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James Shaw, Jr.: American Hero

Despite being ignored completely by Donald Trump, James Shaw shows that he embodies the word "hero" in a way we should all admire.

Do you remember that after the Parkland shooting in which seventeen were killed and seventeen others were shot, that Donald Trump's response to the keening pain and frustration that children cannot be safe in schools from being shot was to claim that had he been there, he would undoubtedly rush into the school to confront the shooter?

Okay, stop laughing now.

James Shaw, Jr. actually did that. When the Waffle House shooter entered into the restaurant, after having shot and killed two people in the parking lot, Shaw waited for the need to reload a new magazine to rush the shooter and grab the AR-15 away from him (sustaining serious burns on his hands for grabbing the hot barrel). One can only shudder at how many more lives would have been lost if the shooter had large capacity magazines.

But James Shaw was not done being a hero.

Shaw opened up a GoFundMe account to pay for the funeral services of the victims. He had hoped to raise $15,000. According to ABC News, he raised $188,000. Shaw has promised all proceeds will go to the families. "All I can say is ... this was a true test of a man. I do, once again, apologize to the people that lost loved ones, friends or family."

Imagine the Cheeto Mussolini being that selfless. It's impossible. In fact, he's not mentioned Shaw once, neither in speeches, press gatherings, nor even in his favored tweets. It's almost as if having an unarmed black man being a hero against another white man with a gun is a narrative that just doesn't compute.

New York Magazine reporter Yasher Ali was so moved by Shaw's story--as well as his devotion to his four year old daughter--that he set up a GoFundMe account to thank Shaw for his heroism. To date, he has raised $198,000.

This world could use a whole lot more James Shaws.


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