New York ( New York Daily News, Aug 13,2017): When national tragedies hit the United States, we have always looked to the President to offer words of consolation and healing to salve the collective wounds of our pain.
No political party, ideology, race, ethnicity, gender or religion has kept us from mourning as one nation.
We have witnessed this time and time again, whether it was President Reagan after the loss of seven astronauts in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion; President George W. Bush’s rallying cry standing on top of the ruins of the World Trade Center in 2001; or President Obama’s sermon-like speech after the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Arizona.
Yet when shock, pain and tragedy befell America on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va., the President of the United States was missing in action, sheltered at his golf course in New Jersey, oblivious to the pain and agony we all witnessed on television screens across the country.
After a woman was killed when an avowed racist slammed into a crowd of people protesting white supremacists, and two state troopers died in a helicopter crash flying over the protests, it wasn’t Donald Trump tweeting a denouncement of the racist attacks; it was his wife, Melania Trump.
When similar tragedies committed by Muslims hit Paris and London, Trump’s fingers were quick to invoke Islamic terrorism. Yet when white, domestic terrorists inflicted pain 115 miles from the White House, he was as silent as a sinner in church.
Trump had an opportunity to redeem himself when he finally went before the television cameras to issue a statement condemning the actions of the white supremacists. Yet in a nearly five-minute statement, he further embarrassed himself, his administration and the nation with one of the most soulless, gutless, shameful, and despicable statements ever uttered by an American President after a tragedy.