President Donald Trump shared his condolences on Twitter Monday with the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. His response struck a noticeably different tone, however, from past tragedies that involved non-white suspects.
The attack in Las Vegas Sunday — the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history — was allegedly carried out by a 64-year-old white male named Stephen Paddock.
Trump's own reaction to the shooting was a giveaway that Islam was not involved. Trump often tweets about terror and violence, but says a whole lot of nothing when the suspects are white or the victims are people of color. The juxtaposition could not have been made more clear following a shooting at a Canadian mosque last January. While Trump earnestly tweeted about the terror attack in Germany a month prior — calling the attack a "purely religious threat" — the White House remained silent after reports revealed that the suspect in Canada was a 27-year-old white male.
The pattern continued into the summer. Trump would tweet after an attack in London, accusing the city's mayor of being lax on terrorism, even when facts on the incident were scarce. But around the same time, Trump offered no public condolences to the Minnesota mosque that suffered a bombing.
Trump supporters cannot argue that the president has learned his lesson. Just last week, Trump berated San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who is dealing with her own misfortune following the massive hurricane. Indeed, Trump is unafraid to be brash and act tough when the suspect or victims of a tragedy are not white. But when the suspect is white, as was the case in the Las Vegas shooting, Trump can only muster a boilerplate response — clearly disappointed that he could use the disaster to push his own narrative.