New York. I have looked for them, but cannot find them. What we heard was being harder on terror. The words that were ideal were uttered by the Mayor, not the President.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think he knows how to talk to people, to offer comfort or compassion. He is all about hate and anger … they define him. On the flip side, I saw Obama’s tweet today … “Michelle and I are thinking of the victims of today’s attack in NYC and everyone who keeps us safe. New Yorkers are as tough as they come.”

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pathetic response from Mr 45…..I wonder how he would cope if he did not live in a proverbial ‘Ivory Tower’. Measured response required from ‘Leaders’. Our hearts bleed for all who suffer as a result of this senseless act. Hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

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