The New York Times brings us up-to-speed on the Kansas shooting many commentators are blaming on President Trump’s immigration policies.
“The Jameson guys,” as some on the staff at Austins Bar and Grill knew the pair, were on the patio on Wednesday evening. It was hardly unusual: Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, two immigrants from India, often enjoyed an after-work whiskey at the bar they had adopted as a hangout.
Adam W. Purinton was also there, tossing ethnic slurs at the two men and suggesting they did not belong in the United States, other customers said. Patrons complained, and Mr. Purinton was thrown out.
But a short time later, he came back in a rage and fired on the two men, the authorities said. Mr. Kuchibhotla was killed, and Mr. Madasani was wounded, along with a 24-year-old man who had tried to apprehend the gunman, who fled.
Clearly, the shooter targeted his victims based on their skin color, ethnicity and/or national origin. But until and unless Mr. Purinton states that President Trump’s immigration policies inspired his homicidal attack, why assume a link?
Even if Mr. Purinton mistranslated “Make America Great Again” as “Kill Immigrants,” is it possible that Mr. Purinton was a racist/ethnocentrist/dirtbag before Donald Trump ran for office?
Suggesting a direct and mission critical connection between the President and Mr. Purinton’s “hate crime” (is there such a thing as a “love crime”?) is a temptation to libel the President that the press — including the NYT — couldn’t resist.
In Washington, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, rejected any link between Mr. Trump’s policy agenda and the shooting, which many Indians believed might have been inspired by the president’s harsh tone on immigration.
Because “many Indians” have connected those so-far-illusory dots, it’s OK for the press to repeat the insinuation ad nauseum. Apparently.
What’s your take? Does the President bear any responsibility for racists “energized” by his immigration policies? As long as the CIC doesn’t advocate violence, does it even matter?