Trump disrespects the grieving citizens of El Paso — before he even gets to their city
Trump has been widely criticized for his racist rhetoric in the wake of the weekend's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, but he has been completely dismissive of those concerns.
"My critics are political people, they're trying to make points, in many cases they're running for president, and they're very low in the polls," Trump told a reporter on Wednesday as he left for El Paso.
He also noted that the trip to the mass shooting site would be "a terrific opportunity, really, to congratulate some of the police and law enforcement."
But those assailing his hate speech aren't just elected officials — not by a long shot.
"You say things and this is what happens," said El Paso resident Adria González, directly addressing Trump in a video posted on Tuesday. González is an assistant teacher who helped dozens of people to escape the shooting scene.
The El Paso Times newspaper also directly addressed Trump in an editorial published Wednesday, rebuking his brand of division and hatred.
"The violence that pierced El Paso, drawing you here today, is not of our own community. An outsider came here to shatter our city, to murder our neighbors. A white man from another Texas city came to target the more than 80% of us who share Hispanic roots," the op-ed noted.
The paper also pointed out the relationship El Paso has with the Mexican city of Juárez.
"In El Paso, we embrace our relationship with Juárez. We are not separated by a border fence. In El Paso, the border is an opportunity. Commerce helps everyone share in the American dream."
"Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement - & be quiet!"
O'Rourke is from the area and represented El Paso in Congress.
Trump's characterization of O'Rourke's actions after the shooting were also quickly refuted.
"I've been following Beto O’Rourke through his community as it mourns this week — and person after person has thanked him for being their voice, for sticking up for their community, for confronting the president. None of his neighbors are telling him to be quiet," wrote Washington Post reporter Jenna Johnson.
"I interviewed a bunch of people at the growing memorial at the Walmart in El Paso today, including a couple Trump supporters, for a story," noted CNN reporter Eric Bradner. "No one criticized O’Rourke. Nearly all of them brought up Trump’s history of racist comments, mostly without me asking."
Trump is being publicly rebuked by El Paso's current member of Congress as well.
Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar said she attempted to speak to Trump about his racism in light of the shooting but was rejected by the White House.
"I was told that @realDonaldTrump is 'too busy' to have that conversation," she wrote on Tuesday night. Escobar said that she would not meet him in El Paso "because I refuse to be an accessory to his visit."
"I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country," she added.
Trump had no events on his Tuesday schedule. White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said Trump had no public events scheduled because he was "meeting with staff on a wide range of policies, having conversations in prepping for his trip to these communities." Gidley claimed that Trump "recognizes the gravity of this moment." But Trump repeatedly took to Twitter through the day to rage at Google and make baseless accusations that it had committed "very illegal" acts to support Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election.
To add another insult on top of all his insults, Trump still owes the city at least $569,204. He did not compensate the city for security and other services provided when he visited for a campaign rally in February. Trump's tab has been open so long the city added a 20% late fee.
Trump's hate is trailing him to El Paso. Instead of being conciliatory or presidential, he has lashed out once again with petulance and lies at a city grieving in the wake of a massacre carried out by someone repeating Trump's hateful rhetoric.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Oliver Willis.