Donald Trump’s words of comfort for the mass shooting victims in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio — read stiffly from a teleprompter — did not provide comfort for many in El Paso, some of whom complained that Trump had singled them out as the enemy. One told The Los Angeles Times, “We were safe until he started talking. He made us a target with his hateful rhetoric.” There was word that Trump would visit El Paso and Dayton on Wednesday. Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat whose congressional district includes much of El Paso, said, “From my perspective, he is not welcome here.” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, also a Democrat, encouraged those in her city unhappy with a Trump visit to say so. “I think people should stand up and say they’re not happy if they’re not happy he’s coming,” Whaley told reporters.
Another president also weighed in on the shootings. In a statement released on Twitter, Barack Obama wrote that Americans “should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” That was clearly directed at Trump, whom Obama did not name. Trump sent out a retaliatory tweet or two, of course, citing quotes directed at Obama from his friends at Fox & Friends. In another tweet, Trump wrote, once again, that he was the “least racist person” on earth. The Washington Post has a piece comparing twitter Trump to teleprompter Trump and how the two voices rarely converge.
Toni Morrison was the great chronicler of the black female experience in American literature, in writing so evocative that it would be compared to that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Her books were of ghosts and dreams but also of nightmares brought to life in best-selling literature — winning praise from Oprah as well as the Nobel committee. In a 2003 New Yorker profile, Hilton Als tells us of Morrison’s role as both mother and father to the next generation of African American writers, who, as Als says, put her on a pedestal and also tried to knock her off. When she won a Nobel, some complained there were others more deserving. By the time she died, her status was clear — one of the great writers of the 20th century.