On social media the blame war that follows a major tragedy was in full swing Saturday after the horrific and tragic murders of 20 people in El Paso, where an armed assailant opened fire in a Walmart killing adults and children alike.
In addition to the usual battles over gun control, and the effort to pin the shooter on one ideology or the other, the topic of the dangers of domestic terrorism by white attackers or motivated by white supremacy was a topic of debate and the subject of reporting and Twitter threads alike.
Government officials and politicians, meanwhile, have issued condolences, messages of grief, words of support, prayers, and yes, fundraising. Late in the day, one more official added his own reaction: George P. Bush.
Bush is the son of former Florida governor and candidate for the Republican nomination for president Jeb Bush. George is the Texas Land Commissioner, too, and among those in the Bush family, is considered far more sympathetic to Trump, who he endorsed, than other Bush icons. “This is the only Bush that likes me,” President Trump said of him earlier this year.
In his statement on the El Paso shooting, released on Twitter, Bush specifically called out “white terrorism”, not just naming it but urging Americans to stand against it.
“I proudly served in Afghanistan as a Naval officer were our mission was to fight and kill terrorists. I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority. And that should include standing firm against white terrorism here in the US,” Bush wrote. “There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorists here in the US in the last several months. This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
“All terrorism must be stopped,” he continued. “I am praying for the victims of the shooting in El Paso. And I am asking that all Americans stand firm against all forms of terrorism.”
The replies to the tweet, if you find yourself wondering, run the gamut, but there are a couple of prominent themes: Those who reply dismissive of his appeal as not good enough because it doesn’t rebuke Trump, and those who object to his calling it white terrorism or see it as a betrayal.
President Trump, however, also issued what is for him an especially forceful and direct tweet, and a cautious one at that.