Yesterday, the darling daughter Ivanka Trump tried to earn family points as a White House "adviser" by distracting from the three gun massacres last week as she pulled out a page from her daddy's racist playbook to attack gun violence in Chicago over the weekend. She noted a shooting where 7 people were killed and 52 were wounded near a playground. A playground, she singled-out, just imagine the children who must have died there out for fun. Calling it all the deadliest weekend in the Windy City.
It was a ghastly, ghoulish weekend. And gun violence is horrific in the city. But if you're wondering why you didn't hear about this sickening shooting while dear Ivanka did -- it's because it didn't happen. Her chastising others was filled with half-truths and lies.
The weekend was indeed awful. But there wasn't one gruesome shooting at a children's playground. Those numbers are from 32 shootings over the weekend. Further, no one died at the shooting near a playground. I don't mean "no children." I mean no one, as in nobody. As for children out playing in the spring of youth when the gunfire rang out, it took place at the 1:20 AM. And for the sake of accuracy (always a good thing to strive for, especially in a presidential "adviser"), it wasn't a playground -- which we all know is specifically for little children, with jungle gyms and slides and sandboxes -- it was in a city park. Yes, they are similar; they are also importantly different. (No, this is not nitpicking. We not only expect accuracy from White House "advisers," most particularly when it comes to supposed gun massacres, but similar is a different concept from the same. Prop planes and jets are similar, a teaspoon and a fork are similar, nursery schools and college campuses are both places of learning, however no matter how similar we would never confuse the two -- well, unless a person is specifically trying to falsely break your heart about toddlers at 1:20 in the morning.)
Or to put it more bluntly, as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, "It’s important when we’re talking about people’s lives to actually get the facts correct, which one can easily do if you actually cared about getting it right.”
Gun violence is a monumental problem in America. Indeed, here's how bad gun violence is. As morbid as the weekend was there - it wasn't the "worst weekend" in the city like she said. I don't say this to minimize what she wrote, but for two reasons: one is because the problem of gun violence is worse than she says, and that should be made clear. And the other reason is that -- once gain -- if you're going to be an "adviser" to the president, you should have your facts right.
In fact, along these same lines, as terrible as gun violence is in Chicago -- and it's terrible -- singling the city out just like her father does is for the same racist reasons. In fact, according to 2016 statistics (the most recent I could find), as terrible as gun violence is in Chicago...it's actually not close to being the worst. It's 18th in gun violence per capita - indeed, it's behind even Milwaukee. But point to gun violence in Milwaukee or Buffalo or Stockton (all ranked higher than Chicago) isn't as racist scary. And for the record, the #1 city in gun violence per capita is New Orleans -- almost three times the number in Chicago.
Moreover, while chiding all of us (no doubt meaning liberals and the press) for "overlooking" gun deaths, as she says, and focusing only on El Paso and Dayton, Trump daughter Ivanka herself overlooked, ignored and left out (to drive home the point...) the massacre in Gilroy only a week before.
That's how bad the gun violence problem is in the United States.
And that's the ultimate point about her disingenuous tweets to get her father off the hook for his complicit words to inflame the violence. If Ivanka Trump actually, truly cared about gun violence she'd do everything she possibly could to convince her daddy to do something about it, and not just send 'thoughts and prayers," suck up to the NRA, and incite white supremacists with cries of infestations, invasions and blame of immigrants.
Gun deaths are serious. Anyone wanting to address it, most especially if they are an "adviser" to the president of the United States, should get it right.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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