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Many were infuriated with the apparent disconnect between Trump’s call to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," as he has systematically used that language since before taking office.
After the United States suffered a deadly weekend with two more mass shootings with 29 dead and over 40 wounded, the attention has shifted to President Donald Trump, who blamed fake news, video games and mental illness but not his hate speech and racism, as incentives behind record-numbers in hate crimes across the nation.
The hashtag #WhiteSupremacistinChief trended nationwide Monday morning as social media users reacted to the president’s speech.
Many were infuriated with the apparent disconnect between Trump’s call to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," as he has systematically used racism, anti-migrant, anti-muslim, nationalistic, and misogynistic language since before taking office.
“I say to President Trump: Talk is cheap. We need action. Stop the racism. Stop the anti-immigrant bigotry coming out of your mouth. Tell [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell to pass gun safety legislation the American people want,” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted Monday, reiterating his call to ban assault weapons and implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets.
The U.S. president did not directly address accusations by critics about his anti-immigrant and racially charged comments, but in a series of early morning tweets on Monday reiterated his accusations against "fake news" and media bias as the culprits.
"Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years," Trump tweeted.
The far-right leader went on to say that the "glorification of violence," video games, "troubled youth," and "mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun." The National Rifle Association (NRA), the U.S.’ largest gun lobbyist, gave Trump’s campaign US$30 million in 2016.
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, tweeted saying that “White supremacy is not a mental illness. We need to call it what it is: Domestic terrorism. And we need to call out Donald Trump for amplifying these deadly ideologies.”
As of Aug. 5, 2019, 250 mass shootings have occurred in 2019, averaging 1.2 shootings per day, 979 people were shot and of those, 246 died. The numbers match an ever-growing trend in hate crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2018 annual analysis, hate crime reports increased 17 percent in 2017 from 2016, rising for the third consecutive year.
Of the more than 7,100 hate crimes reported in 2018, nearly three out of five were motivated by race and ethnicity, according to the report. Religion and sexual orientation were the other two primary motivators.
For many critics, the numbers coincide with Trump’s rhetoric that in multiple times has glanced over and even indirectly supported white supremacists. He "is a racist and he stokes racism in this country," Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke told reporters on Saturday after meeting with victims and doctors of El Paso’s shooting.