US President Donald Trump recently talked to a group of student survivors and their families affected by the school shooting in Florida during a listening session at the White House. But what caught the attention of people was the notecard he was holding with a list of talking points including “I hear you”.
It also included questions like: 1) What would you most want me to know about your experience?” “2) What can we do to help you feel safe?” and, “4) Resources? Ideas?”
People criticized Trump for needing a cheat sheet to remind him to show empathy and compassion. Most people were also baffled by the fact that he needed to have someone write down what he has to say when meeting people, students in particular, who have watched their friends get murdered in their school. To them, it just shows how much Trump lacks empathy.
"I hear you."
When you need cliff notes for expressing empathy. https://t.co/ADRw4ICenz
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) February 22, 2018
Trump has to have notes that remind him to have empathy and compassion. https://t.co/WLNdCxLo5u
— Jenna Mullins🤷🏼♀️ (@JBomb11) February 21, 2018
To help him simulate human reactions, Trump's minders gave him a cheat sheet that prompted him to say things like "I hear you" during the WH listening session on the #Parkland shootings. [@AP Photo by Carolyn Kaster] pic.twitter.com/cEyVNDlvjU
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) February 21, 2018
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 22, 2018
Some couldn’t understand why the three words still needed to be written down for him to remember.
He couldn’t memorize I HEAR YOU ?
— Dan Joseph (@Real_Dan_Joseph) February 22, 2018
*Pre-Listening Session Meeting*
Trump: What should I say?
Aide: Well it's a listening session, so you should say you hear them
Aide: Say "I hear you"
Trump: Write that down I won't remember
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) February 22, 2018
"what is this again"
"a listening session sir"
"i wrote it down for you sir"
— darth™ (@darth) February 21, 2018
Others had some things to add to his list:
6) Whatever you do, DON’T LET ANYONE SEE THIS LIST! https://t.co/2VvSW9gYRP
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) February 22, 2018
— Parsimoniously Yours (@OverclocktRobot) February 22, 2018
Trump, looks at notes: what can we do to make you feel safer?
Kids: things need to change
Trump, looks at notes: I hear you
Kids: we need stricter gun control
Trump, looks at notes: pic.twitter.com/G5Hi8DeNTi
— David Hughes (@david8hughes) February 21, 2018
Despite being prepared with a note, Trump apparently didn’t say the words “I hear you”. Instead, he said sentiments like “I just grieve for you” and “nothing worse”.
Note that Trump didn’t say “I hear you” or the other talking points someone wrote for him on a White House notecard. He said, “I just grieve for you,” and “nothing worse” and other sentiments. https://t.co/8j0jE99Gxp
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 21, 2018
Last February 14, Valentine’s Day turned into a tragedy for the high school students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after a gunman opened fire at the school and killed 17 people. The students who survived the shooting rallied on the streets to protest against gun violence while others, including celebrities, are pushing for gun control.
After Trump talked about the tragic incident and visited the survivors in hospitals, some made a comparison of how he and former president Barack Obama responded to national tragedies like mass-shootings.
The visual difference between Trump and Obama when talking about or visiting the aftermath of a school shooting is striking. Did anyone tell Trump it’s not a celebration? pic.twitter.com/cgwy32ql8S
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 17, 2018
Both these pictures were taken after national tragedies. Guess which president is a sociopath just posing and which one is capable of genuine empathy. pic.twitter.com/F7Qm7Y0l5H
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) February 17, 2018
Obama’s reaction to slaughtered American children was tears.
Trump’s reaction to slaughtered American children was a smile and a thumbs up.
Another jarring juxtaposition. pic.twitter.com/LgDMaFZ8dP
— eli friedmann (@eligit) February 17, 2018
The worst part for them? Obama was seen alone in a classroom after meeting the families of the Sandy Hook massacre victims in 2012; he attended a prayer vigil for them afterwards. Meanwhile, Trump attended a party after visiting the survivors of the Parkland shooting.
1: After meeting with families of the Sandy Hook victims for hours, Obama sat alone in a classroom before attending a prayer vigil.
2: After visiting with the wounded in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, Trump attends a Studio 54 themed party at Mar-a-Lago. pic.twitter.com/AmZSHMyGhP
— SeriouslyUS? (@USseriously) February 18, 2018
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