In a time of need, Trump hid. In a time of guidance, Trump was in the White House with the lights off. In a time when leadership was needed, Trump gave no reassurance or advice to Americans.
When Trump eventually spoke out about the way that Black people are treated, he was disrespectful to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the protesters. In a series of tweets, Trump called the protesters “thugs,” “lowlifes,” “losers,” and went as far as to say that a group of protesters are “terrorists.” Cameras show the police officers in the most “thuggish” way possible. There have been undercover officers caught on camera looting, beating protesters for no reason, tear-gassing small children, pushing violence on the protest and creating riots among the protesters.
Students have strong feelings about the actions of Trump. “Donald Trump is a racist coward, and he is not my president,” junior Liya Bogale said.
The president’s words did not assuage many people in the community and in fact, caused them pain. Americans are determined to show Trump that they are not the people he described and how change needs to happen. “I think that Trump’s response to the protest was very inappropriate, but it made me want to go out even more and fight for Black lives even harder. I’ve been to a protest and I’m going to not only show Trump but show to the world that Black lives matter,” junior Samiyah Hester said.
Trump has also said that the National Guard is an option for New York City and Minneapolis to get the protesters and riots under control. After he posted those tweets and the protest and riots persisted, Trump tweeted again, threatening the mayor of Minneapolis, “I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American city, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left mayor, Jacob Fey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or I will send in the national guard & get the job done,” Trump said.
Social media companies have pushed back against Trump’s rhetoric. Trump also tweeted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Twitter put a warning on Trump’s tweet because it “glorified violence.” Twitter also took down Trump’s campaign tribute to George Floyd because there was a copyright complaint attached to it.
Trump recently made a statement to the press stating that “justice will be served,” but the violence needs to stop. His solution to stopping the violence is to deploy the National Guard and possibly the U.S. military. This infuriates people and they feel as if they need to do more in order to be heard. “I understand why people feel that riots are getting out of hand but this rioting and protesting and voicing our opinion is the only way we are being heard,” junior Lena Ware said.
On June 5 Trump held a press conference where he said he was excited to announce how well the economy is doing. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was quick to point out how this achievement that Trump was celebrating did not include Black Americans. According to The New York Times, the unemployment rate for black Americans has risen from 16.7 percent to 16.8 percent in the month of May. Biden and others were aggravated that Trump would call this an economic victory when that is not the case for everyone. “The fact that he did so on a day when Black unemployment rose tells you everything you need to know about this man,” Biden said to The New York Times.
During this press conference, Trump disrespected George Floyd by diminishing his death. “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality,” Trump said. On the day George Floyd was wrongfully murdered he did not set out to change the world for anyone, but his death is the reason why we need to change the world. Trump should not put words and thoughts into George Floyd’s mouth as Floyd has been stripped of the right to speak for himself.
Trump then proceeded to tweet out a video of Candace Owens, a Black Trump supporter who has questioned George Floyd being “martyr” for the protests, saying, “George Floyd was not a good person.” After that video was tweeted out it was even more evident that Trump does not understand what the issue in this country truly is. Black Americans have faced centuries of violence, persecution and injustice. This must change. This country needs a president who works to make this change happen, rather than fans the flames of hatred and bigotry.