Eleven people are dead after a white male gunman walked in to The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and opened fire Saturday morning, yelling, “All Jews must die.” He carried an AR-15 style rifle and multiple handguns. At least six others, including law enforcement officers were wounded in this anti-Semitic hate crime and terror attack. The Jewish house of worship reportedly was packed for a baby naming ceremony and Shabbat, the Jewish sabbath.
It is a week that began with the discovery of a pipe bomb in the mailbox of liberal philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish. We now know the suspect, a Trump-loving white supremacist, sent at least 13 other bombs to prominent Democrats. And though it has received less attention, a white man this week shot and killed two Black people in a Kentucky grocery store, after unsuccessfully trying to enter a Black church.
Americans today immediately took to social media to mourn, share their thoughts, support each other and the Jewish community, and to make clear they hold President Donald Trump and his hate-filled rhetoric at least partly responsible for this latest act of terrorism and hate – as they do for the 14 pipe bombs sent this week.
In short, many believe President Trump has enabled an environment of white supremacy, including anti-Semitism, in America, through his hate-filled rhetoric, his incessant attacks, and his repeated refusals to completely denounce hate.
Trump absolutely denies any responsibility, and Friday afternoon, as he headed to another campaign rally, threatening he “could really tone it up,” referring to his rhetoric.
Meanwhile, Trump supporters on the right are insisting – falsely – that the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting, 46-year old Robert Bowers, is a Democrat or a “leftist,” because he supposedly opposed Trump. Bowers, according to reports, disliked Trump because Trump wasn’t anti-Semitic enough.
But Bowers certainly shared Trump’s hatred of immigrants, especially the migrants fleeing the drugs, gangs, and poverty in Honduras, willing to walk their way to the United States, as The Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale reports:
The suspect also appeared to suggest, baselessly, that Jews were behind or connected to the caravan. Some on the right, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, have spread a baseless theory that Soros was giving caravan participants money. (Trump then reposted the video Gaetz posted.)
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 27, 2018
Dean Obeidallah of The Daily Beast and SiruisXM makes it clear:
Robert Bowers was a white male in his 40s who was a right wing, white supremacist who was very anti-immigrant, viewed himself as a “nationalist,” hated globalists and thought diversity was a threat to America. But Trumpers want you to believe he didn’t like Trump.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 27, 2018
Seriously look at the trumpers online. There’s almost zero sympathy for the Jewish Americans killed by the right wing terrorist. The #MAGA crowd simply doesn’t want to have their beloved trump blamed for it. #MAGAShooter #MAGABomber
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 27, 2018
The Anti-Defamation League says it believes today’s attack is the “deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”
We believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States. Our full statement: https://t.co/NdyGjtGaM7
— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) October 27, 2018
And here’s what some others on social media are saying about today’s horrific anti-Semitic hate crime, and just how much they think Trump is responsible for it:
Yes, their blood is on Donald Trump’s hands.
Yes, it is on @Twitter’s as well.
No, this is not a “both sides” situation.
No, I will not be listening to any lectures on civility from anyone on either side. https://t.co/e65Xjqes4o
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) October 27, 2018
And I do not want to hear ONE FUCKING WORD from Jared and Ivanka and anyone else who has given cover to the president’s tacit support of white-nationalist terrorism
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) October 27, 2018
Your GOP colleague, Steve King, gave an interview to an Austrian neo-nazi website and mused about an “antidote” for George Soros. Will you support expelling him from your party? https://t.co/wCgF6ANGbv
— Michael Linden (@MichaelSLinden) October 27, 2018
Trump’s hateful rhetoric radicalizes people. https://t.co/TGjMPmtRoy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 27, 2018
They were hosting a bris this morning at this synogogue. A bris. Parents, perhaps for the first time, were marking the birth of their son just eight days prior— a profound and emotional moment in their collective lives— and some maniac burst in a shot everyone. During a bris.
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 27, 2018
Leave the White House. If you care, leave and force your racist husband to resign. https://t.co/ztrOFYzTAC
— Jon B. “Globalist” Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) October 27, 2018
You can not say that you stand with the Jewish community when your president, a year ago, called people who screamed “Jews will not replace us” fine people. Trump preaches hate and intolerance, and the victims blood are on his hands and yours.
— Mohanad Elshieky (@MohanadElshieky) October 27, 2018
Prayers for the people who are being terrorized and shot in their place of prayer (yes they are Jews )in Pittsburg right now.
Blood is on your hands Mr trump you have incited this Hatred and violence
— Rosanna Arquette (@RoArquette) October 27, 2018
No, you don’t. You work for a guy that praises Nazi’s and promotes anti-Semitic theories daily by using code words like Soros and “globalists”. Everyone knows he means Jews. This blood is on your hands and everyone who works for Trump.
— (((Richard Arnold))) (@richardfromla) October 27, 2018
Donald Trump has power. He has influence. He’s the President of the United States.
His endless lies and bigoted actions, as well as his complete inaction and unwillingness to confront white supremacy head on, has absolutely played a role in lethal violence nationwide.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 27, 2018
Donald Trump doesn’t care if people die. He cares only about himself.
He will never apologize for anything. He will never blame himself for anything.
He will not change. He will not be moved by any suffering.
He does not experience empathy.
The only hope is your vote. Period.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) October 26, 2018
11 people are dead in an anti-Semitic attack.
Trump refuses to let it impact his political schedule, even for a few hours
It sends a clear message to his supporters, regardless of what he says https://t.co/NwUDOhan65
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) October 27, 2018
.@IvankaTrump I am not interested in your gaslighting tweets. This is what YOUR family stands for, from Kashoggi to a blind eye to Yemen to caging families and babies to racism xenophobia to misogyny and so many forms of hate. Please go away. What you say is MEANINGLESS
— Jodi Jacobson (@jljacobson) October 27, 2018
Trump won’t cancel his rally on the day of the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history https://t.co/fGvrqrTo58
— David Nir (@DavidNir) October 27, 2018
Congressional Republicans who have failed to hold Trump accountable for fomenting hatred in this country — and that’s basically all of them — are as responsible for this wave of violence as he is.
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) October 27, 2018
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Devastating Ad Depicts Trump’s America in #GestapoTrump
A devastating new ad from Really American PAC depicts what life in Trump’s America has become: the President’s secret police SWAT teams physically attacking U.S. citizens protesting against police violence, beating them with bats and batons, tear gassing them, and shoving them to the ground.
The sharply-edited video includes audio of Trump calling protestors “animals,” and his infamous remarks, bragging to police, telling them, “please don’t be too nice” to suspects when they are arresting them.
“It was like a knife cutting through butter.”
“You have to dominate the streets.”
The video is so disturbing because it’s real.
Take a look:
US Justice Dept. Tells Court Migrant Children in Federal Concentration Camps Don’t Need Soap or Toothbrushes
The Trump administration’s Justice Dept. lawyers say migrant children detained in federal concentration camps do not need soap or toothbrushes despite a settlement agreement that requires the U.S. Government to keep them in “safe and sanitary” facilities. The DOJ also argues that the children, detained in the Southern border camps, can continue to sleep on cold concrete floors in overcrowded cells without being in violation of the agreement.
The DOJ made the argument Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, Courthouse News reports, noting the judges appeared “incredulous” with the government’s claims.
Sarah Fabian, senior litigation counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, told the judges that the settlement agreement, known as the Flores Agreement, is vague about what constitutes “safe and sanitary” and does not specify specific items, the AP notes.
The DOJ is asking the Court to reverse a judge’s 2017 ruling on the Flores Agreement that added specific requirements, including soap and toothbrushes, which were not specified in the original.
U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher blasted Fabian.
“It wasn’t perfumed soap, it was soap. That’s part of ‘safe and sanitary.’ Are you disagreeing with that?” he asked.
Judge Fletcher also said it is “obvious enough” that “if you’re putting people into a crowded room to sleep on a concrete floor with an aluminum-foil blanket on top of them that it doesn’t comply with the agreement.”
Fletcher also took issue with the government forcing children to sleep on cold concrete floors.
“Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket?” Fletcher asked Fabian. “I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.”
U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon also weighed in on the sleep deprivation issue.
“You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?’” she asked Fabian.
‘Violence Is the Almost Inevitable Endpoint’: GOP Strategist Chilled by Trump’s Public Embrace of Nationalism
Republican strategist Rick Wilson found himself deeply disturbed by President Donald Trump’s decision to embrace overt nationalism this week, and he thinks that the logical outcome of that ideology will lead to violence on the streets of America.
Writing in the Daily Beast, Wilson breaks down the history of nationalism in the 20th century and explains how governments that have embraced it as their guiding creed have almost always ended in calamity.
“It isn’t feckless, PC social justice-warrior hand-wringing to remind you how dangerous nationalism is as a tool in the hands of those who believe racial identity defines a nation,” he writes. “The 20th Century is replete with examples where nationalism slips down a long, bloody trough to violence, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.”
Wilson says that nationalism thrives because it appeals directly to people’s darkest fears of their fellow humans and tells them that their fears are totally justified.
“It’s a story where the wicked ‘they’ have suppressed and insulted the working volk,” he writes. “‘They’ have a different face in every iteration of this grim dirge. Sometimes, they’re Tutsi. Sometimes, they’re the educated class. Sometimes, they’re Jews.”
In his conclusion, Wilson paints a grim picture of where America is headed under Trump’s nationalist leadership.
“Nationalism deafens its adherents to appeals to the better angels of our nature,” he writes. “Nationalism excuses their hatreds, their resentments, and ultimately their violence… and that violence is the almost inevitable endpoint of most successful nationalist movements in the last hundred years.”
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