Donald Trump’s decision to pose with an inane grin and a thumbs-up sign for a photograph with a baby recently orphaned in a mass shooting that many believe his anti-Mexican rhetoric encouraged is further evidence of the US President’s odious character, writes Steve Cardownie.
Just when you thought that he couldn’t get any worse he proves you wrong. The photograph of Melania Trump holding a baby who was orphaned after both his parents were shot dead in the El Paso, Texas mass shooting, flanked by a grinning President giving the thumbs up to photographers, beggars belief.
That Donald Trump felt that this was appropriate behaviour just adds to the litany of wrongdoings, witnessed on an almost daily basis by this odious character.
The baby, Paul Anchondo, was presented for the photoshoot when the Trumps went to the University Medical Center to visit victims of the recent shooting. His parents Jordan, 25, and Andre, 24, were mercilessly gunned down while shielding him from the shooter. Their heroic actions led to the survival of their two month-old-baby, with a relative, Tito Anchondo, saying: “Not only did they love each other endlessly, but the children were so loved by them as well.” Two other young children were also orphaned at the Ciela Vista Mall that day.
The suspect, Patrick Crusius, stayed 600 miles away and the police said that he drove about ten hours to the shopping centre and in search of a motive an investigation is now under way, with the authorities combing through a manifesto with white nationalist statements believed to have been written by the suspect.
Twenty-two people were killed that day in what has been described by police as a domestic terrorism incident. Many are laying the blame at the feet of Donald Trump who has repeatedly singled out Mexicans for abuse in his speeches at rallies. The shooter reportedly told police that he targeted Mexicans and one witness said that the shooter was passing whites and African Americans. He went on to say that the memory of people kneeling and praying in Spanish before they were executed still haunts him.
During his campaign, Trump said of Mexican immigrants: “They are not our friends, believe me ... they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
He has described Latino migration as an “invasion” and has described undocumented immigrants as “thugs” and “animals”. He has also defended the detention of migrant children, many of whom were separated from their parents at the border causing a huge public outcry. At a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, he told his supporters, “How do you stop these people? You can’t,” prompting one of the crowd to shout “Shoot them”. Amidst the cheering from the audience, Trump stood and smiled before replying: “Only in the Panhandle can you get away with that statement.” Well, somebody did just that as 22 people found to their cost when going about their daily business one Saturday morning. Officials believe that the shooter posted his anti-immigrant manifesto shortly before the mass shooting. Titled The Inconvenient Truth, the 2,300-word essay includes a warning about “the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
When referring to Trump’s statements, former congressman for El Paso, Beto O’Rourke, said it was appropriate to label the US President as a white nationalist and said that his rhetoric is reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
“He doesn’t just tolerate it; he encourages it, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, warning of an invasion at our border, seeking to ban all people of one religion. Folks are responding to this,” said O’Rourke, adding: “He is saying that some people are inherently defective or dangerous, reminiscent of something that you might hear in the Third Reich, not something that you expect in the United States of America.”
The fact that Trump has the barefaced cheek to pose with little Paul Anchondo days after his mother and father were murdered at the hands of a gunman intent on embarking on a shooting spree designed to specifically target Mexicans should not come as a surprise. That he should pose with an inane grin on his face giving the thumbs-up as if his team have just won the Superbowl when standing next to a wee boy who will never see his parents again is depressingly not surprising too.
When it comes to Trump we have come to realise that he sees no wrong in this and he will use any occasion to promote himself, orphaned child or no orphaned child.