Former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump in May of 2017, called on the president to speak out against racism following the tragic mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, within a 24-hour time span.
According to The Hill, Comey’s call-to-action, written in an op-ed for The New York Times, blamed the president for spouting rhetoric that many believe qualifies as “racist” and using it for “political benefit.”
“America has long had a radioactive racist soup in the center of our national life. Donald Trump thinks he is stirring it for political benefit,” Comey wrote. “He’s actually doing something more dangerous.”
The former FBI director pointed to the manifesto of Patrick Crusius, the alleged gunman in the El Paso attack, which was reportedly filled with anti-immigration sentiment, including warning of a Latino “invasion” and warning that Texas could become a “Democrat stronghold” because of it.
While being careful to not directly state that the killer was inspired by Trump, Comey explained that Crusius “is a horrific example of what can happen when the control rods are lifted.”
He went on to say that any American president, including Trump, has a responsibility to condemn white supremacy and not use racial rhetoric that can potentially “spawn violence.”
Doubling down on Trump’s past comments on a variety of subject, Comey highlighted incidents of Trump attacking U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel for his Mexican heritage, for slamming the black NFL players who protested the American flag by kneeling for the national anthem, and for his latest attacks on four minority Congresswomen known as “the squad.”
“With each racist assault — on a judge, an athlete, a country, a member of Congress, or a city — and with each kind word for ‘very fine people on both sides,’ our president allows the stew to boil and radiate more dangerously,” Comey wrote.
He also explained that Trump’s Twitter condolences for the families affected by the mass shooting violence weren’t enough, saying Trump “owes” Americans more than a few tweets.
“The vast majority of Americans believe the core ideals of our founding documents and we expect our culture to reflect those ideals. Show us you believe in them, too,” Comey wrote.
In Opinion— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 4, 2019
James Comey writes: "America has long had a radioactive racist soup in the center of our national life. Donald Trump thinks he is stirring it for political benefit. He’s actually doing something more dangerous." https://t.co/qAt0ckCVOv
According to The Inquisitr, on Sunday, the president ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on August 8 to show respect for those who lost their lives in both attacks as part of a special proclamation with a message that America is mourning their losses.
A large number of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls made similar statements about Trump’s recent racist rhetoric and blamed the president for sparking the attacks.