My condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attack on the #TreeofLife Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA earlier this morning during a Shabbat service. The sad truth is that anti-Semitism is alive and well in America and around the world.
At the moment, the death toll stands at 11. The culprit Robert Bowers, a white male, was apprehended after the shooting.
The FBI will be the lead agency investigating this as a hate crime. The suspected gunman reportedly made anti-Jewish statements while firing. Various media reports said he had shouted “All Jews must die” as he carried out the attack. His social media posting are reportedly full of Anti-Semitic posts.
As sad as this incidence is, this was almost predictable. The hateful rhetoric in the country is on the rise. History shows that many acts of violence are often preceded by a period of hateful speeches. The hateful rhetoric is unfortunately lead by our commander in chief, president Trump.
When asked to comment by the reporters this morning, Donald Trump added that the incident had “little to do” with US gun laws. “If they had protection inside, maybe it could have been a different situation,” he said.
In other words, rather than engaging in the Shabbat services, the worshippers need to bring guns with them and/or the synagogue leadership must have gunmen security personnel greeting the worshippers.
How about saying something about the rising anti-Semitism and how concerning it is. And taking some personal responsibilities would have been very prudent.
He did call the shooting a “terrible, terrible thing”.
“To see this happen again and again, for so many years, it’s just a shame,” He described the gunman as a “maniac”.
He never used the ‘T’ word. Why is this not an act of terrorism? What if the culprit was a bearded Muslim?
I went back to a prior post of mine after the Texas church shooting on November 6, 2017 and found shocking similarities to his reaction to the church shooting.
President Donald Trump said Monday that he believes the Texas church shooting was caused by a “mental health problem,” not an issue with gun laws in the United States.
“Mental health is your problem here,” Trump said, noting that “based on preliminary reports” the shooter was “a very deranged individual.”
“This isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.
This is surely a hate incidence, even though the full details are yet to emerge. But this is another example of people acting irrationally after being incited by the rising hateful rhetoric, lead by the president himself. I had just posted a couple of days ago on the post on the explosive devices sent to many Democrats and CNN head quarters. Extremists are indeed inspired by hate speeches. Donald Trump may not be directly responsible, but he clearly should shoulder the blame for creating an environment and a culture that is conducive for hate against minorities. And then of course there is another issue of gun control, as in this case (again) an automatic or semi automatic weapon was used for the mass murder.
We need to engage with each other in a civil dialogue. We need to reach out to others who are not like us, or do not think like us. But this needs to stop at the very top first and foremost. The hate speeches must stop-now. This can not go on any longer.
Secondarily, people from both sides of the gun control/2ndamendment rights need to have honest dialogue. The goal must be not to prove each other wrong but how do we come together to find solutions, to prevent further violence. Otherwise we will continue to see these tragic attacks.