Trump more than anyone, should know that words have consequences


As a child I was taught, like many of you I am sure, that our words have consequences. What we say can influence what others think or do. As an ‘average’ man on the street my words carry little influence, but I am still aware that I can use them to encourage others to do good deeds, or should I be so inclined, not so good deeds.

If an average man like me can use words to prompt thought or action, just imagine how powerful the words of the President of the United States of America can be. I think we have just seen in the recent mass shooting in the US just how impactful Trump’s words can be. He cannot in all consciousness absolve himself of any responsibility for the impact his racially divisive language has had at rousing someone, like the El Paso shooter, to act out violent racist acts.

In a press conference soon after Trump blamed the internet, video games and mental illness but pointedly not guns or hate speech for mass shootings. Sure, when in front of a teleprompter (and being told what to say) he claims “Hate has no place in America. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy”. However, the sheer hypocrisy of the fact is that when he is not hiding behind a teleprompter, and is not being told what to say, he regularly issues harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and clear ‘hate speech’ and in addition has often re-tweeted statements and images from known white supremacists.

Trump must acknowledge, that the language he uses has consequences, he would not be so prolific a Tweeter if he did not believe this.

When Trump kicked off his presidential campaign, he claimed that Mexico was sending murderers and rapists across the border, and that was just the start, he has continued in this vain ever since. The El Paso shooter posted a manifesto filled with racist rhetoric and language that could have been lifted straight from a Trump rally or tweet-fest and made it clear his actions were “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.

I am not saying that Trump is responsible for mass shooting in America per se, there were plenty before he came into office and alas there will most likely be plenty once he has left office. However, he has clearly inspired the actions of at least one of these mass killers, and the more he continues with his rhetoric of hate the more he will inspire others because, words have consequences.

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