President Donald Trump responded to unrest in Minneapolis over the police murder of local black man George Floyd by appearing to threaten to have the military shoot the protesters. In stark contrast, former President Barack Obama spoke out this Friday with a carefully composed message admonishing Americans to deeply consider the circumstances that have led up to this moment, including the rampant racism that has plagued black Americans for decades — and centuries — on end. The contrast between the messages from Obama and Trump couldn’t have been more pointed.
Obama noted the “anguish” that he and millions of others share over the Minneapolis situation, and he added:
‘It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park. This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be “normal.” If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must do better.’
Nothing along those lines has so far been uttered by the current president of the United States, Donald Trump. Check out Obama’s full statement below:
My statement on the death of George Floyd: pic.twitter.com/Hg1k9JHT6R
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 29, 2020
In his own commentary, Trump had threateningly insisted that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” as if he was plotting ways to murder protesters whose cause he didn’t happen to particularly care for. Twitter censored that particular post from the president, attaching a notice that the tweet broke its terms of service banning “glorifying violence.”
NEW: Twitter says President Trump violated its rules against glorifying violence, places public notice on his tweet: "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the tweet on Twitter." https://t.co/WaWUCXh09R
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 29, 2020
In contrast, when heavily armed — and white, Trump-supporting — demonstrators stormed the Michigan state capitol building in a recent protest against that state’s Coronavirus-induced lockdown orders, the president didn’t just say nothing. He actively praised the violent demonstrators as supposedly “very good people.” The double standard is obvious.
When the protesters are white vs when the protesters are black pic.twitter.com/sZ0NLiaq0S
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 29, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Obama below: