Schanzer Calls Synagogue Attack an Act of “Trumpism-inspired Terrorism”

In response to the shooting rampage at the Tree of Life Synagogue resulting in 11 deaths and multiple casualties, David Schanzer, Director of the Duke Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, and Professor of the Practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy, made the following statement:

“Of course President Trump had no direct responsibility for the heinous act of violence that occurred yesterday in Pittsburgh, but there can be little doubt that based on what we know so far that the shooting was an example of terrorism inspired by the ideology of Trumpism.”

“Much of the ideology of Trumpism is standard political discourse about the role of government, levels of taxation, concerns about trade, and immigration policy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, Trumpism – as it has been articulated since President Trump began his campaign in 2015 – takes an additional step of linking these traditional political topics with the discourse of fear of the outsider, racial hierarchy, and blaming America’s problems on racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants.”

This toxic brew falls well outside the traditional boundaries of American political discourse. Its dangerousness has been exposed this past week. Most understand the ideology of Trumpism as just that – a set of ideas. But, as with many ideologies, a small number of individuals will be so radicalized by this ideology that they will see fit to use violence to further its objectives.

No one is to blame for the perpetrator’s anti-Semitism but the perpetrator himself. Anti-Semitism has been with us for centuries and will be with us for centuries to come. But it is as clear as day that this particular anti-Semite was radicalized to action by the Tree of Life Synagogue’s charity and activism towards refugees – a group that has been chastised, vilified, and dehumanized by the ideology of Trumpism.

No amount of deflection, false-equivalency, and conspiratorial fantasizing can change that the synagogue murders were Trumpism-inspired terrorism.”