JOANNA CLARK, San Juan Capistrano
How many must die before Congress puts a stop to Trump’s xenophobic, hate-filled rhetoric—22 dead and 26 injured in El Paso, Texas and nine dead and 27 injured in Dayton, Ohio in less than 24 hours, bringing the number of mass shootings to 252 for 2019, with 281 killed and 1,025 injured.
President Donald Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric did not just push his fellow candidates to the far right, it has gone beyond the political world and injected itself into everyday life, across dozens of states here and the world, in the most violent ways. On March 15, New Zealand felt the far-reaching sting of hate when 51 of their citizens were gunned down during worship services.
Hate crimes with racial or ethnic bias jumped the day after Trump won the 2016 election, according to an analysis of FBI hate crime statistics.
The FBI reported that hate crimes rose dynamically between 2016 and 2017 by 15.93%, as xenophobic, hate-filled rhetoric and actions came to dominate the news. Of the 8,828 reported hate crimes reported in 2017, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, with religion and sexual orientation the other two primary motivators.
Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, responded by saying “someone in this administration probably should be arrested for negligent homicide.” Every person within the Trump administration and Congress who have stood idly by and done nothing to contain Trump’s xenophobic hate-filled rhetoric should be charged with the crime of “negligent homicide.”
Unfortunately, self-preservation is the default mode of any politician, and protecting oneself is far more important than protecting one’s country. Amber Phillips, political writer for “The Fix,” points out: “Most of the congressional survivors of Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party went into self-preservation mode when Trump attacked a federal judge and again when he did not forcefully stand up for peaceful people protesting white supremacy.” So when Trump attacks someone, there is no political incentive for Republicans to say anything about it.
Former Republican Congressman David Jolly said Monday on CNN that every Republican up for re-election in 2020 should be removed from office. What do you think?
Editor’s Note: As of Monday, Aug. 5, the number of mass shooting incidents in 2019 rose to 255, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which defines mass shootings as incidents in which four or more people were shot or killed.