Newspaper column: Trump call for unity met with derision, slurs

Lisa Benson cartoon

The campaign rhetoric is being brandished like a flame thrower, scorching the stump with recriminations, incriminations, insinuations and denunciations.

In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that left 32 dead and dozens more seriously wounded, Democratic presidential candidates unsheathed accusations that President Trump is the prime mover of such lunatic behavior, calling him a racist and a white supremacist.

“In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in a speech. “Trump offers no moral leadership, no interest in unifying the nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least.”

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, told The New York Times that Trump is a white supremacist who has “done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.”

She added, “Donald Trump has a central message. He says to the American people, if there’s anything wrong in your life, blame them — and ‘them’ means people who aren’t the same color as you, weren’t born where you were born, don’t worship the same way you do.”

Meanwhile, candidate and former El Paso Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke said Trump has made it “very clear” that he is a white supremacist who has “dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country,” according to Salon.

Candidate and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker noted that both the El Paso shooter and Trump described illegal immigration as an invasion. Booker said, “The character and the culture of who we are hangs in the balance. We can’t let these conversations devolve into the impotent simplicity of who is or isn’t a racist. The real question isn’t who is or isn’t a racist, but who is or isn’t doing something about it.”

Socialist candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was quoted as saying, “We have a president who is an overt racist and xenophobe. He should stay away from El Paso. What he should do right now is end his anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

The target of this vitriol, meanwhile, addressed the nation from the White House in a 10-minute speech calling for unity. “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,” Trump implored.

The president called for a change in the American culture to “stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.”

He concluded, “Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control.”

The parsing of words was so overwrought that when The New York Times accurately reported in a headline in its first edition the next day that “Trump urges unity vs. racism,” the self-styled social justice warriors stampeded online.

Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted, “Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by — and often relies upon — the cowardice of mainstream institutions.” Many threatened to cancel subscriptions.

In the next edition of the newspaper, the headline read, “Assailing hate but not guns.” All Trump had said was, “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

As for blaming Trump for the El Paso shooter’s deeds, the shooter himself wrote in his rambling and demented screed posted online by the Drudge Report, “My ideology has not changed for several years. My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that.”

Pay no heed to the fact the Dayton shooter was an avowed socialist supporter of Sanders and Warren.

It is hard to create unity when so many who claim to want to lead this country are so divisive and obdurate. They see calls for unity as divisive. Look in the mirror.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

49 comments on “Newspaper column: Trump call for unity met with derision, slurs

  1. Rincon says:

    Not hearing the rest of the content of the various candidates’ speeches, it is difficult to evaluate the supposed vitriol against Trump, but I prefer not to pay a lot of attention to the horse race so diligently reported by the media. I don’t care who called the other one a dirty bird, whose strategy is better nor do I care who made a gaffe here or there. I want to know their track records and their expressed views. Both are sorely lacking in most so called news articles.

    That being said, Trump’s calling for “unity” reminds me very much of Rodney King when he said, “Can we all get along?” Trump talked the talk on one occasion. For that he deserves mild praise while pointing out that previously, he has not and has actually encouraged our present xenophobia. There’s also no evidence that he has walked the walk either.

    The quote from the shooter is meaningless. Are we trusting that a mass murderer would never lie to cover up for one of his sources of inspiration? Besides, he was likely inspired by others of Trump’s ilk. Why would Trump’s similar words have no similar effect?

    Pointing out a single event by a left wing radical is a squirrel if I ever saw one. It ignores the fact that right wing mass murderers are quite common while those of the left wing are rare. Where was the reporting in this space of that very disturbing reality?

  2. It’s all meaningless.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Words meaning nothing.

    And who wins when that happens I wonder?

    I’m just aghast really.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Just not equally

  5. Anonymous says:

    You said it best with this line, Tom…”It is hard to create unity when so many who claim to want to lead this country are so divisive and obdurate.” Most of the liberal politicians, it seems, just want to stir the pot of hatred and divisiveness to generate votes. Trump doesn’t help because of the caustic comments he makes that also fan the flames of discontent.

    I hope the American public gets to a point where we say, “enough is enough” and bring back the unification that we had during the late 1980’s, and early 2000’s where patriotism, love of country, and love of fellow man, regardless of race, prevailed. I firmly believe people want answers and solutions to our country’s problems that will bring the country together.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So the anti-fascists are a terror organization (love to hear guys from the greatest generation told that their efforts were actually terrorism)

    But the white supremist nazi group known as “proud boys” are….good people?

    But probably that mumbling, emotionless…how did you describe what trump did Thomas? Ah yes he “implored” the country for unity. But “we” mocked him.

    Gee, I wonder why?

    “President Trump said Saturday that he was watching “very closely” as Portland, Ore., braces for dueling far-right and antifa protests planned for this weekend.

    In a tweet, the president wrote that he was still considering declaring antifa, an anti-fascist group, a terrorist organization.

    “Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!” Trump tweeted.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/457810-trump-watching-very-closely-as-portland-braces-for-dueling-protests

    So forget states rights and stuff how is it that this buffoon can be calling guys FIGHTING far right wing (white) nationalists the fascists, but the far right wing nazis are….what? Part of the good people on both sides thing?

    And you “wonder” where the whole racist, bigot, white supremist stuff comes from?

  7. Anonymous says:

    The white nationalists

  8. Masked antifa members call the American flag a fascist symbol and beat Bernie Sanders supporter for carrying one.

    https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/2018/08/he_brought_an_american_flag_to.html

  9. Anonymous says:

    “A former senior FBI official said agents are hamstrung in fighting white nationalist violence because they’re ‘wary of pissing off the guy in the Oval Office’

    https://www.businessinsider.com/fbi-white-nationalism-violence-el-paso-dayton-shootings-2019-8

  10. Rincon says:

    My problem isn’t with Trump declaring Antifa a terrorist organization, it’s with his virtual silence about right wing terrorists. Interesting though, that I can’t find any evidence of anyone being killed or badly injured by members of this organization. Terrorist threat? Big deal.

  11. Steve says:

    They haven’t been around long enough to go that path.

    Yet.

    Give them time. Idiocy is not relegated to one extreme or the other.
    That Dayton shooter is most likely the first left wing extremist mass murderer who claimed connectivity with Antifa.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The “Greatest Generation” is got to be damn pissed that Trump is ranting about declaring a group that fights nothing but fascists a “terrorist organization” even while the guys trying to fight the greatest terror group in the country (white nationalists) can’t even get his permission to do that because he’s one of them, and fears losing some core support.

  13. Antifa is nothing but masked thugs. They were still causing chaos in Portland long after the “fascists” had left.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Find a spot where antifa shows up without the far right wing terrorists showing up or at least one where the far right wing white nationalists don’t say they’re going to show up before they, like all bully’s chicken out and don’t show.

    If these fascists weren’t around, you’d never hear a wit about antifa.

  15. Steve says:

    If (insert favorite here) extremist weren’t around then (insert opposite favorite here) extremist wouldn’t be around.

    Great logical fallacy, Patrick.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well Thomas, while I have heard of these white supremists attacking and even killing all sorts of people I’ve YET to hear that any of the alleged antifa types have.

    I’d sure feel safer around 1000 antifa guys than I would around 1000 white supremists and as far as I can tell, I’m white.

  17. HighflyinBrien says:

    To “He who must not be named”…there are numerous examples of Antifa demonstrating, and in some instances rioting to try and stop conservatives from speaking at and being heard on their college campuses. Dennis Prager, Candace Owens, Ben Shapiro, Adam Corrolla, Dennis Miller and others have had their supporters and ticketholders assailed and in some cases assaulted trying to get to, and into these events. The far left wants to SHUT DOWN free speech on every major college campus in the country. Don’t believe me? …ask Bill Maher.

  18. Anonymous says:

    HFB:

    I watched and what I saw, and correct me if I missed anything, was people expressing themselves. If you’re suggesting that using free speech to express a wish that other people wouldn’t use their freedom of speech I guess that’s one thing but otherwise, what’s the beef?

    And none of it had anything to do with “antifa” killing anyone right?

  19. Steve says:

    Dayton shooter.

  20. Rincon says:

    If the Dayton shooter supporting Antifa makes it OK to label it a terrorist group, then I propose that, using the same logic, the many mass murders who have been Trump supporters makes it OK to label the Trump Administration a terrorist group as well. It amazes me how logic changes depending on the tribe of the speaker/writer.

    “Two former high-school classmates stated that the gunman was suspended from Bellbrook High School after he made lists of other students he wanted to kill and rape.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_Dayton_shooting

    I suppose your hypothesis is that he only wanted to kill and rape the Republicans at school? This leaves some doubt in my mind as to whether this was or was not a politically motivated mass murder in the first place, especially considering that he shot up the entrance to a bar. Was it a bar serving drinks to only left wingers? It is entirely possible that a single murderer can be a nut case who happens to embrace left wing politics. Figure if one in ten Americans has far left politics, then one in ten murdering nut cases would likely also be left wingers. Is there any other evidence that this killing was politically motivated?

    Either way, as when Conservatives point to every cold spell as evidence against global warming while staying strangely silent about the thousands of heat records being broken, we all know that Conservatives will continue to beat the dead horse of the Dayton shooter for years while assiduously ignoring the large number of right wing slayers.

  21. Rincon says:

    Please pardon my mistake. I used a capital A in antifa. Turns out, it’s not a specific organization, but rather more of, “,,,an amorphous movement than a group.” https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/portland-braces-proud-boys-protests-here-s-what-trump-doesn-ncna1041441

    If that is true, then Trump is proposing to declare those with a particular set of political beliefs to be terrorists. Perhaps next comes the gulag?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Rincon there’s as much logic tying the shooter in Akron to antifa because of something he ALLEGEDLY tweeted in alleged support of their actions, as there is to tie him to the band Queen because he tweeted in support of that band.

    Just more nonsense to deflect attention is all.

  23. Steve says:

    sigh…

    no.

    par for the course, the claim is blown all out of proportion. the Dayton shooter is only the first recorded leftist mass murderer in modern times. there have been (sigh) many more from earlier times and other days. all of them totally dedicated to their ideology.

    if things are allowed to continue down Patrick’s path, there will be many more of the same.

    sorry you missed the message

    the pendulum swings, inevitably.

    hope this clears it up before it becomes blatantly obvious……again

  24. HighflyinBrien says:

    Coming to a city near you? Antifa traffic cops…Oy Vey! Anarchists, fascists and twits unite…? There is a huge difference between insane mass killers…and mobs.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Well I watched the last video and asked you a question that you never answered Brian so I can’t go for another until you answer the last question which was just if all “antifa” did in that last video was very loudly use their freedom of speech to tell the fascists not to use their freedom of speech what did they do that was wrong?

  26. HighflyinBrien says:

    Antifa is not merely exercising “their” free speech…they want to beat people into submission who have a differing view point and not allow them to be able to exercise their right to free speech. And in this video it’s apparent that it’s not even folks who differ with them politically…it’s people simply trying to get from one place to another on a public street. My daughter lives in Portland…and if by chance she made a wrong turn, she could be thrust into the midst of these violent anarchist leftist zombies. This madness needs to stop.

  27. Anonymous says:

    The only violent zombies I’ve noticed are ones sending bombs, or shooting up synagogues, or spraying Walmarts with bullets and the thing is; they’re all wearing those red hat(e)s which see to have replaced the white hood.

  28. HighflyinBrien says:

    Nice deflection. As I stated above…there is a vast difference between sick, evil, mass killers and the despicable bullying anarchist and cowardly fascist demonstrators (mixed with groups of peaceful protesters on both sides that want nothing to do with the violent actions of the far left and the far right). Your statement about red hats replacing white hoods is bullsh*t. And may I remind you…the white hoods, the lynch mobs, those burning down houses and dragging innocent African Americans out of their houses to shoot and torture them…were Democrats. The ones with the bull horns, attack dogs, fire hoses and billy clubs…uh huh, Democrats. So it’s actually Joe Biden who has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington. And please don’t insult our intelligence with so called BS southern strategy fairy tale. And just for the record…there are as many sick & twisted far left nut cases doing the mass killings as the demented neo nazi, racist ones with their rambling manifestos.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’ll remind you that the guys wearing white hoods then were the same sort of conservative racists that wear the red hats today talking about immigrants, people of other colors, false patriotism, religiosity, and raising the flag up at every opportunity so show how doggone patriotic they are while they burn crosses.

    Just don’t sound like any liberal I ever known. Some right wing lunatics though, hell yeah.

  30. Steve says:

    Extremism begets Thought Police.
    Extremists are equally spread among left and right.
    Stop blocking, start listening and discussing.

  31. HighflyinBrien says:

    Amen!

  32. Anonymous says:

    From the headlines today (and HFB, let me know which one of these you figure is the bleeding heart liberal, and which ones are more inclined to the right wing)

    “A Tennessee man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly posting threats online to “shoot up” a Planned Parenthood facility in Washington, D.C.

    Jacob Cooper, 20, allegedly wrote in an Aug. 13 comment that he planned “to shoot up a planned parenthood facility in Washington D.C., on August 19th at 3pm,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote in a release.”

    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/458359-man-charged-with-threatening-to-shoot-up-dc

    “California police cited an anti-vaccine supporter for assault on Wednesday after he was filmed in a physical altercation with a Democratic state legislator who authored a bill to restrict vaccine exemptions, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    The man, Kenneth Austin Bennet, was depicted in a livestream video pushing state Sen. Richard Pan (D) near the state Capitol. Bennet posted the video to his Facebook page with the caption, “yes, I pushed Richard Pan for lying, laughing at us and for treason.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/458353-police-say-an-anti-vaccine-activist-assaulted-an-author-of-californias

    Just two incidents, albeit happening today, politically motivated, and both right wing lunatics threatening and carrying out violent acts in furtherance of their right wing agenda.

    And Trump wants to label ANT FASCISM as a terror threat.

    You guys man.

  33. Rincon says:

    Curious that Trump wants to list Antifa, a nebulous collection of like minds, as a terrorist group because they incite violence, but he seems to have completely missed the Proud Boys, which Wikipedia describes as, “a far-right neo-fascist[9][10] organization that admits only men as members and promotes political violence.”

    Can someone explain to me why one drew Trump’s ire, and the other didn’t?

    For that matter, why does he give a pass to the hundreds of hate groups listed by Wikipedia, which include almost exclusively right wing causes, with the exception of some black separatist/nationalist groups. Where are all of the left wing hate groups you guys seem to believe exist? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organizations_designated_by_the_Southern_Poverty_Law_Center_as_hate_groups

    Although not all right wing groups are hate groups, almost all hate groups appear to be right wing. It has been complained, mainly by right wingers, that mainstream Muslims fail to condemn their radical brethren and their violence. Seems to me that today’s right wingers don’t believe they should be held to the same standard.

  34. Anonymous says:

    And you guys pretend to wonder why atrumps fans do the stuff they do. Then in the meantime you try and point fingers at anti fascists.

    Nothing but grotesque

    “An immigration judges union alleged that the Department of Justice reportedly sent an email to all immigration court employees that included a link to an article from a white nationalist website that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs,” BuzzFeed News reported Thursday.

    The National Association of Immigration Judges alleged that the DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) sent court employees a link to an article from VDare, a white nationalist website, in its morning news briefing Monday that included anti-Semitic references to judges. “

  35. Steve says:

    Hmm

    This Liberal Carried an American Flag to Protest Fascism in Portland. Antifa Cracked His Head Open With a Bat.

    It’s easy to abuse the whole “See, this is why Trump won!” thing. But beating the crap out of a liberal because he committed the sin of carrying an American flag does in fact seem like it belongs in the win-for-Trump column. If the left wants to defeat Trump, the worst thing it can do is make people fear Antifa more than they fear the administration.

    https://reason.com/2018/08/21/antifa-portland-evan-welch-violence

  36. Rincon says:

    I dunno, Steve. Our nation is filled with right wing hate groups, but Trump won anyway. Why wouldn’t liberals support their tribe as you support yours? Perhaps hate is a winning formula, as it is in say, Hungary or Poland. Seems to be working here as well.

  37. Steve says:

    As i support mine?

    I didn’t vote Trump. Nor did I vote Clinton.
    Both are still lousy people for government.
    Moreover, I voted for Sisolak and never voted for Laxalt. (He is a carpetbagger who only wanted Nevada so he could go federal)
    If that record is tribal support, it still flies in the face of your assumptive comment.

    Antifa clobbered a liberal for carrying a US flag.

  38. Rincon says:

    I stand corrected, Steve. I have to agree that you are more independent than most of those in this space, but unfortunately, I still have the tendency to lump you with other Conservatives. I think perhaps it’s because in general, you dependably have a conservative outlook. That being said, you don’t dance to their tune and I should keep myself more aware of that.

    I have to propose a small adjustment to your statement. Antifada did not clobber a liberal. A few malcontents did. If I believed in conspiracy theories, I would use the Trump approach to accuse the attackers of being agents for the Conservative cause, setting up a scene which could easily have been calculated to discredit the protesters in the eyes of the American people. A more likely scenario is that the old guy happened to be carrying a flag, but was perhaps saying or doing something the goons found offensive. Keep in mind that even liberals claim to love this country. When a few dishonor the flag, I perceive it as a lack of respect for our corrupt system, not the people. If the assault was indeed due to the flag itself, then we are looking at some seriously disturbed individuals, but lumping the other protesters with these goons is just as wrong as my lumping you with your fellow conservatives.

    Conservatives also show little respect for our system in many ways, even though they love to wrap themselves in the flag. When Conservatives passively accept Trump’s words to the effect that our electoral system is badly corrupt, that our intelligence services are not to be believed, that the Supreme Court is a world laughing stock, that the press is the enemy of the American people, and claiming without evidence that our previous President was not born in this country and had bugged Trump Tower, and also claiming, as a small example, that he has the right to pardon himself, and saying that global warming is a hoax, despite assurances by the EPA, NASA, and the NOAA to the contrary, they belie their so called loyalty. Wrapping yourself in the flag is great PR, but it’s merely a symbol. The reality is shown by other actions, and most of us, even if somewhat twisted, only want good things for the American people.

  39. Steve says:

    No, people who claimed to be Antifa took prejudice to heart and clobbered a person carrying the US Flag.

    Antifa is encouraging these types of actions by not coming out in loud protest against the violence and prejudice of their own group.

    Compered to TEA, ANTIFA is a violent organization that uses cell like communications very similar to terrorist organizations. The cell like communication makes it appear to be a loose collection of like minded individuals. Open your eyes. Just like “White Supremacy”; ANTIFA is, if not yet fully recognized as such, a terrorist organization right now.

    You have a 2 part response. Here is the second half.

    Trump is all about Trump. His effect in this appears only to be in exposing weaknesses in how laws have been executed by previous administrations.
    And how to stir up the natives by deflecting from whatever it is he’s doing in the back rooms.
    If he was really breaking laws, Congress would dump on him like they did Nixon. That took 6 years, better to concentrate on the coming election.

  40. Rincon says:

    Your first sentence appears to be an assumption, unless you picked up mind reading. But you’re right to call foul on the tactics practiced by Antifa. I’m also heartened that this time, you at least mentioned white supremacy. And you’re right. Unless more information comes out, it’s best to focus on the election. With the proposals made by many Democratic candidates, I fear that we’ll be faced with another very unappetizing choice. The radicals are running things in both parties.

  41. Steve says:

    read the linked article

    “But then, two members of Antifa confronted him and demanded he hand over the flag, which they characterized as a “fascist symbol.” When Welch resisted, they attacked him. The concussion landed him in the hospital for two days.”

  42. Rincon says:

    Thanks for that information. Hopefully, the attackers were caught and will suffer significant punishment. Your characterization of the “group” sounds similar to what my father said about the antiwar protesters in the ’60’s. Two idiots attack a man, and you said Antifa clobbered him.

    You condemn the group for not criticizing the violent actors within it, but I’ve rarely, if ever heard a Conservative criticize any of the myriad violent actors within their ranks. Shouldn’t you treat both groups equally?

  43. Rincon says:

    To be clear, I object to the advocacy of violence by some of those affiliated with Antifa. I just don’t understand why Conservatives refuse to do the same regarding right wing violence.

  44. Steve says:

    Did I not include “white supremacy” with one of my take downs of prejudicial groups?

    I can forgive you if you failed to notice, but you even mentioned I put it there.

    How soon you forget.

    We know our trailer trash is full of bullshit, Rincon.

  45. Rincon says:

    Sorry if I missed that Steve. You are right about the trailer trash.

  46. HighflyinBrien says:

    Bingo!!!

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