Top Stories In TWO Allied Countries Show Growing Global Anger At Trump, US Humiliated
Trump Humiliates America In India And France
Donald Trump recently “baffled” the nation of Sweden by saying that the Scandinavian exemplar of good governance was “having problems like they never thought possible,” after he watched a Fox ‘News’ propaganda report claiming that immigrants were causing a crime wave. Only days later, confusion and outrage at Trump was the top story in two other countries that have traditionally had good relations with the US: India and France.
On Wednesday, in Olathe, Kansas, a white American man shot three men in a bar. Two of the men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were Indian nationals who were engineers and permanent residents of the United States. One of them, Kuchibhotla, died. The third man, Ian Grillot, was a bystander who attempted to intervene to defend them. The shooter was Adam W. Purinton. Madasani told police that Purinton angrily asked the two men about their visa status, whether they were in the US legally, called them “terrorists” and told them to “get out of my country.” The two men tried to ignore him. Purinton was thrown out of the bar, but came back after a short time and started shooting.
It’s pretty clear that this was an act of political violence motivated at least in part by the predominant anti-immigration ideology emanating from the White House. So, the president’s silence since the shooting has been deafening. And India is furious from the streets to the government. The New York Times reported,
“On Friday, Mr. Kuchibhotla’s killing and the wounding of Mr. Madasani led to a chorus of fury in India, where the attack dominated the news media to such an extent that the top American diplomat in the country was compelled to issue a statement condemning what she described as a “tragic and senseless act.”
“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.”
Two top trending stories in the Indian media Saturday began questioning the place of Indians in America. One entitled, “Widow of slain Indian engineer: I urged return to India but husband had faith in the US,” detailed how Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayna Dumala had urged him to consider taking the family back to India after Trump’s win, but he refused, because he believed “everything would be fine.” The other quoted a short statement made by Dumala, questioning, “Do we belong here?”
Indian consular service officials met with the shaken community of Indian nationals in Olathe to express support and hear their concerns. The Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has been following the US response closely and reporting on the Indian consular service’s progress in the US.
I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
Our mission staff hv met with Sunayna Kuchibhotla. Indian Government is with her in this hour of grief. We assure her of all our support. /2
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
This incident has shocked the Indian people and national government. India has long relied on good relations with the US and generous immigration rights. An Indian national was murdered on US soil by an American, in an apparent act of terrorism, that hews uncomfortably close to the US government’s radical new official policy. And the American president has said nothing about it publicly.
Meanwhile, as Trump was giving American friend India the cold shoulder, he was blabbering too much about France. In a speech, Trump said he has a “friend” who used to go to Paris all the time, and now doesn’t go anymore, because his friend says, “Paris is no longer Paris.” Trump indicated that immigrants have ruined the city. These comments come just two months prior to a presidential election slated for April 23rd in France. Even if it weren’t so inflammatory, Trump’s comments could easily be seen as inappropriate meddling in France’s election.
French President Francois Hollande shot back at Trump, Saturday. The Local reported that Hollande said,
“It is never good to show the slightest mistrust towards a friendly country,” Hollande said.
“That is not what I do toward a friendly country and I ask the American president not to do it to France,”
Hollande’s statement could be read as an escalation from the rather subdued response from Sweden. European officials are already getting increasingly sick of their immigration policies being used as a bogeyman in Trump’s rhetoric. Hollande got in a subtle dig at US gun culture while responding to Trump,
Asked about the comments, Hollande said Trump had recently told him in a telephone conversation of his “love” for Paris and France.
“So I imagine that that is what he thinks. If it is what he thinks, I expect he will express that.
“Fortunately, for several months American tourists have returned in large numbers because they see” that French authorities are making “a considerable effort to ensure security.”
“And I don’t want to make a comparison, but there are no weapons circulating here, there are no people who take weapons to shoot into the crowd”, he said, in a reference to the tighter gun control measures in France than the US.
Hollande’s point is well taken. America’s insanely lax gun laws create far greater threat to safety than anything happening in France. America’s security problems have nothing to do with immigration. And of course, the NRA looooves Trump. Memo to Trump: if you start criticizing allies, they can throw stones, too, and you live in a much bigger glass house, buddy.
In a single day, Trump was grabbing headlines in France for being inappropriate, boorish and ignorant, while a discussion about whether the US is still safe for Indian people gripped the nation of India. After only a month in office, Trump manages to humiliate the US and alienate friends and allies across the globe on a virtually constant basis.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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Marc Belisle is the Reverb Press World Affairs Editor. He is a writer, activist and teacher. He has a Master’s degree in International Conflict Analysis from the Brussels School of International Studies. READ MORE BY MARC.