Back in September, when the earth was still round, the sky still blue, and rain still wet, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton uttered her now infamous “deplorables” remark. Here’s the quote, courtesy of Time.com:
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.” [Emphasis mine]
At the time, the remark was taken as a base insult by the vast majority of voters who were more inclined to vote for Trump and less inclined to vote for Clinton. They knew themselves to be neither racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, nor Islamaphobic and they resented the accusation that they were motivated by malice.
Henceforth, Trump supporters embraced the term “deplorables,” in an ironic rejection of Clinton’s smear. The remark may have contributed to Clinton’s undoing in an election where voters were, shall we say, not kindly disposed to the status quo.
On Wednesday, February 22, a “deplorable” surfaced in an Olathe, Kansas, bar and murdered one man and shot two others.
In the incident Wednesday night at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, witnesses said a man told the two engineers to “get out of my country” before shooting one dead and wounding the other. A third man who tried to intervene was also shot. Kansascity.com
Adam Purinton, a down-on-his-luck Navy veteran from a nearby subdivision, told a bartender 80 miles away – in Clinton, MO, of all places – that he had shot two Middle Easterners. His targets were actually men from India, legally in the area and working in the tech industry. The dead man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was a 32 year old engineer at Garmin. The other target, Alok Madasani, was also here from India on a H1-B visa for immigrants with special skills. In India, the families of both men are understandably distraught, and cautioning other families against sending their young people to the US.
The third victim of the shooting is 24 year old Ian Grillot, who clearly is not “deplorable;” he is being called a hero for going after the shooter to prevent him from shooting anyone else. Grillot thought he had counted nine shots but said he must have miscounted, because the assailant had a bullet left for him.
For me, as one who deplored Hillary’s remark about the deplorables, the moral of the story is there really are deplorables out there, motivated by malice, and determined to act on their disgusting intentions. I have no difficulty finding a label to hang on Mr. Purinton and any like-minded creatures of the dark side: Evil.