Now Reading
Donald Trump’s tweets on the Orlando shooting show why he should never be president

Donald Trump’s tweets on the Orlando shooting show why he should never be president

Donald Trump opposed gay marriage.

The first political leader I heard comment on the Orlando shooting was Donald Trump.

I was still reeling, as we all are, from the news about LGBTI club Pulse being invaded by a gunman, leaving 50 dead and 53 injured.

But from Trump there were no words of compassion, just opportunism.

The first tweets I saw were: ‘Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.’

‘Reporting that Orlando killer shouted “Allah hu Akbar!” as he slaughtered clubgoers.’

And: ‘What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban.’

While mentioning the ‘victims and their families’ once, Mr Trump never once commented on the hate crime that had been enacted on the LGBTI community as a whole, or the feelings, impact and terror the days events had on us.

He did have a passing reference about ‘2nd man arrested in LA with rifles near Gay parade.’ This, Trump reported as passionless information. The man, as it turns out, was not a second to the Orlando shooting, but completely unrelated. He also did not fit Trump’s Muslim ban narrative – the man in Los Angeles was from Indiana.

Here’s my open letter to Trump.

Dear Mr Trump,

I am a gay dad. I am the proud father of two boys, now both 13 years old.

Our family is hurting today as an assault rifle-bearing thug targeted part of our LGBTI American community. He entered a safe space and took lives of many people less than a decade older than my kids.

In times of national tragedy, we turn to our leadership’s words for inspiration.

So too now, we hear that in President Obama’s commentary on the events in Orlando.

He said to us: ‘This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends – our fellow Americans – who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

‘The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub – it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.

‘So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation – is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.’

President Obama is a leader. You are not.

For whatever complexities this act of violence entails, at the core is a hate crime. The shooter’s father alleges it was motivated by the shooter witnessing a kiss between two men in front of his child.

As one who swears allegiance to a religion that throws suspected gay men from the tops of buildings, it is not difficult to see how such an event might throw him into an extreme and inordinate reaction. Most on the presidential stage today seem to understand that fact.

Except for you.

In your approximately 100-some words of tweets, you never once called out the hate crime terror enacted against the LGBTI community. Mentioning the pain and shock millions of us are experiencing today seemed… inconvenient for you.

It is as if such a mention might dilute your attempt to justify your own extreme ideas on Muslims in America. So, you danced on your drumbeat of that mantra – throw the foreigners out.

In doing so, you are dancing on the new graves of our dead. Stop it.

You jabbed at President Obama: ‘Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!’

Islamic terrorism has not been proven. Homophobia has. The shooter did not target Disney World. He targeted a ‘safe haven’ for LGBTQ people. He was not making a point about American values, he was trying to terrorize those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and more to retreat from public view.

The fact that your commentary does not even allude to this fact means that you are perfectly willing for him to accomplish that goal.

If anyone should resign in disgrace, Mr Trump, it should be the person unwilling to represent all Americans when we are attacked. That person is, singularly, you.

It’s time to delete your account.