Donald Trump has repeatedly made it to the cover of TIME Magazine in past years. A few have been flattering while several have been rather harsh. The magazine’s latest cover is a massive example of the latter as the US President is seen hovering over a crying toddler in a bid to highlight the issue of separating children from immigrant families at the US-Mexico border.
Trump’s rather audacious policy of taking children away from immigrant families was much slammed by many, including people believed to be close to him. Wife Melania recently said it broke her heart to see babies taken away from families at the border. Since, the policy has been withdrawn but the backlash continues with the latest TIME’s cover only adding as a catalyst to the raging controversy.
In the cover, a two-year-old Honduran child, whose mother was reportedly detained in Texas, is seen crying even as a juxtaposed photo of Trump – with a trademark smug on his face – is depicted as hovering over her. The photo of the girl was shot by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore for Getty. Moore told TIME Magazine that it was difficult for him to shoot the photo because of the situation that prevailed on ground at the time. “As soon as it was over, they were put in a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths. All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t,” he was quoted as saying.
The simple and yet bold cover – against a backdrop of deep red and with the words ‘Welcome to America’, has clearly delivered a metaphorical blow to Trump – who has largely been seen as someone incapable of being compassionate and judging the world from a position of privilege. “The simple fact is that compassion and empathy are not strong suits for this President. Never have been, never will be. He knows — and relies on — his experience, and not much else. His ability to cast himself into the shoes of others — particularly those less fortunate than him — is minimal. And his interest in doing so is even smaller,” wrote Chris Cillizza in an analysis of the TIME cover for CNN.
And while many are – on expected lines – completely outraged and shocked at Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies that are detrimental for small children, there are a few who have questioned why TIME had to use two photos – of the child and Trump – taken at different times and put it on its cover. “I see it as an insensitive and exploitative play to sell magazines — and one that, albeit unintentionally, offers up this personal tragedy to be memed and ridiculed,” wrote Kainaz Amaria for Vox. “If the image was so powerful, then why not just let that moment be the cover?”
While everyone has the right to their respective opinion, there is no denying that the issue of child-separation at the border has been put into prominent spotlight by the latest magazine cover going viral at lightning speed around the world.