Trump attacks the Black Lives Matter racial justice movement

United States President Donald Trump speaks at a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | fake pictures

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday launched his most direct attacks to date on the national Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice.

Taking advantage of a quote from a man who runs a fake Black Lives Matter group and a chant that is not popular with protesters, Trump suggested in tweets that the freely organized racial justice movement poses a threat.

Trump was quoting Walter “Hawk” Newsome, who was invited to Fox News earlier that day. In the same interview, Newsome also said that BLM activists should be applauded for arming themselves with weapons, and said that their threat to “burn this system” could be figurative or literal, depending on one’s point of view.

In his tweet, Trump falsely described Newsome as a “leader of the Black Lives Matter.” But in reality, Newsome has repeatedly infuriated the founders of the official Black Lives Matter movement by adopting its nickname and raising money, while taking a racial justice approach that is far more militant than the core branch of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Reached a comment on the Newsome interview with Fox News, a BLM spokesperson told CNBC: “As BLM has told Mr. Newsome in the past, and as it is still true today, Mr. Newsome’s group is not a chapter of BLM and has not entered into any agreement with BLM agreeing to adhere to the basic principles of BLM. ”

CNBC contacted the White House to ask if the president knew that Newsome was not actually a “leader of the Black Lives Matter,” but a spokesman did not respond to questions.

Exactly a minute after Trump tweeted the Newsome quote, he posted another tweet about BLM.

This time, Trump criticized New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s recently announced decision to paint a “Black Lives Matter” mural on Fifth Avenue in front of one of the Trump Towers, the site of Trump’s former residence. It is one of the five murals that are painted throughout the city.

Trump claims in the tweet that a song about killing the police is “his song”, referring to the Black Lives Matter movement. But that chant has not been popular with protesters in New York or anywhere else in the country following George Floyd’s murder in late May in Minneapolis.

Five minutes after the mural tweet, Trump tweeted: “LAW AND ORDER.” One of his most repeated phrases since the beginning of the national racial justice movement that was sparked by Floyd’s death.

The tweets are nearing the end of a week during which the president, closely following Democrat Joe Biden in presidential polls, has repeatedly tried to sow new racial divisions among Americans.

Over the past seven days, Trump has unleashed a racist nickname for the deadly coronavirus, demanded the restoration of a downed Confederate statue in Washington, tweeted out of context videos of black people attacking white people, tweeted a fake video allegedly showing a “racist baby” “and accused former President Barack Obama of” treason “.

By organizing the same culture wars that helped Trump win the White House in 2016, the president hopes to galvanize his main supporters and create a gap between suburban middle-class white voters and activists protesting in cities across the country.

However, polls increasingly show that Trump’s strategy is counterproductive. Rather than siding with Trump against the protests, some of which have turned violent, most Americans say the country’s leaders should focus on the underlying reasons for the protests and not crack down on them. protesters, even those who break the law.

A New York Times / Siena College poll released this week found that 63% of registered voters said they would rather endorse a presidential candidate “who focuses on the cause of the protests, even when the protests go too far.” Only 31% said they would rather support a candidate “who says we must be tough on protests that go too far.”