I agree with the premise of your editorial (“Domestic terrorism must be called out,” Aug. 9) that the El Paso shooting should be treated as an act of domestic terrorism. However, I had to reread your editorial searching (in vain) for any reference to the contributions President Trump and right-wing pundits have made in inciting such heinous acts of violence. Your editorial predated the New York Times Aug. 12 analysis of the number of citations from the El Paso terrorist’s manifesto that echoed the words of President Trump and right-wing pundits. To summarize, this year Donald Trump used the terms “invasion” or “invaded” seven times on Twitter to describe the situation at the border, at one point referring to the approach of the migrants as “the attempted invasion of illegals.”
At rallies he has injected terms like “predator,” “killer” and “animal” in his descriptions of immigrants. While you elected to end your editorial with your agreement with Trump’s criticism of President Obama, you have completely ignored the inconvenient fact that in 2009 President Obama’s Homeland Security Dept. produced a report predicting that the economic downturn, the rise of social media and the election of the first black president would combine to make race-driven extremism a serious threat to national security.
When this report was made public, Congressman Mike Pompeo, now Trump’s Secretary of State, said, “focusing on domestic terrorism was a dangerous undertaking born of political correctness that denied the threat that radical Islamic terrorism poses.”
A “fair and balanced” editorial would have tempered its praise of President Trump with a plea to him to end his racist, dehumanizing policies and attacks against the poor and people of color, and to the Republican-controlled Senate to pass common-sense gun safety legislation as has been already passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. Thereby denying these terrorists the inspiration and tools with which to commit mass murder!
Mindy S. Fleishman