(TMU) — Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States and pointed fingers trying to assign blame in the aftermath are par for the course, especially in our hyper connected world. While mass shootings have happened throughout the history of the U.S., regardless of who is in charge or the political party they subscribe to, specific talking points parroted by some recent shooters either on social media or via manifesto can be traced back to a source.
According to Facebook’s ad archive, President Donald Trump has run around 2,200 Facebook advertisements mentioning an “invasion” since May 2018. And according to CNN, “invasion” is cited more often in Trump’s ads than are “Obama,” “China” and “jobs.”
According to Facebook's ad archive, Trump has run around 2,200 FB ads since May 2018 mentioning the word "invasion." Scrolling through, all of them seem to be about immigration. pic.twitter.com/0Q5TEewfL3
— Natalie Martinez (@natijomartinez) August 4, 2019
While “invasion” is only one word, its presence in the El Paso shooter’s manifesto posted to 8chan is significant and concerning to some. However, the manifesto itself claims that the shooter’s opinions on immigration predate Trump’s ascension.
And while millions of dollars weren’t spent on Trump’s Facebook ads and they only received around 1,000 views each, around 2.2 million people in the U.S. viewed the fear mongering ads in total. It remains to be seen if Facebook, other social media platforms, or corporate media will be held accountable for allowing the president to advertise in this way or for parroting his “invasion” rhetoric, in which he repeatedly refers to the migrant crisis at the southern border of the U.S. as an invasion. He has even gone so far as to say that immigrants and asylum seekers were trying to “rush our borders.”
On June 6, Trump told Fox News that Mexico was to blame for not stopping the migrants before reaching the U.S.-Mexico border:
“I told Mexico, if you don’t stop this onslaught, this invasion—people get angry when I use the word ‘invasion’—people like Nancy Pelosi that honestly they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. … Look, I’m dealing with Mexico right now.”
Previously he claimed to “hate” the word invasion but said “that’s what it is. It’s an invasion of drugs and criminals and people.”
“We have an INVASION! So we are BUILDING THE WALL to STOP IT. Dems will sue us. But we want a SAFE COUNTRY!” many of the advertisements read. “It’s CRITICAL that we STOP THE INVASION. Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have not negotiated in good faith to fund a wall at our Southern Border, proving that OBSTRUCTION is far more important to them than YOUR SAFETY.”
At the White House on Monday, Trump condemned racism, bigotry and white supremacy, saying, “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.” But these words don’t seem to match his actions and those of his campaign.