I was born and raised in London and the vast majority of my family still resides there, so when I heard about the terrorist attack on London Bridge, I felt a sense of panic unlike the one I had during the Manchester attack. Of course any appalling act of violence is difficult to hear about, but when it’s close to home it becomes very, very real.
In the wake of the attacks, Londoners did what they always do — they banded together, showed extraordinary compassion to one another, and went on about their business without panicking (as seen by the legendary bloke holding his pint in the picture above who reportedly wouldn’t leave it in the pub after it was evacuated). Why? Because terrorism doesn’t work on Londoners as we’ve simply seen too much of it. From the Blitz to the IRA and Al Qaeda, Londoners are just too hard to scare into submission, and our mayor Sadiq Khan represents the very best of that resilient spirit — unlike Donald Trump, who represents the very worst of what to do in a crisis.
After the attack happened, Khan, who grew up in south London (around the corner from me), boxed as a youngster and became the first Muslim mayor of a major western capital, told Londoners that there was “no reason to be alarmed” by an increased in armed police presence in the city that day. Seeking to keep everyone calm, Khan told London that, “Metropolitan police are responding to the horrific terrorist attack at London Bridge and Borough Market. My thoughts are with everyone affected, and I’d like to thank the brave men and women of our emergency services who were first on the scene and will be working throughout the night.”
“This was a deliberate and cowardly attack on innocent Londoners and visitors to our city enjoying their Saturday night,” he continued. “I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. There is no justification whatsoever for such barbaric acts.”
Rather than show support for London in its time of need, Donald Trump weighed in with his fat little fingers tweeting out the following insulting message to the mayor:
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is "no reason to be alarmed!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
Khan refused to respond personally, but a spokesman for the mayor said the he had “more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks”. Instead of apologizing to the mayor — or at the very least leaving it alone — Trump decided to continue his war of words with Khan and fired off the following revolting tweet, hoping to sow fear and division amongst Londoners and the rest of the world:
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
The acting US ambassador to Britain, Lewis Lukens, defied the president and declared his support for Khan:
— U.S. Embassy London (@USAinUK) June 4, 2017
Khan has responded by stating that the U.K must now cancel Trump’s state visit. “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” he said on an interview with Channel 4 News.
“When you have a special relationship it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in times of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
The calls for Trump’s impending state visit to be cancelled are growing stronger by the day, and there is no way Londoners are going to stand for having a president who has expressed such abhorrent views towards Muslims (along with women and other minorities) in their city without an almighty demonstration.
As a Londoner, I echo the calls for his state visit to be cancelled immediately. Trump isn’t hard enough to mix it with Sadiq, and he’s not welcome there either. London is responding to terrorism without fear and without hate, so Donald can fuck right off and never interfere with my city ever again.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.