“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!” Trump tweeted in the early hours of Friday morning.
On May 1, Trump praised a group of protesters in Michigan who were armed with assault rifles and carrying signs with violent and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
“The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire,” Trump tweeted of the protesters, who were demanding a reopening of the state economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”
The rhetoric from those protesters was so violent that Facebook removed a group organizing a similar protest, as they were calling for violence against Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, including calls to “hang, behead, shoot, and beat” her, according to the MetroTimes, a Detroit news outlet.
In fact, Trump has egged on similar protests calling on governors to reopen the government in the wake of the coronavirus, even though those protests have gotten increasingly violent and ugly.
At a protest on Long Island on May 14, protesters held a sign that read, “Hang Fauci. Hang Gates. Open all our states.“
Trump also seemed to condone a protester who got in the face of a journalist who was simply reporting on the protest, retweeting a video of the incident with the comment, “people can’t get enough of this. Great people!”
Trump also infamously praised the white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, who were protesting the removal of Confederate monuments.
He said there were “very fine people” among the crowd of white supremacists, who chanted “blood and soil” and “you will not replace us” — which are white supremacist and anti-Semitic statements.
“If you look at what I said, you will see that that question was answered perfectly,” Trump said in April 2019 of his “very fine people” comment. “And I was talking about people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee, a great general.”
I have privilege as a white person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice:
I can go birding in the Park (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can go to church (#Charleston9)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.