Timothy Caughman

The violence on Westminster Bridge last week was a horror, but so was this:

His name was Timothy Caughman. He was from Manhattan and was 66 when he died. The police say he was stabbed on Monday night by a 28-year-old man who had come to New York City from Baltimore looking to kill black men. It was Mr. Caughman’s misfortune to be male and black when the stranger with a 26-inch sword approached on Ninth Avenue near 36th Street, around the corner from where he lived.

We don’t know much else about Mr. Caughman, but the persona he shared with the world on Twitter was that of a man of buoyant outlook and varied interests, who was amused by many things, fond of music and movies, captivated by celebrities. His profile says he was a “can and bottle recycler” and collector of autographs. “I would love to visit California,” it says. A selfie shows him waiting in line to vote and declaring his love for America. His Twitter feed is generous with condolences for celebrities: for Chuck Berry, Joni Sledge, Al Jarreau. On St. Patrick’s Day he retweeted a photograph of the athletes of Team Ireland competing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

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On Thursday, President Trump sent prayers and condolences via Twitter to the family and friends of Kurt Cochran, an American killed in a terrorist rampage in London. He called Mr. Cochran “a great American.” He did not tweet about his fellow New Yorker, Mr. Caughman.

Mr. Trump is easily provoked to outrage. But he seems unable to summon that emotion on behalf of Mr. Caughman, who was poor and black and lived in a shelter for homeless people with H.I.V. and AIDS. Maybe he’s not that kind of president.

No, he’s not.

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