As this week draws to a close, the world is grappling with the aftermath of a violent terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that claimed the lives of at least 49 people. Recently declared 2020 presidential candidate and former Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke spoke out with his take on the situation this Friday, sharing his vision of a way forward.
As he put it:
‘We don’t back down in the face of Islamophobia and racism at home or abroad. We stand up, stand together and make it clear that terrorism won’t be met with indifference but with action that honors our diversity as the people of the world. Thinking of our friends in New Zealand.’
The attack targeted the Muslim community at two mosques, and has left dozens wounded besides those who have died. The Australian attacker wrote up a manifesto explaining his motives that amounts to a combination of an array of recent white nationalist talking points about the supposed “white genocide” underway because members of minority communities dare move near white people.
O’Rourke’s response contrasts dramatically with that offered by the actual current U.S. president. In his response to the terrorism, Donald Trump did not directly condemn or even mention Islamophobia. His phrasing made the situation seem like it consisted of dozens and dozens of people just magically getting shot, with no apparent presidential attention to the responsibility of the shooter’s ideology.
All he said was:
‘My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!’
There’s a good reason for him to completely ignore the question of dealing with the interests that are responsible for the deaths — he’s promoted their ideology time and time again. On the campaign trail ahead of the 2016 elections, he recklessly asserted that he thinks “Islam hates us” and infamously called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslim entry to the United States, which he worked to implement once taking office. The ban turned into a temporary block to travel from a selection of Muslim-majority countries despite essentially no recent evidence that the targeted countries actually harbored terrorists whose travel to the U.S. was a legitimate threat. The ban avoided countries where terrorists targeting the U.S. have actually come from, like Saudi Arabia.
He has criticized immigration as detrimental to the fabric of Western society as a rule, telling a British newspaper last year:
‘Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way.’
In other words, of course he’s going to avoid discussing those responsible for the attack. He’s on their side.
O’Rourke could be the one to unseat Trump come 2020. RealClearPolitics’ average of relevant polling has him currently sixth in a crowded field, but his campaign is still new and getting off the ground.
Check out Twitter’s response…
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot