This week, Minneapolis has been rocked by protests following the police murder of local black man George Floyd. The protests have grown increasingly intense; as of Friday morning, not a single cop involved in Floyd’s murder had been criminally charged, but demonstrators stormed the local police precinct where they were based and set it on fire this week. In response to the latest intensification of tension, President Donald Trump rushed to Twitter with what seemed like a threat to send the military out against the demonstrators, threateningly insisting that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” First Lady Melania Trump also spoke out, admonishing observers against violence — as if her own husband hadn’t seemed to threaten to send the military out against protesters he didn’t like just hours beforehand.
When the protesters are white vs when the protesters are black pic.twitter.com/sZ0NLiaq0S
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 29, 2020
‘Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence. I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing.’
Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence. I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let's focus on peace, prayers & healing.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 29, 2020
“Thoughts and prayers” aren’t going to bring George Floyd back from the dead, and neither will they erase the violent murders by police officers of many other black individuals around the United States. Melania’s conveniently selective rollout of this call against violence ignores these facts. Besides, where was this supposed outrage when heavily armed demonstrators recently stormed the Michigan state capitol building in protest of that state’s Coronavirus-induced lockdown orders? Those violent demonstrators were largely white Trump supporters — and they got praise from the president.
Here’s the official White House account calling for protesters in Minneapolis to be shot pic.twitter.com/JQSIQIp2Xd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 29, 2020
CNN political commentator Joe Lockhart pointedly asked in the replies to Melania’s tweet:
‘Why then is your husband calling for shooting the looters. Do you agree. If you don’t, could you have a word with him if you see him in the next couple of days?’
Why then is your husband calling for shooting the looters. Do you agree. If you don't, could you have a word with him if you see him in the next couple of days?
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) May 29, 2020
Check out more Twitter responses to the First Lady below:
No it doesn’t. When @Kaepernick7 kneeled to protest exactly what happen to George Floyd your husband amd his supporters attacked him nonstop. Just admit there is no way black ppl can protest that will be acceptable to certain people. https://t.co/DFtOu11s10
— Kirsten Powers (@KirstenPowers) May 29, 2020
— Jon Ott washes his hands a lot (@OriginalJLP) May 29, 2020
Meanwhile, in the west wing, the president's considering a nuclear test to intimidate China. But "there is no reason for violence." Leaders set examples, ma'am. https://t.co/Cf9aqIDz7X
— Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) May 29, 2020
The man who peacefully protested against systemic racism and police brutality was called a "Son of a Bitch" by your idiot husband and lost his job. Let's not focus on peace and prayers, let's focus on change! https://t.co/GiX1QANOKZ
— Teresa Kaepernick (@TessKap) May 29, 2020
— The Hardy Report Podcast (@EdwardTHardy) May 29, 2020