The other day, my dad (a conservative-leaning independent) and I (a liberal-leaning independent) were discussing freedom of speech in regards to Donald Trump. We both agreed freedom of speech is probably the
quintessential American right, and it shouldn't be censored. That being said, we also both agreed that Trump's signature pompous and oftentimes discriminatory speech is flat out irresponsible.
Only a couple days later, Trump himself proved us right in the crudest manner possible—blaming Brussels for being attacked by terrorists shortly after said attacks occurred.
This morning, in wake of tragic Islamic State-led attacks
on the Brussels Airport in Zaventem, Belgium, Trump told an anchor on Fox News
that Brussels is "a disaster city," among other insensitive slights, according to reports from Slate
. He blamed the bombings in Brussels on poor border enforcement and said they occurred for the same reason the November 2015 attacks in Paris did—failure to weed out and deny ISIS-affiliated people the right to immigrate (so, in Trump's eyes, basically any Muslim person).
Trump continued to snub Brussels, calling it "horrible" and a "horror show" on CBS
and again when he told Matt Lauer on Today
that America itself needs to be "very vigilant" about who we allow into our country, he took a step over the unspoken line.
"I know Brussels well. And Brussels is a total mess. And I’m not talking about the attack today. I’m talking about generally speaking. It is a city that used to be one of the finest, one of the most beautiful and one of the safest cities in the world. And now it’s a catastrophic, very dangerous city where the police have very little control."
It's a pretty low bow to just decide to label an entire country as generally disastrous hours after said country was bombed. Trump's comments are not only excessive and heartless—they're blatantly irresponsible. Trump supporters praise him for generally having #NoFilter and telling it how it is, but just because he can
say whatever he wants about Brussels in relation to the attacks, that doesn't mean he should
At this point, Trump's proclamations condemning Brussels are more than politically incorrect—they're inhumane and unethical. As a leader, he needs to step up and offer his condolences to attack victims and Belgium as a whole, not critique their foreign policy.
As one who could potentially lead our country in the very near future, Trump needs to more thoroughly contemplate what he says before he says it, and perhaps exercise a smidgeon of empathy toward Brussels' situation (and any other group of people he has severely offended, for that matter) before opening his mouth.