With the President Hidden Away in His Bunker, Protests are Morphing into Anti-Trump Demonstrations
Each day since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Donald Trump has taken actions or issued statements that have inflamed tensions in America. Among other things, Trump has described the protesters as “thugs,” attacked Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey as “weak,” insisted that governors “dominate” the streets, gassed peaceful protesters in the capital, refused to discuss police reforms, threatened to use the military to quell dissent, built walls around the White House, and yesterday tweeted out a letter by his former lawyer that referred to demonstrators as “terrorists." The President has gone out of his way to denigrate and threaten protesters while refusing to acknowledge their legitimate concerns.
The President seems to have made the political calculation that the George Floyd protests will eventually anger older white voters who will turn to him to restore order. The former mayor of Charlottesville, Michael Signer, who held office during the clashes in 2017 between white nationalists and counter-protesters, thinks that Trump believes his strategy will appeal to his white nationalist base, motivating them to vote in November.
Perhaps, but it's also changing the nature of the protest movement which is now taking on a decidedly anti-Trump flavor. Numerous commentators and President Obama have noted that many whites and Hispanics have joined the demonstrations this week and after speaking with several middle-class white protesters in the last few days, I think there are several reasons for that.
First, America generally is saying, "enough is enough" to racism and police brutality. The undeniable cruelty evidenced in the Floyd tapes sickened us all and its happened far too often.
Second, there is a broad intersection of interests now that Trump has so prominently set himself up in opposition to the Floyd protest movement. To progressives, Trump's response to the killing of George Floyd is just another example of his repulsive white nationalist ideology and his outreach to bigots of every stripe. And, like Black Lives Matter activists, they understand that the President and his allies will stand in opposition to efforts to address inequality in all its various forms.
So, what you will see on the streets in the coming days is not just a condemnation of police brutality; it represents a denunciation of white nationalism, economic inequality, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and Trumpism. Maybe the President has finally found a way to unite America - in opposition to his presidency.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content