Rise of Trump stokes terrorism and racism around the world
If you think living in a pleasant backwater like Cranbrook means you’ll never have to worry about global terrorism or the daily lunacies of President Donald Trump, you’re sadly mistaken.
Consider my daughter’s Facebook posting from Barcelona Thursday. “Dear friends: there is an ongoing terrorist situation very close to where I live in Barcelona. I’m safe. In shock. Praying for the victims.”
A few minutes later, she Skypes me and she’s clearly upset. “I just wanted you and mom to know that I’m safe,” she blurts out. “Safe from what?” I ask incredulously. I can hear what sounds like a helicopter overhead her apartment as the CBC noon news begins. Now it was my turn to be upset and for a change it wasn’t about the mad man in the Oval Office. At least not directly.
My daughter lives next door to the “Gottico,” the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona which in turn borders Las Ramblas, the glitzy shopping and entertainment promenade that splits Barca in two and attracts tourists from all over the world. It’s one of the most captivating and elegant streets in the world, but on Aug. 17 it was a death street as more than a dozen innocent pedestrians were mowed down by a white Fiat van zig-zagging back and forth across the sidewalk scattering walkers like dead leaves. And once again, you could almost hear the intake of breath around the world as people spontaneously expressed their horror at yet another terrorist tragedy in what’s sickeningly becoming an almost weekly event.
Fortunately, my daughter wasn’t hurt even though she lives only five minutes from the terror scene and was locked down in her flat with hundreds of others as police shot dead four terrorists believed to be responsible for the carnage. “It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible,” a senior police official, told The Telegraph newspaper.
As if this terror tale wasn’t enough, my daughter is attending University in Manchester – and you guessed it – she was studying in the British city May 26 when a suicide bomber set off a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena killing 22 people, including an eight-year-old girl and an off duty female police officer. And there’s more!
A few days after the bombing, solders were scouring streets close to my daughter’s house where some of the terrorist’s associates were believed to be hiding. Is it any wonder then that my daughter is filled with trepidation, not to mention her parents too, as she heads back to Manchester in two weeks to resume her studies? What did former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis say? “They can run, but they can’t hide.”
And where did my good wife holiday this summer to visit my daughter? London, England. She left the British capital only days before June 5 when three Islamic terrorists wearing suicide vests and shouting “this is for Allah,” drove a van across London Bridge and swerved into the crowd killing seven including a tourist from Castlegar. Then, brandishing knives, they left the vehicle and randomly stabbed 48 more before armed metro police officers caught up with them and killed all three. My wife still shudders when she recalls the horror.
And I don’t have to remind any of you what happened in the sleepy college town of Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12 when a hate-filled phalanx of white supremacists, Ku Klux Klanners and neo-Nazis held a “Unite the Right” rally in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee and caused a riot that resulted in three deaths, including two police officers in a downed helicopter and Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old female protester who was killed when yet another terror vehicle careened down the sidewalk and dragged the woman to her death.
Then the lout who purports to be President of the United States of America issues a tweet ignoring the hate groups that sponsored the rally saying the violence came from “many sides, many sides” as if the swastika-wearing and torch carrying hate mongers were morally equal to those who oppose their racist screed.
What in God’s name is the US coming to? What will the world come to if this malignancy continues unchecked?
– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist who believes tolerating racism will spell the end for Trump.