The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Did Hate Speech Fuel Pittsburgh Massacre? No.

Citizens of Pittsburgh, PA paying their respects to the victims of the massacre.

Following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 — which is now known as the deadliest attack on the Jewish population in United States history — President Donald Trump came to visit the mourning town on Tuesday.

Many accused President Trump’s hateful rhetoric that fueled the anti-Semitic massacre inside the Tree of Life congregation.

Due to this, mourning family members of the victims spoke out against Trump’s visit to express his condolences.

This sentiment was also expressed by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who felt that Trump should not visit “while we are burying the dead.”

Even Rabbi Jeffrey Myers blamed politicians for a rise in hateful rhetoric, saying that this is what led to the tragic event of 11 slain Jewish people.

“Mr. President, hate speech leads to hateful actions. Hate speech leads to what happened in my sanctuary, where seven of my congregants were slaughtered. I witnessed it with my eyes.” Rabbi Myers said.

Although I do agree that politicians and government officials have larger platforms than most people and can easily impact others’ opinions, Trump’s rhetoric is not what caused the horrible incident.

There are many factors that are involved, including the type of environment one is raised in, the morals one grows up with and one’s values. Rabbi Myers is correct in calling out politicians for igniting hateful rhetoric within the United States, however. Myers emphasized that he does not “foist blame” on Trump or “any one person” for the mass shooting.

Many individuals in Pittsburgh and throughout the country were very angry that President Trump came to visit the community. Rabbi Myers specifically received a lot of backlash for meeting with the President.

I disagree with the belief that the President should have stayed away from this entirely.

President Trump is the leader of the country and has the right to visit vulnerable people in his nation.

I do not see a problem with the president trying to console people who need comfort the most.

Like many others, I am outraged and angered by the event that happened to this Jewish community, but Trump and other politicians are not the ones to blame.

“This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst,” Trump said in response to the attack.

“The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot be tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue … It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its very ugly head.”


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