In their flailing efforts to blame President Donald Trump for the actions of a lone police officer in Minneapolis, the mainstream media is once again twisting the president’s words to make it appear as if he made a racist statement, when in fact, the opposite is true.
Late Thursday night, the president tweeted a message to those who would burn buildings and loot defenseless stores in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The tweet was obviously meant as a warning to people who would destroy a major American city, but the anti-Trump mainstream media and Twitter itself saw it as another opportunity to portray the president as a racist, despite all evidence to the contrary.
“I can’t stand back and watch this happen to a great American city, Minneapolis,” Trump’s tweet began. After criticizing the city’s mayor Jacob Frey and threatening National Guard action, came the offending portion of the tweet.
“…These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” the tweet read.
Twitter flagged the tweet with a warning claiming that it ran afoul of the company’s policy about glorifying violence. “This Tweet violated the Twitter rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
How the tweet “glorified violence” is a mystery to everyone but the thought police at Twitter. But that obvious truth was lost on the mainstream media, which quickly compared it to a similar remark made by former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967.
Headley was outlining his department’s efforts to deal with possible violence associated with civil rights protests of the era and described their plan to “combat young hoodlums who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign.” Later in the speech, Headley stated that the plan was successful “because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The New York Times and the AP referred to Trump’s tweet as “incendiary.” David Frum in The Atlantic claimed that it was Trump who was the looter and accused the president of wishing the death penalty on the looters in Minneapolis. The Washington Post claimed the president made “conspicuous allusions to violence.”
No. He was explaining what would happen, and at least some of what Trump predicted did happen. The National Guard was called in to assist in restoring order. Thankfully, as of this writing, they haven’t had to shoot anyone.
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden accused the president of causing violence, saying it was “no time for incendiary tweets, no time to incite violence.” Biden also claimed that the president was “calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain.”
And Minnesota’s Governor Walz spoke out against the tweets as well. “It’s not helpful,” Walz said. “Anything we do to add fuel to that fire is really, really challenging.”
Race activist Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, said of the president’s tweets: “This is a clear representation of a president who has always seen those who stand up to injustice as enemy combatants, and has been uninterested — at every turn — in the role of uniting people.”
But the president was clearly referring to those who looted stores and set fire to buildings. Are those the people who are standing up to injustice? Protesting is fine — it’s American, and and “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” is enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as it should be. But when those protests become fires and destruction and injuries and death, they cross the line from peaceful protests into riots. And riots cannot be excused or condoned — ever. Even if the cause is just, two wrongs do not make a right.
Many in the media accused Trump of “walking back” from his earlier remarks. But if you actually read what the president is posting, you realize that he’s walking back nothing. If anything, he’s doubling down.
In an explanatory tweet, the president wrote: “Looting leads to shooting, and that’s why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night — or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot. I don’t want this to happen and that’s what the expression put out last night means…”
Trump continued, “…it was spoken as a fact, not as a statement. It’s very simple, nobody should have a problem with this other than the haters, and those looking to cause trouble on social media. Honor the memory of George Floyd!”
Unlike the looters and those looking to gain political traction from Floyd’s death, Trump has actually spoken with Floyd’s family.
“I just expressed my sorrow,” Trump told reporters. “He was in tremendous pain obviously, and couldn’t breathe. And it was very obvious to anybody that watched it.”
The Floyd situation in Minneapolis has occurred when America seems to be on a knife’s edge. After months of stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and mask-wearing, people seem ready to explode. With (in many places) no sporting events to watch, no taverns to frequent, and (most significantly) no church to go to, there seems no respite from the rage that is now rearing its ugly head in America.
Photo of President Trump: AP Images