Politicizing Terrorism: Trump’s Racist Pattern

The 31st of October. What was once simply a day to dress up in Halloween costumes and eat candy, has been given a new significance in United States history. Halloween of this year marks yet another terrorist attack on American soil, coming just one month after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Most would agree that both attacks are just as significant and just as damaging, despite their difference in size and motive. One individual, however, feels that there is an even greater difference between the two attacks. That difference-- race.

During his past few months in office, President Donald Trump has had varied reactions to the terrorist attacks and violence happening in the United States and across the world. In reaction to the bombing in the London Underground, the president tweeted, “Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” This was back in September.

A few months later, violence in Charlottesville prompted a response from the president, which, unsurprisingly, missed the mark. This time, Trump refused to condemn the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups that were the cause of the violence during the protests and instead, placed the blame on the both sides for the violence that occurred.

Last month, after the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history all the President had to offer, by way of a reaction to the horrific event that occurred, were his thoughts and prayers.

And finally, in a series of tweets posted after the New York City attack, Trump had this to say, “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!” and “We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and much smarter).”

Based on all of these reactions to the terror and violence present in our modern world, it seems that our President has much more to say when it comes to Islamic terrorism and terrorists.

After Las Vegas, there was a desire by many to revisit gun legislation and policy, in order to insure that this kind of situation would not and could not happen again. However, Trump did not seem to feel that that kind of discussion was appropriate. The President told reporters that a gun control policy discussion will, “At some point, perhaps that will come. But that's not for now. That's for -- at a later time.” Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Trump’s feelings on the matter saying, “Today is a day for consoling the survivors, and mourning those we lost…There's a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country." This is all a vast contrast to Trump’s response to the New York City attack.

Trump seemed to feel that thoughts and prayers were not so desperately needed this time and instead, took a shot at the Democratic party in an attempt to advance his immigration policy. Sanders tried to defend Trump’s actions, as any good press secretary would, telling reporters that Trump was not politicizing the New York City terror attack because immigration policy has been something, “the President's been talking about for a longtime. This isn't a new policy, this isn't a new position, this isn't a new conversation…We're talking about protecting American lives." Conveniently, Sanders denied having previously stated that it was inappropriate to discuss policy in the wake of Las Vegas in the same press conference.

I believe Steve Benen, MSNBC contributor and producer of the Rachel Maddow Show, explains this hypocrisy best. In a post for TheMaddowBlog, Benen writes, “Donald J. Trump responds to crises by asking all the wrong questions. Instead of focusing on what matters, the president looks for ways to gain political advantage in the wake of bloodshed, hoping to exploit attacks in ways that help him and his agenda, rather than help bring people together.”

This is not new with Donald Trump. He is a constant flip-flopper and seems unable to make up his mind when required to take a definitive stance. And this pattern of Trump saying one thing and changing his mind can be seen in any number of situations, not just discussions regarding terrorism or violence.

Unfortunately for the United States, we have elected a weak president. We have elected someone who is insecure and hypocritical, someone who craves validation, someone who was unprepared and is uneducated on the ways in which things should be done in the world of politics and government. As a group, the American people, now more than ever, it is imperative that we make our voices heard. That we take a strong stance for what we believe in and fight to make ourselves known. Our President will continue to make insensitive and irresponsible mistakes, time and time again. It now becomes the people’s job to ensure that we don’t all go down with Trump’s sinking ship.