It is unconscionable for the president of the United States to use his platform to call for the military to shoot people here at home.
Police or the national guard do not have authority to use lethal force unless their life or the life of someone else is in danger. Trump’s recommendation is flatly unconstitutional.
If Mr. Trump is truly concerned, as he claims, that he cannot “watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis,” he should demand an end to police violence against Black people, “Riots are the language of the unheard,” as Martin Luther King famously said, that it is “ morally irresponsible” to condemn them without “condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society.”
George Floyd was murdered by police in broad daylight. It took four days before even a single arrest was made. Mr. Floyd, however, was arrested on the spot by the men who murdered him over claims of a forged check. Video of his death makes it clear he did not resist arrest. His killers have a history of allegations of police misconduct.
They are not the only police who have been given impunity for carrying out violence against the citizens they are supposedly protecting. Time and time again we see police officers carry out brutality, even murder, and escape without any meaningful consequences. This is part of a “long narrative of American history of Black people being subjected to a different, more violent, inhumane, hateful, and retributive form of street justice”
When outraged people gathered on Tuesday night to protest they were met with tear gas and rubber bullets. There exists plenty of footage of police indiscriminately firing chemical irritants. Police also arrested this morning on live television a CNN correspondent.
These are the conditions that produced last night’s events.
Instead of racist demagogy, we recommend Mr. Trump do something to address the continued problem of police violence and white supremacy.
Unlike the president of the United States,we stand with those fighting for justice for George Floyd. We stand against police violence, white supremacy, and the culture of impunity for the powerful that enables it. We reject the dual track system of “justice” in which an allegation of check forgery results in an extrajudicial death sentence while the police murder of a human results in no charges. We support the right of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly free from police terror.
Note: We have declined to link to Mr. Trump’s tweets. It is well known that he thrives off attention and we do not wish to provide perverse incentives for his loathsome conduct. For context, we have included screenshots of the tweets in question.