This is what it has come to in Donald Trump’s America.
Myeshia Johnson, the young, grieving Gold Star widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, killed along with three other U.S. troops, in Niger in Northwest Africa while defending America, allegedly on Oct. 4, was called a liar by the President of the United States. Of course, Trump disparaged her via Twitter; Oct. 23 he wrote:
“I had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation!”
Trump’s assertion, “…spoke his name from the beginning without hesitation,” came after Johnson, who appeared on “Good Morning America,” earlier on Oct. 23 said, “If my husband is out here fighting for our country and he risked his life for our country, why can’t you remember his name? Why would we fabricate something like that?”
There is empirical evidence that indicates Trump lies with more frequency and ferocity than any other U.S. President in history. Yet, it is Myeshia Johnson, a grieving widow still grappling with harrowing questions surrounding her husband’s death and pregnant with the couple’s third child, who has been forced to defend her own veracity.
It all seems unfathomable; a man who received five deferments for military service during the Vietnam War era, one allegedly given because of bone spurs in his feet, desecrating the memory of an American war hero killed in action, by defaming his wife.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Trump has attacked war heroes (see Sen. John McCain) or Gold Star families (see the family of Capt. Humayun Khan).
But, Trump sparked this most recent moment of madness in his dystopian presidency last week. During a press briefing he was asked why he had not yet mentioned the deaths of the four U.S. military men, which included Johnson, who died in that ambush style attack in Niger (this week it has been revealed several key members of Congress were allegedly unaware of the American military presence in Niger). Trump’s response was typical; he seemed to take the question as a personal attack upon him and then he lied to defend himself.
“I’ve written them personal letters,” Trump said, which at that point was most likely a lie. Then he went after President Obama.
“The traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls,” said Trump, which is a flat out lie. In fact, Alyssa Mastromonaco, a former Obama aide refuted Trump’s lie in blunt language. “…a fu–ing lie to say President Obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers,” Mastromonaco tweeted. She went on to refer to Trump as a “deranged animal.”
That sounds about right. Because only a “deranged animal,” would go after the grieving widow of an American soldier, killed less than a month ago in service to our nation.
Many in the Republican Party have done a masterful job over the years casting themselves as uber patriotic Americans; they have been ubiquitous with their flag lapel pins screaming, `U-S-A! U-S-A!’ But, where have these chest thumping, flag waving, mostly White Republicans been as their president has diabolically tormented the young, pregant wife of an American war hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country?
Have they defended her? Have they attacked Trump? No, the vast majority of them haven’t done either. They are missing in action, along with the so-called White evangelicals who profess to love God and country so profoundly. Most of these people, these so-called patriots, believe Barack Obama is a Kenyan born, Muslim socialist, hell bent on destroying “their country.” They are the bedrock of Trump’s America.
Sgt. La David Johnson, 25; Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29; may they rest in peace, may their families be comforted. They are deserving of the highest honor our nation can bestow.
The 45th occupant of the White House is not. He isn’t fit to shine their boots.
Sean Yoes is the Baltimore editor of the AFRO-American Newspaper.