Kevin Yoder condemns hate crime in Olathe, but where’s Donald Trump?

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder

Two Indian men were attacked at a bar last week in Olathe because they looked like foreigners, evidence shows so far.

On Tuesday, the FBI confirmed it was looking into the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and the wounding of Alok Madasani as a hate crime.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Republican who represents Johnson County, later Tuesday finally made an extraordinary appeal to Donald Trump.

That’s right: So far, Trump has not yet personally condemned the happenings of last week in Olathe. No tweets. Nothing said at any of his many public appearances

His silence properly has been attacked across the United States and around the world. It makes the anti-immigrant, Muslim-attacking Trump appear to be cavalier about this kind of hate crime.

One official in India said of the Olathe incident, “This president now has blood on his hands.”

“The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president,” Madasani Jaganmohan Reddy, Alok Madasani’s father, said last week. “I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the U.S. in the present circumstances.”

On Tuesday night, during his address to Congress, Trump gets yet another chance to stand up for what is right. He must speak out against brutal intimidation against people who aren’t white Americans.

He can try to further explain how his administration is going to improve its already woeful track record on immigration issues.

True, all of this would be very after-the-fact. The sincerity of his remarks would be open to criticism. He’s almost in a no-win situation, given his pre-and post-campaign antipathy toward so many immigrants and people of foreign background.

Yet Trump put himself in this box. It’s up to him to try to create a new confidence that he will take crimes like this seriously. If not, his value as president of this country declines even more.

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