The ascent of Donald Trump to the presidency has provided an excuse for components to American society previously in the shadows to come more out into the open than before. This feature of the Trump era was highlighted through such instances as the violence that rocked Charlottesville, Virginia late last year, when white nationalists descended upon the town to protest plans to remove a statue honoring Robert E. Lee.
The violence that ensued following the white nationalists descending upon the town ended with three dead, including one woman — Heather Heyer — who was killed when a white nationalist rammed their car into a crowd of counterprotesters.
Now, there is a new reason for those concerned with this kind of behavior to be worried.
There have now been not one but two suspicious explosions in the city of Austin, Texas, this Monday, one of which struck an African American and the other striking a Hispanic woman.
Early in the day, an explosion killed an African American 17-year-old and wounded a woman in her 40s.
The second explosion to rock the city on Monday sent a Hispanic woman in her 70s to the hospital with serious and potentially life threatening injuries.
Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Monday after the first explosion that the incident appeared “similar and likely related” to an explosion in Austin back on March 2. That explosion claimed the life of the 39-year-old African American man Anthony Stephen House.
Manley also said that authorities know details about what devices set off the respective explosions but are keeping that information private as the investigation is continuing, and authorities also issued a warning about suspicious packages being left on doorsteps. That is the suspected way in which whoever may have targeted these people got the device inside their homes.
The U.S. Postal Service “told investigators that the packages did not come through their facilities, so the packages were likely left by someone at the doorstep,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.
There remain serious questions to be answered in the case of the now three explosions that have rocked Austin, Texas, in recent weeks.
The incidents are among the most serious possible expressions of racist violence to mark the United States since Donald Trump came to power.
The president’s past response to similar incidents makes it an open question what if any significant response he will offer in this situation.
After the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, although the president went through the motions of offering condolences to the family of Heather Heyer, he also infamously refused to initially single out the white nationalists for any special condemnation.
Besides that incident, other high profile incidents of racism-driven violence include the shooting death of an Indian man in Kansas last year.
Throughout the incidents that have peppered his time in office, the president has routinely drawn criticism for not doing enough to speak out against the racism that plagues the United States.
At this point, expectations for the president are no doubt lower. His sensibilities when it comes to racism allowed him to use a slur against Native Americans while literally speaking in front of Native Americans.
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