As gold star families come forward to reveal that President Donald Trump — contrary to his claims he’s spoken to the families of all soldiers slain during his presidency — has not written or called to offer condolences, a disturbing trend has arisen.
Three of the fallen soldiers — and their families — are black.
Trump’s disrespectful call and subsequent media treatment of the family of Sgt. La David Johnson, a black soldier who was killed in an ambush in Niger this month, has been well documented. He denied claims by two people who witnessed Johnson’s widow take the call, including Johnson’s mother and a Democratic congresswoman.
Before him, there was Specialist Etienne Murphy, a black soldier who died in Syria during the fight against ISIS. According to the Associated Press, Murphy’s mother wrote to Trump, saying, “some days I don’t want to live.” Murphy was a distinguished soldier and had received several medals for his services.
He never once contacted her.
Roshain E. Brooks, another black soldier, was killed in Iraq during Trump’s presidency. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal and Combat Action Badge. Trump never contacted his family.
When Roshain’s father Euvince Brooks heard Trump claim he believed he had contacted the families of all fallen soldiers, he became irate.
“You know when you hear people lying, and you want to fight? That’s the way I feel last night. He’s a damn liar,” he said to the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, the family of Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, a white soldier, met with Vice President Mike Pence and received a call from Trump within two weeks. Thomas’ father, Andre, let Trump know he voted for him, which “extended the conversation for about 10 minutes.” After 1st Lt. Weston Lee, another white soldier, was killed in Iraq, Trump called his family.
The Washington Post recently reached 13 gold star families, including the ones above. Seven of them said they had spoken with Trump. Four families said they had not been contacted and were bothered by it. The others declined to enter the debate or politicize a loved one’s death.
White supremacists have largely celebrated Donald Trump’s presidency. Based on this latest scandal, it’s easy to see why.