There was not another country in the world last weekend where man’s inhumanity to man could have jolted the system to its foundations as in the United States of America.
The bonfire of sanity has jolted the country of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, though the frequency of such killings scarcely evokes a sense of shock and awe in a fractured society.
Donald Trump has been rather too superficial in his prognosis of the weekend’s mass shootings in Ohio and Texas. “It’s a problem of the mind,” is the US President’s rather casual, even trite, response. Given his proverbial insensitivity, he hardly mentioned Texas on the day of the tragedy save short tweets and a presidential proclamation to lower flags at half mast. Nor for that matter did he refer to the nature of the hate crime in El Paso, let alone the dire imperative of gun control.
The canker in today’s United States is much too deep-seated and almost incurably so if Ferguson and St Bernadino, among several cities, are held up as case-studies. Dayton in Ohio and El Paso in Texas have extended the loop of the carnage. It is an outrage over racism, the failure to rein in the gun culture, and the Hispanic “invasion” of Texas that have blighted Trumpian America, to quote an anti-immigrant pamphlet.
The reality, when contextualised with the record of not dissimilar butchery, makes a mockery of the President’s claim that “hate has no place in our country”.
It actually does and is now virtually ingrained in societal mores. And it shall not be easy to counter the prompt condemnation of Democrats that “the President is a nakedly white nationalist and racist leader. This is a moral moment and he is failing this nation.”
He very nearly has, if the narrative since 2016 is any indication. Hence the cynical observation of the mainstream US media that if one of the perpetrators of the two mass shootings had adhered to the ideology of radical Islam, the resources of the American government and its international allies would be mobilized without delay. The awesome power of the state would work tirelessly to deny future terrorists access to weaponry, money and forums to spread their ideology. Not so in the aftermath of Dayton and El Paso, however.
The praxis is concordant with the ban on citizens of seven Muslim countries from setting foot on America’s soil. White nationalism can be no less insidious than Islamist terrorism. In the net, President Trump presides over the potentially mortal distortion of nationalism, racism and the colour of the skin. White nationalism has attained a new mainstream legitimacy during Mr Trump’s tenure. Since 2001, far more Americans have died at the hands of domestic terrorists than at the hands of Islamic extremists, according to the FBI. Ohio marks the 31st deadly mass shooting in America this year. And Mr Trump has done little or nothing to stop the carnage.
With his country wallowing in the mire, he can stop worrying about Kashmir for now.