In his criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan, Donald Trump Jr., son of the US president, is continuing a family tradition. Seizing on the pain and grief of a European capital that has suffered a terrorist attack, Trump Jr. made so bold as to criticise Mr Khan on Wednesday, March 22. For what? For being Muslim and mayor? It wasn’t very clear, other than the fact that Trump Jr. seemed to be crowing at the pain of a cosmopolitan city possibly because it is cosmopolitan (and has been for hundreds of years). Possibly because it is diverse and confident enough to elect the son of Muslim immigrants its mayor.
A year ago, Trump Jr.’s dad, The Donald, was similarly snarky and cruel about Brussels, which had just suffered multiple terrorist attacks.
Mr Trump, who was then a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for president, gave the Belgian capital the benefit of his advice.
He called Brussels “a disaster city, a total disaster” and suggested that it was a salutary warning for the US. “…we have to be very careful in the United States, we have to be very careful and very vigilant as to who we allow in this country.”
Warning that “this is just the beginning”, he said “there is a certain group of people that is making living a normal life impossible.” And he went on to say, “Those countries better get smart fast, because they’re just disintegrating” and he blamed “liberal policies” for the situation.
A year later, Trump Jr. spouts off on London and its mayor. He has no elected office and, so far as we can see, no expertise of counter-terrorism or anything other than a lay citizen’s understanding of terrorist attacks.
I suppose anyone can say anything they like whenever they want. As The Washington Post said Trump Jr. was obviously trying to imply that Mayor Khan is lax on terror.
The Trumps’ exploitation of terrorist attacks to deepen pain and exacerbate community divides is striking and shameful