I want to start this out by saying that Pittsburgh is my second home. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins all live ten to fifteen minutes away from Pittsburgh. I’ve visited three times a year every year for over two decades and have for some summers lived in Pittsburgh. It is my favorite city outside of Boston. With that being said I have been past the synagogue involved in the deadly shooting from Saturday October 27th countless times, not thinking anything of it. But this weekend, it was the only thing on my mind. My heart aches for the entire community that we keep mourning from these deadly mass shootings. To send prayers for the victims and their families, do nothing about the actual problem, forget about it, and repeat the entire process over again.
If that wasn’t enough for the week, pipe bombs were sent in the mail to former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Robert Di Niro, CNN and others who were large critics of President Trump. 14 of these pipe bombs were sent through the US Mail to scare and potentially kill people. What I also couldn’t stop thinking about this weekend was President Trump’s cowardly actions and tweets following the shooting and the bombings.
With the entire nation still on edge after these bomb threats and a mass shooting, President Trump tweeted out Monday morning that the media was the enemy of the people and to blame for the nations recent tragedies.
“There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true enemy of the People, must stop the open and obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!” –
This tweet came just two days after 11 people were gunned down by a man yelling anti-semitic phrases. And three days after a man was arrested for sending 14 pipe bombs through the postal system to prominent outspoken critics of Trump. It is obvious that there is a pattern going on in our nation surrounding hate and blame. Both of which our President speaks of at rallies through tweets and talking with the press.
I was not surprised when true to form, Trump blamed the media for creating the anger in our society that lead to atrocious acts. Trump uses his platform to spread lies and attack people all the time, that part isn’t new. He uses the first amendment and his right to free speech to spread hate, but has the audacity to blame the media for inciting it instead of owning up to his part. The press has a job to do, they report the facts (and accurately fact check), and by doing their jobs they tell stories that need to be heard. That is not fake news.
Trump continuously tries to divide the country by turning everyone against the “fake news media” just because they write truthful stories that are unflattering to him. We have become used to his tweets and hateful rhetoric he spreads at his rallies that rarely even makes the news anymore because we are so accustomed to it. As one of the most powerful people in the country, if you know saying something would encourage people to commit acts of violence, then why would you continue to say it? Why wouldn’t you just stop? Why would you continue to say the press is the enemy of the people, when they clearly are not. In the end you either want to encourage the violence or you just don’t care what happens. Words matter and what you say matters. Even if you have the right to say something, maybe you shouldn’t be saying it. As my mom taught me and I learned in kindergarten think before you speak, and treat people the way they want to be treated. Our country could learn a lot from going back to elementary school.
My thoughts go out to Pittsburgh and the families impacted by the shooting, along with the people affected from the bomb threats and the first responders who risked their lives in both of these dangerous situations.