After the weekend’s mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that left at least 31 people dead, Barack Obama wants Americans to “clearly and unequivocally” reject language from leaders that “feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”
Obama spoke out on Twitter in one of his strongest Donald Trump call-outs yet without directly naming the POTUS.
In Twitter responses, Obama’s words were seen as leadership in a vacuum.
“That’s my president” @neuropsyko tweeted.
Before he killed 22 people at an El Paso Wal-Mart on Saturday, gunman Patrick Crusius published a racist, anti-Hispanic manifesto describing an immigrant invasion of America. He told police that he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible, ABC reported. An ABC News investigation in November 2018 found multiple criminal cases involving mostly white men where Trump’s name or rhetoric was directly connected to violent acts, threats or allegations of assault.
This weekend’s mass shootings have brought fresh scrutiny to Trump’s own anti-immigrant rhetoric and downplaying of white nationalism at rallies and on social media.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 35: Isa Watson
Jamarlin talks to Isa Watson, founder and CEO of Squad by Envested, a VC-backed software company that is scaling a next-gen platform to build relationships at work.
The president tried to distance himself from the Wal-Mart shooter’s language Monday, condemning white supremacy in a teleprompter speech and paying lip service to national unity, Vanity Fair reported. It rang hollow.
The adult in the room, Obama tweeted, “All of us have to send a clarion call and behave with the values of tolerance and diversity that should be the hallmark of our democracy.”
Trump insists he’s the least racist person on earth. He did so last week after he was called out for his racially charged criticisms of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the city of Baltimore and after railing against the Squad — four progressive congresswomen who are Black or women of color.
Obama condemned the rise of white nationalism, pointing out that the El Paso shooter was radicalized online by racist ideology. The former POTUS encouraged law enforcement and the internet to stop the spread of white supremacists.
“I had no doubt I’d soon hear from MY President. Still my POTUS until further notice,” @JoyRoseM tweeted.
“The embodiment of what a president of USA should be. Everything we do not have today. He has so much class speaking to all people not just his base,” @George65123660 tweeted.
Obama’s statement got to Trump, who tweeted edited quotes from Fox News hosts:
“‘Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control,'” Trump tweeted. “‘Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres.'”