Two weeks later, Trump refuses to recognize the black American who stopped a white mass shooter.
It has been two weeks since James Shaw, Jr. heroically risked his life to stop a mass shooting. But even after a promise from the White House, Trump has still not contacted him.
Earlier this week, reporter April Ryan called Trump out for praising other heroes while ignoring Shaw, an African American man who disarmed the shooter who killed four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee on April 22.
“Is the President himself going to reach out to him? Will he come to the White House?” Ryan asked Sanders on Tuesday.
“My understanding is that there has been an outreach effort to bring him here to the White House,” Sanders replied.
But by the end of the week, Trump still had not contacted Shaw. On Friday night, CNN’s Van Jones asked Shaw if Trump had called him.
“At this time, I haven’t heard anything,” Shaw said, while also allowing that he might have missed a call. He added that his act was not done for recognition, but “to save my own life.”
Despite Shaw’s gracious allowance, it is extremely unlikely that the White House could try and fail to contact someone for two solid weeks, and even more unlikely that Shaw would see no evidence of an unsuccessful attempt.
As Ryan pointed out, Trump has praised others who have acted heroically in a crisis, and even hosted some at the White House this past week. But Shaw, whose heroism doesn’t fit the NRA narrative, has been snubbed by Trump for two weeks now.
Even after Sanders herself praised Shaw from the podium the day after the shooting, Trump has remained silent. At a speech to the NRA Saturday, Trump again failed to mention Shaw, instead calling for more guns.
And now, even after Sanders promised that Trump would be inviting Shaw to the White House, Trump has failed to contact him.
The reasons for Trump’s silence are as clear as they are shameful. The Waffle House shooting doesn’t fit the NRA’s version of reality, and James Shaw Jr.’s heroism doesn’t fit the racist worldview of Trump or his base.