Forever circling out of control in his own egomania, President Donald Trump has not really ever gotten out from under the shadow of large protest presences during his time in office. Now, a coalition of groups have unveiled plans to protest the president during his planned visit to Baltimore this week, where he will be speaking at the annual legislative strategy retreat for GOP lawmakers and their allies. The visit is unfolding only a short while after Trump denounced the city as “rat and rodent infested” and claimed “no human being would want to live there,” but other topics are on local protesters’ minds too, including the president’s incessant belligerent racism.
Organizer Miranda Bachman asserted:
‘The people of Baltimore, especially young people, are deeply opposed to Trump’s policies of racism and division, whether it’s his attacks on migrants or refugees or his not so veiled racist attacks on Black and Brown people.’
It’s true — many have noted that a significant portion of those in Congress who Trump has singled out during his comparatively short time in office so far have been people of color. This trend stretches from his incessant criticisms of Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings to his insistence that the four progressive women of color in Congress nicknamed “The Squad” should “go back where they came from” — an idea he happily presided over a rally crowd of his belting out via a chant “Send her back!” targeting one of those members of Congress, Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar.
These sentiments have consequences. It wasn’t that long ago that a white supremacist using the exact same rhetoric as Trump about a supposed Hispanic “invasion” attacked a Walmart in the immigrant community of El Paso, Texas, where he killed 22 people and wounded many more. Trump refused to disavow the “invasion” rhetoric following that incident.
As fellow Baltimore-area protest organizer Sharon Black put it:
‘While Trump may not have pulled the trigger in El Paso, he loaded the gun when he called on his supporters to take things into their own hands. Trump’s base of supporters includes… neo-Nazis and white supremacists. We need unity and solidarity which is one of the major reasons we are protesting.’
The issues don’t end there. Black added, continuing to discuss Trump on the eve of his visit:
‘He is ramping up hate to divide people to weaken any movement to oppose the rich getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer.’
Organized through the collaborative work of groups including ICE Out of Baltimore, Peoples Power Assembly, and Youth Against War & Racism, Black and Bachman’s protest will get underway at 4 P.M. on Thursday near the hotel where the retreat is being held — which is a notable venue choice in the first place, if Baltimore is as truly oh-so-scary as Trump claims.
There are other events planned for the weekend too, including an LGBTQ community “Dance party” planned for Friday night and an event bringing attention to the climate crisis planned for the following day. In both cases, the GOP has consistently fallen short, pushing LGBTQ rights and basic science about the climate aside.