There was a tragic mass shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Tennessee, on April 22 that left four people dead and several more wounded, but it could have been worse if not for the heroic actions of a young man named James Shaw Jr.
An unarmed Shaw bravely wrestled the semiautomatic AR-15 rifle away from the gunman and forced him to flee, bringing an abrupt halt to the horrific massacre and undoubtedly saving several lives.
When Shaw recently appeared on CNN with host Van Jones to discuss the incident, Jones pointed out that the hero had yet to be publicly hailed as such by President Donald Trump — an obvious attempt to bait the young black man into saying something disparaging about the president in response to the perceived slight.
“You touched the whole world, I mean, all you have to say is ‘Waffle House hero,’ everybody knows who you are,” stated Jones. “Have you heard yet from President Trump?”
CNN's Van Jones tries to provoke an answer out of Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw Jr. by telling him that Trump has contacted Kanye West but not him.
Shaw's response is excellent, he is humble and a complete class act. pic.twitter.com/3okD38JGXz
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 6, 2018
Shaw replied, “At this time I haven’t heard anything, but that’s not to say he didn’t try to contact me or not.”
“So he hasn’t successfully contacted you,” pressed Jones. “You know, but he gave a shout-out to Kanye today, but no shout-out to you. How do you feel when the president of the United States misses an opportunity to hold up somebody who’s trying to do good stuff, like you?”
However, Shaw declined to take the obvious Trump-trashing bait dangled in front of him by Jones and offered up a rather humble and understanding reply instead.
“I know he has a busy agenda, busy schedule, maybe he just hasn’t got around to me. Maybe my time is coming,” said Shaw.
“It’s not for me to judge, really, what he does,” he added. “It’s just I did what I did and I didn’t really do it for recognition.”
What Jones failed to mention in that clip — but was reported on May 1 by USA Today and other media outlets — is that the Trump White House has indeed reached out to Shaw and was attempting to schedule a personal meeting at the White House between him and the president.
During the daily briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if Trump had called Shaw, and that is when the potential visit was revealed.
“My understanding is that there has been an outreach effort to bring him here to the White House, and I’ll keep you updated on that as I have more information,” she said.
Furthermore, Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter just days after the shooting and hailed Shaw as a hero whose focus was on aiding others, which would also undermine the implication from Jones that the administration was ignoring his brave actions.
Pence tweeted, “Tragic shooting in Tennessee earlier this week. Thanks James Shaw Jr. for your courageous actions to save lives and your continued efforts to help others. You’re an American HERO!”
There is no doubt that Jones wanted to insinuate that a racist Trump had ignored Shaw because the president hadn’t tweeted about him or spoken his name publicly — most likely because he is a young black man, in Jones’ view — but Shaw refused to take that bait and be used as a political pawn by the Trump haters in the media.
That’s a courageous act in and of itself these days, sadly.
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