Jacquelyn Hurtado/ Contributing Writer
President Donald Trump has recently reached out to various families of fallen soldiers after accusing Obama and other former presidents for their lack of outreach to those of fallen soldiers. So far, two families Trump contacted have stood out: the Johnson and the Baldridge family.
The Johnson family received a phone call where President Trump told Myeshia Johnson that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” The Baldrige family also received a phone call along with $25,000. One family was black and the other was white.
Seeing these actions coming from the President of the United States is utterly disappointing. We are at a point in time where people are becoming more tolerant of differences. After achieving a milestone with the election of a black president, I had hoped to see a change in our view of skin color.
However, at the forefront of this issue, we see two families of fallen soldiers mourning the loss of their loved ones. Myeshia Johnson became a widow after her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, was killed during an ambush in Niger, according to Huffington Post.
She is pregnant with a child who will never have the chance to meet their father. It’s heartbreaking enough that Johnson has to live with this, and now she has to cope with the president’s lack of sympathy.
Chris and Jessie Baldridge lost their 22-year-old son, Cpl. Dillon Baldridge, when he was killed in Afghanistan, according to ABC News. When they received the call from President Trump, they were astonished by his generosity and his promise to a monetary compensation.
Both Johnson and Baldridge fought and died for their country. Their bravery and sacrifice cannot be given a price and no amount of money can heal the loss felt by these two families. It’s frustrating to see how even though two men sacrificed themselves for the same reason, one family is rewarded while the other is given insensitive words.
This is a moment where two brave men should have been honored for their services and yet because of race, they were treated differently. It forms a separation and diminishes the value of one man’s service over the other.
This separation was ultimately created by the president himself. If he had given both families the same equal reward, the same amount of compassion and sensitivity, race would not have entered the discussion.
However, it was his actions that highlighted the racism and inequality that are still deeply rooted in our society. Ever since Trump was sworn in as president, he hasn’t tried to cover up his racist beliefs. He has gone out of his way to undo everything that President Obama has established, but unfortunately, he doesn’t stop there.
Trump has also attempted to impose travel bans covering a majority of Muslim countries, and when black National Football League players knelt during the national anthem, he took the opportunity to portray this act as a betrayal to the United States, according the Chicago Tribune.
His racist and contradictory tweets flood every media outlet possible, causing racist people to feel more comfortable about expressing and acting on their own backward ways of thinking. His actions seem to be normalizing everything that we have fought so hard to erase.
It’s amazing how, after decades of building tolerance, President Trump reverts us back to the past in just one year.
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Photo taken from Flickr.