Donald Trump is notoriously shameless about using national tragedies for cheap political points or an opportunity for self-congratulation, but it appears that he won’t be able to profit off of the tragic massacre of five police officers last night in Dallas. Trump cancelled a rally in Miami today “due to the horrific events.” We now know what he was planning to do instead.
The New York Police denied Trump’s request to come and “meet with the officers” out of respect for the dead and a principled refusal to be turned into another one of Trump’s political props, to be paraded in front of the cameras while it’s advantageous for the narcissistic rabble-rouser, only to be discarded when he no longer has use for them – like Trump does to our veterans on a regular basis.
“Our interest is staying out of the politics of the moment, and not to provide photo ops. If Mr. Trump wants to speak to me, I would be happy to brief him on what we’re doing. If Sen. Clinton wants to speak to me, I would very happy to brief her on what we’re doing. But we are not in the business of providing photo ops for our candidates” said Commissioner Bill Bratton.
It’s a well-deserved slap in the face for the divisive candidate, whose openly racist presidential campaign has contributed significantly to the exacerbation of racial tensions and xenophobia in the United States. Last night’s shootings should be a wake up call for the entire nation that the sentiments are running too high and we need to calmly, and reasonably, talk about what actions we need to take in order to prevent more violence from happening. Trump must not be allowed to turn these police officers, who died fulfilling their oath and doing their jobs, into martyrs and an excuse to start a race war, as some on the right-wing have already called for.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.