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The Hero Helping Make America Great, and the President Who Isn’t

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Man that saved lives at a Waffle House showing how is hand was cut

“I almost didn’t make it to 30, if you really think about it,” he said. “And no matter how it would have went, it seemed like he didn’t care that he wasn’t going to make it to 30.”–James Shaw, Jr.

Remember the words of James Shaw, Jr. The 29 year old hero who faced down the 29 year old coward. Remember his name mostly, because he’s not taking that hero crap. He doesn’t want a badge or a diamond or some kind of gaudy monstrous key to the city.  And he damn sure isn’t living to get praise from Donald Trump. Mr. Shaw helped raise over 150K for victims of the shooting, and even visited many survivors. Donald Trump is absent. Not one mention of even the tragedy itself, let alone the hero. Sad.

I think Trump knows better than to praise Shaw, Jr. If he offered him a trip to the White House, the Twitterverse would melt, because no matter Shaw’s response, the entire world will be judging. It is true, we in the black community will be critical of Donald Trump. No matter what he does or who he befriends (I’m sorry Kanye).  And many will point and say: “Ha! Gotchu! You hate him no matter what. You are fake news! MAGA!” But seriously, what has this man done to show that he’s for the African American community? Has he condemned unwarranted police violence in our neighborhoods? I’m sure he’s seen the videos. Dude watches TV and internet more than he passes legislation—legislation you’d think would be a softball. How black is his White House? Affirmative Action must not apply here. If there’s anything Donald Trump has done for the black community, it’s several leaps in the opposite direction. Nearly every member of his staff winds the history clock back, like the marches and sit-ins of the 60s never even happened. His brain surgeon HUD Secretary is lobotomizing the agency’s budget. A Secretary of Education who has routinely confused school “choice” with segregation. His AG has enacted race-based drug laws, even joking that he thought the KKK was alright “until he learned that they smoked marijuana.” And then, of course, that judicial nominee who wouldn’t say if she agreed with Brown V. Board of Education.

Acknowledging Mr. Shaw, if he ever does, will further expose the hypocrisy of Donald Trump—a dude who would sooner stand up for a group of white supremacist “Very Fine People,” than a brother just “trying to live.”

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A popular meme going around recites that phrase that so many Republicans echoed from 2008-2017: “Not my president.” But it’s in reference to Trump. And it underlines the not our president. Because that much is true. At the time of my writing this, it is the third day since the shooter was disarmed, something I’m not aware of any civilian doing at any point during his presidency. You’d think he’d be proud of this American. Isn’t this what makes America great? Normal citizens going above and beyond, protecting other citizens. I’ve always felt that. I was brought into this world by at least one very fine person. Raised by two very fine people. And I’ve met so many very fine Americans since then, I want to raise my own someday with the wisdom passed on since my birth.

A Texas shooter can decimate a church congregation, and a good guy with a gun scare him off after 26 people were killed, and Donald Trump can’t stop sending out thoughts and prayers. But a man in Tennessee who prevented the deaths of a restaurant of patrons and staff can’t even get a single Tweet?  Not our president… because he doesn’t even care that one of us is a hero. Sad.