Protests continued to rage across the nation yesterday and several of them turned violent last night. In Louisville Kentucky activists took to the streets to protest the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the protesters were fired upon by police. At least seven people were wounded. In Columbus Ohio rioters looted and destroyed a number of businesses near the state house. And the Minneapolis police barracks where the cops who killed George Floyd were stationed was surrounded by protesters and eventually set on fire. It seems likely that the rioting could continue until the police who killed Floyd are arrested.
President Trump took to Twitter after midnight to politicize the rioting and stoke the radical Trump base, posting this about Minneapolis:
….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!
First, calling the protesters “thugs” was a racial epithet in this context. Second, the military is not generally allowed to intervene in a state matters–each state’s National Guard is under the control of each governor. Third, Trump was clearly promoting VIOLENCE and extrajudicial execution. Twitter erupted in anger and Trump’s tweet was reported to Twitter management by countless users for glorifying violence.
Earlier in the day Trump had issued an executive order rescinding laws passed by Congress to protect internet platforms like Twitter and Facebook from libel lawsuits. The order sprang from Trump’s anger that Twitter had placed a fact-check warning on one of his (blatantly misleading and inaccurate) tweets. Ironically, the person most negatively impacted by this order might be Trump himself, as it would push platforms to more aggressively police posts for accuracy. But most legal scholars agreed that the order was likely unenforceable and would be rejected by courts because it went against the will of Congress as expressed in legislation. The president can’t undo laws to suit his whims. So it almost seemed like his promotion of violence last night (he also retweeted a post the night before that said “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”) was meant as a taunt to Twitter. And Twitter called his bluff. They covered his tweet with this warning:
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.
Trump will almost certainly wail and whine about the disclaimer and try to use it to show his cult how unfair the mean internet companies have been to him. But we can’t let the grotesque content of Trump’s tweet be overshadowed by his tantrums. He’s actively stoking violence and dividing people. He’s threatening military intervention in a domestic matter which is Chapter One of the Dictator Playbook. Every day we suffer a new low, a new scandal, a new stain on the presidency from the manifestly unfit divider-in-chief.
Trump’s corrupt regime also announced yesterday that they won’t be releasing their usual economic projections this summer. The White House said that because the pandemic has created extreme economic volatility, they will break with decades of tradition and forgo their usual projections. In other words, the White House won’t do anything that risks shining a light on the economic catastrophe that it has contributed to. Perhaps they hope that if they ignore it, it will go away.
We have to make sure THEY go away in November.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
Have a peaceful weekend.