Ball Don’t Lie’s Eric Freeman recently relayed the sad news about Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four who was shot and killed outside the Parkway Garden Homes on Chicago’s South Side on Friday. Aldridge, who is the cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, was apparently an innocent bystander caught in the middle of a gunfight.
The NBA community, including Wade, reacted in measured tones about the murder:
My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal. #EnoughIsEnough
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) August 27, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, waited an entire day to politicize the tragedy as a sort of stump speech-cum-declaration on Saturday morning:
The immediate eye roll comes from the misspelling of Dwyane Wade’s name, but not only is this a common problem even for those that write about D-Wade (for years I filed automatic spellcheck-addled columns to Sports Illustrated’s website that mentioned “Dwayne Wade”), but also busy politicians. Then-presidential candidate John Kerry infamously once spoke of “Lambert Field” while stumping in Wisconsin in 2004, while the late former Boston mayor Thomas Menino repeatedly whiffed on the names of a series of local legends.
Trump, hours after originally posting it, deleted the original tweet. Not to change the content of his
character tone, but the spelling of Wade’s first name:
Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2016
You deleted the original because you spelled his name wrong but over a few hours saw nothing wrong with the content? https://t.co/DoCefBMrqN
— Adam Zopf (@adamzopf) August 27, 2016
You’d like to think that if the instinct to use a stranger’s name in order to boost your own election odds would pop up, you’d at least go out of your way to make sure the stranger’s name (no matter how famous the stranger is) would be spelled correctly. This would be treating the author in question as a rational human, however.
What should be offensive, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on or who you’re planning on voting for this November, is the idea that Trump would construct a tweet like this in the first place.
To pass on the plight of any number of grieving families that have lost a loved one to gun violence in order to shoehorn the (misspelled) name of a famous person into 140 characters, and immediately associate that famous person’s race and loss with the apparent confirmation that millions of people will follow in lockstep in a national election’s voting process due to this horrific news.
Others didn’t strive for the level of tact I attempted to approximate above:
.@realDonaldTrump It's actually spelled "Dwyane." But, other than that, perfect tweet!
— joe mande (@JoeMande) August 27, 2016
All politicians are shameless opportunists, but it's stories like Dwyane Wade's cousin being shot that gets Trump out of bed with a smile.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 27, 2016
Don't use her name and don't spell his name correctly, though. https://t.co/pw4HOFL46J
— Vice President Tim (@TimBaffoe) August 27, 2016
Dems: Tragic, and it's guns
GOP: Tragic, but it's culture
Trump: This is what I've been tellin' those blacks. I'm awesome.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) August 27, 2016
If someone said this at a party, you would throw your drink in their face and leave. https://t.co/M5Yfln9Faf
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) August 27, 2016
Trump uses tragedy for political gain. But he's not after the black vote. He wants whites to think he's not racist. https://t.co/gAGAVM8xAs
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 27, 2016
America needs a leader who is not too "politically correct" to say: "This senseless tragedy will be great for me!" https://t.co/a6gNF4SLy0
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) August 27, 2016
That Trump tweet about Wade was one of the most disgusting tweets I've ever seen on this medium. That's really saying something
— Bryan Gibberman (@Gibberman10) August 27, 2016
We left our personal politics out of this post, to the best of our ability. We doubt that the comment section will continue apace with that particular tone. Have at it.
– – – – – – –