Fueling the Flame


Courtesy of Lake Expo

President Trump is criticized for being partially responsible for the tragic event that have occured in the past few months.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

Eleven people were shot dead in a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018. The shooter, Robert D. Bowers, barged in with an AR-15 with malicious intent. He even said himself that he wanted to “kill the Jews.” Bowers had a history of anti-semitism, often posting hate speech on social media.

The oldest victim of the shooting was a 97-year-old woman by the name of Rose Mallinger. She survived through the years of the Holocaust, only to be slaughtered because of her identity. The fact that this occurred in the United States in 2018 is completely absurd, and we have to look into why these hate crimes are still happening today.

In light of this recent tragedy, people have been questioning whether or not the President of the United States has been fueling the flame. Trump has had a history of encouraging violence. At a particular rally in Iowa, he told his supporters to “knock the crap out of [the protesters], promising to “pay for the legal fees” (ABC). He also asserted that he is indeed a nationalist, which, based on America’s history, is usually a term with a negative connotation.

There is not a direct correlation between the shooting and Trump’s rhetoric, but his words ring true to certain people. The shooter might have been one of the many people who listens to what Trump says, and utilized violence to defend his nationalistic views.

In the same week as the mass murder at the synagogue, multiple suspicious packages were sent to high profile individuals- all who have been criticized by President Trump before. The suspect, Cesar Sayoc, lived in a van that was plastered with pictures of Trump and his Vice President. It also had a sign that said “CNN sucks” and a picture of Hillary Clinton with a target on her, both who were sent these packages. Sayoc is a registered Republican and he voted for Trump in the 2016 election. It seems as though he idolizes Trump and takes what the President says about his critics to heart.

Ashley Bui-Tran (12) thinks that Trump should be partly blamed for the recent events that occured in October. “As President, he has the biggest platform someone can have in the United States,” she says. “He should use it carefully and think twice before saying something that’d influence others to do bad things.”

The midterms have passed, Trump can expect more pressure and criticism from his colleagues since the Democrats won the House majority. Hopefully, they will work hard to hold him accountable for his words, or else we might see more tragedies in the near future.