Trump keeps up same fearmongering that motivated Pittsburgh shooter to act

The horrific mass shooting that occurred in Pittsburgh at Tree of Life synagogue was not just a case of random anti-Semitism. The terrorist Robert Bowers was directly influenced by Republican politician and right-wing media fearmongering about the “migrant caravan” of Central American asylum seekers. This “migrant caravan” has been constantly characterized by right-wing media and Republican politicians, including Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz, as an “invasion” or “invading force” or “armada”, and baseless conspiracy theories pushed by President Trump himself have said that Middle Eastern terrorists have infiltrated the “caravan”. In addition, these same conspiracy theories have stated that the “migrant caravan” was being financed by “globalists”, a word which has become white nationalist code for Jews, like George Soros. Robert Bowers believed all of this fearmongering conspiracy talk coming from the highest levels of the Republican party that connected Jews to an “invasion” of dangerous illegal immigrants and criminals. Robert Bowers then acted on it, attacked a synagogue, and killed 11 innocent people.

NBC News: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect threatened Jewish groups, pushed migrant caravan conspiracies

Robert Bowers, the Pennsylvania man accused of a fatal shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, posted prolifically online about conspiracy theories and made repeated threats to Jews.

Bowers frequently wrote on the social network Gab, where he made a specific threat against Jews hours before allegedly conducting Saturday’s attack.

In the post, Bowers said that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a humanitarian aid nonprofit group that provides assistance to refugees, brought immigrants to the United States to do violence against others.

“Screw your optics, I’m going in,” he wrote.

Bowers frequently posted about the “migrant caravan,” a group of several thousand refugees walking to the U.S.-Mexico border from Honduras to seek asylum. Preventing refugees in the caravan from entering the U.S. has been a major talking point among both right-wing commentators and President Donald Trump, who has spoken about it in recent pre-midterm election stump speeches.

Bowers’ anti-Semitic posts and his apparent disdain for the caravan are tied to a viral image that appears to show refugees hopping onto the bed of a truck that had a Star of David visible on the side. The image has been widely shared on far-right forums like 4chan and the Russian propaganda operation USA Really. He reposted a screenshot of a video of the caravan that that aired on Fox News, as well as other networks, that does not mention the symbol.

WSBTV: Here’s what we know about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect

“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” Bowers wrote before he began shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue, as he singled out the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a group which helps Jewish refugees enter the United States.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” Bowers wrote on Saturday morning. “Screw your optics, I’m going in

HIAS is a nonprofit group that helps refugees around the world find safety and freedom. The organization says it is guided by Jewish values and history.

Back on October 10, Bowers also posted about HIAS, including a screen shot from the group’s website: “You like to bring in hostile invaders to dwell among us?” he wrote.

Yet, even after this horrible act took place, and after it came to light what motivated the shooter to act, the President of the United States is not only failing to call for an end to this dangerous rhetoric, he is actually personally continuing to push the same fearmongering that helped instigate such a horrible tragedy in the first place.

In doing this, Trump is not only overlooking the fact that this same kind of rhetoric has already had horrifying consequences, he is also lying while he does it, ignoring the fact that his own intelligence services dispute his fearmongering about the caravan.

Newsweek: Migrant Caravan Troop Deployment Could Cost U.S. $50 Million Despite No Evidence of Terrorists, Major Criminal Gang Presence

The U.S. intelligence community assessed that the “most likely course of action” was a dwindling of migrants as it reached the U.S. southern border, with limited transcontinental criminal organizations exploiting the group and “no terrorist infiltration,” an assessment that runs counter to past statements made by the president.

Donald Trump is taking part in baseless fearmongering, of which has already helped influence the killing of 11 innocent people, all because he thinks it will help his party win some midterm elections. This is one of the most irresponsible things an American President has ever done.

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