On Thursday, Aug. 17, a white van plowed into a crown along Las Ramblas, a bustling tourist destination, in Barcelona, Spain. According to a report from CNN, the attack is currently being treated as a terrorist attack, and at least 13 individuals have died as a result of the attack. Over 100 have been left injured. And of course, Obama's response to the Barcelona attack is a touching one. One of solidarity. One which Trump would do well to take a cue from.
Following the attack, Obama tweeted,
Michelle and I are thinking of the victims and their families in Barcelona. Americans will always stand with our Spanish friends. Un abrazo.
In English, "un abrazo" translates to "a hug."
While Obama's initial response to the Barcelona attack focuses on mourning the senseless loss of lives, people aren't entirely thrilled with President Trump's response to the Barcelona attack. After the news broke, Trump tweeted the following: "The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & stay strong, we love you."
Here's Trump's tweet:
Though Trump lends the United States' support to Barcelona following the attack, it seems people are more concerned with how quickly Trump jumped to label the attack as "terrorism," especially given the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Trump was much more hesitant to drop the T-word and blamed "many sides" for the violence that occurred.
Not to mention, Trump's followup to his initial tweet, in which he encouraged us to "study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," sparked even more heated, negative responses. Though, he doesn't realize that the legends surrounding the fact that General Pershing executed Muslims are completely fake.
While CNN reports that ISIS said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were "soldiers of the Islamic state," they still have yet to say they were responsible for the attack itself.
In any case, it's important we pay close attention the way in which both Trump and Obama responded. In the immediate aftermath of a senseless act of violence, throwing the "terrorism" card around can incite a wealth of unnecessary fear amongst individuals. Plus, if we're so quick to name this act of violence terrorism, what made the violence in Charlottesville any different?
President Trump would do well to take some tips from Obama in all ways, particularly in how to respond following a senseless tragedy: Prioritize compassion and solidarity. Point fingers later.