A controversy erupted after the media described the Orlando shooting — which killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others — as “the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.” | AP file photo

Mitchell: You may have more in common with Trump than you think

SHARE Mitchell: You may have more in common with Trump than you think
SHARE Mitchell: You may have more in common with Trump than you think

Follow @MaryMitchellCST

As much as liberals profess to hate Donald Trump, they have a lot in common.

For instance, it was pretty Trump-like for a controversy to break out over the media describing the Orlando shooting — a tragedy that killed 49 innocent people and wounded more than 50 others — as “the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.”

As soon as writers dubbed the mass shooting the “worst,” a lot of people felt compelled to point out there have been bigger massacres perpetrated against minorities in this country.

Responding to the criticism, AP compiled a list that went back to 1857, when 120 people traveling on a wagon train heading to California were shot and killed by Mormons. The tally included the 1921 massacre when a white mob burned down the black section of Tulsa, killing 300 people.

I doubt if most people thought about either of these events when they heard a lone shooter had killed 49 people in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

But this kind of nitpicking reflects an inappropriate attitude and plays into the perception that African-Americans, particularly, were less sympathetic because the victims were primarily gay and Latino.

It also begs a question: Why didn’t this deep historic reflection come up after the Sandy Hook shooting?


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Before you go on a rant, let me finish.

Two eerily similar incidents involving toddlers — one black, one white — shows you don’t have to be a Trump supporter to think like a Trump.

On the heels of the Orlando nightclub massacre, another tragedy unfolded in the city when an alligator snatched a 2-year-old white child from a Walt Disney World hotel lagoon.

The boy was wading in the lagoon around 9 p.m. where “no swimming” signs were posted. Although the father jumped in and tried to pry “the gator’s mouth open,” according to news reports, the child was dragged under water. The boy’s body was found the next day with “a few puncture wounds.”

Obviously, the parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, of Elkhorn, Nebraska, were devastated. Everyone was empathetic to this family’s plight, and there was no talk of investigations and criminal charges.

“I’m just here to say a prayer,” a hotel guest told the LA Times. “I can’t imagine what those parents are going through.”

There was a totally different public reaction when a 3-year-old black boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo several weeks earlier.

Zoo officials made the decision to shoot a popular silverback gorilla named Harambe after it was seen dragging the child through the enclosure. After the child was rescued unharmed, most of the sympathy went toward Harambe.

The single mother received death threats while an online petition, “Justice for Harambe,” received more than 500,000 signatures.

The media scrutiny included reports about the father’s criminal background.

Under pressure to file criminal charges, the Cincinnati police investigated the mother, who had three children with her the day of the incident.

“By all accounts, this mother did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm,” Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters told Fox 8.

“Had she been in the bathroom smoking crack and letting her kids run around the room, this would be a different story,” he said.

Because there is a perception that single black mothers are neglectful, when something tragic occurs, these mothers are automatically treated like they are to blame.

Sounds a lot like the Trump’s brand of scapegoating, doesn’t it.

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