Trump condemns attempted attacks by 'radical' Muslims, but not real attacks by white supremacists


Never one to miss an opportunity for self-promotion, President Donald Trump leapt on Friday morning’s suspected terrorist attack at the Louvre Museum in Paris to insist that the United States “get smart” about terrorism.

While details about what, exactly, occurred in Paris are still developing, we do know that the no one was killed, and French authorities have the suspected attacker in custody.

Nevertheless, Trump’s tweet does offer some insight into what he does—and doesn’t—consider a threat. Namely, that an attempted attack by “radical Islamic terrorists” in France is worth his precious tweeting time, while actual violence committed against Muslims by a white right-winger is not. In the nearly one week since the January 29 shooting deaths of six worshippers at a Quebec mosque by a right wing Trump fan, the president has yet to issue an official personal response, though he did call Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to offer his condolences.

In fact, the closest we’ve come to a Trump reaction is Donald Jr.’s having “liked” a tweet suggesting that the mosque shooter was Muslim (he wasn’t) and the incident would lead to a “spike in political capital” for the administration’s Muslim ban. Oh, and there was Sean Spicer’s attempt to use the attack to justify the ban.

It’s unsurprising, in a way. Trump has long exaggerated and seized upon the threat posed by “radical Islamic terrorists” while downplaying the very real, very immediate threats posed by white radicals, closer to home. As both candidate and president, Trump whipped his political base into a frenzy over vague terror threats from overseas (of which his Muslim ban is just the latest example), while ignoring—and even encouraging—violence among his fans.

Still, in a way, Trump is right about one thing: It’s time to get smart, America. Terrorism is real, it’s a threat, and oftentimes, it looks nothing like what the president wants you to think it does.

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