Barack Obama forcefully denounced the rhetoric that Donald Trump has repeatedly employed to describe immigrants and minorities in a rare public rebuke on Monday of his successor.
Obama issued a hard-hitting statement – which did not use the president’s name – hours after Trump’s address to the nation blamed gun violence on mental illness, the internet and social media.
‘We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,’ Obama said in a tweeted statement.
While the statement did not directly mention Trump, and Obama allowed that racist language is ‘not new,’ the intended target of his criticisms was clear.
He said, ‘It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party, to say as much – clearly and unequivocally.’
‘We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening,’ he said of the environment that has allowed mass casualties to occur.
Obama said that ‘there are indications’ that the shooting suspect in Texas followed a ‘dangerous trend’ in American mass murders.
They tend to be ‘troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and see themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy,’ he said.
‘Like the followers of ISIS and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they’ve been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the internet. That means that both law enforcement agencies and internet platforms need to come up with better strategies to reduce the influence of these hate groups,’ he asserted.
He threw shade in the direction of 2020 Democrats who weren’t prioritizing gun violence until the weekend tragedies in a second tweet.
Obama shared an Vox article that noted that only one of the current Democratic presidential candidates – Cory Booker – has a unique plan to reduce firearm fatalities. He underscored the line from his statement that all public officials must be held accountable for American gun violence.
Hours before, Trump had provided his own take on mass shootings that included a denouncement of white supremacy but did not take stock of his own conduct.
Trump blamed the internet, social media, computer games and ‘mental illness’ on Monday for the two mass shootings that killed 30 people this weekend – but finally spoke out against ‘white supremacy’ after being accused of fueling hatred with his own language.
Trump used a White House address to the nation to outline what he said were the causes of the mass murder, accusing the internet of providing a ‘dangerous avenue’ which was twisting minds.
‘Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,’ he said.
He had linked mass murder prevention to illegal immigration in an early-morning tweet that included a call for stricter background checks. The proposal had Democrats comparing Trump’s ideology to pre-war Nazism.
But in a televised Diplomatic Reception Room address, he made no mention of the demand, and instead offered the first full-throated condemnation of white supremacy and domestic terrorism of his presidency.
‘The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online, consumed by racist hate. In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.
‘These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul,’ he stated.
Source: Daily Mail