Donald Trump is basking in the adoration from rapper Kanye West and on Wednesday tweeted two separate times to the rapper.
But, as critics point out, Trump has yet to make any public mention of James Shaw Jr., the black man who risked his life to stop a gunman who had murdered four people at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. That criticism has grown even louder as Trump has sounded off on a number of topics — including Kanye West — with still no mention of Shaw.
As New York Daily News columnist Leonard Greene wrote, Trump seemed to be one of the few Americans not singing Shaw’s praises. Greene pointed out how Trump “all but pinned a medal of honor” on a white man who confronted a Texas church shooter and exchanged fire with him, but has completely ignored Shaw.
Trump did have time for Kanye West, however. After radio host Ebro Darden relayed a conversation in which West expressed his continued support for Trump, Kanye himself took to Twitter to lay out his reasoning for backing the controversial president.
“You don’t have to agree with [Trump] but the mob can’t make me not love him,” West tweeted on Wednesday. “We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.”
Trump responded to West two separate times, first thanking him for the support and then quoting a picture Kanye had tweeted of himself wearing one of Trump’s Make America Great Again hats.
Many of Trump’s critics took notice of the apparent double standard, with Trump praising a white man who stopped a mass shooting but ignoring a black man who did the same — and only paying attention to another prominent black man when he was praising Trump.
Donald Trump has now tweeted TWICE today about Kanye West.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 25, 2018
He never tweeted about James Shaw Jr., the hero of the Waffle House shooting.
He never tweeted about racial profiling of innocent black men at Starbucks.
Tells you all you need to know about who our President is.
James Shaw Jr, a hero who disarmed a domestic terrorist who murdered 4 human beings at a Waffle House, still hasn’t been mentioned by Predator @realDonaldTrump. The racism is so obvious at this point.https://t.co/MUsYW2yCP6— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) April 26, 2018
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has been accused of insensitivity in interactions with people of color. Last year, Trump was accused of showing disrespect to the family of fallen soldier La David Johnson. As The Guardian pointed out, Trump told the man’s grieving widow that he “knew what he was signing up for.” And As Politico noted, Trump frequently fights back against prominent black athletes and celebrities who criticize him, but remains largely silent when white counterparts make the same arguments against him.