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Trump Retweets Video of One of His Supporters Saying 'White Power'

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Trump Retweets Video of One of His Supporters Saying 'White Power'

2020-06-29 13:52:54

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Comons)

Donald Trump is continuing to push and fight for all the same things. With racial unrest and an unyielding pandemic around him, he either concentrates on things that carry much less significance or fans the flames. On Sunday he retweeted a video of some of his supporters yelling about white supremacy and remarked that they were "great people."

The tweet was eventually removed but not before it had been seen, and the White House is contending that Trump had not heard the controversial comment before he shared the video. But it's difficult to believe it wasn't something he meant to do, as it follows a pattern.

The video was filmed on Trump's birthday at the Villages retirement community in Florida. It shows a golf cart parade carrying Trump supporters. An elderly white man in a golf cart bearing Trump signs is asked by a counterprotester, "Where's your white hood?" The elderly man responds with, "White power," saying it twice while shaking and raising his fist. A woman sitting next to him in the golf cart yells out, "Trump! Trump!"

In his retweet, Trump commented, "Thank you to the great people of the Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!!"

The "great people" portion of his comment reflects on a comment from 2017 when Trump said of a white supremacist march in Charlottesville that there were "very fine people on both sides."

"There's no question: he should not have retweeted it; he should just take it down," said the only black Republican senator, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think it's indefensible."

The Twitter police can't always save Trump. This time they left him out to dry rather than block his post and reprimand him. Regardless, the tweet was removed, assumably by Trump or someone in his camp, but still stood for at least 90 minutes.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere was asked about the tweet and said," President Trump is a big fan of the Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters."

The senator wasn't the only one speaking out against Trump's tweet that reflected white supremacy values. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, connected it to Charlottesville, writing, "Today the president shared a video of people shouting 'white power' and said they were 'great.' Just like he did after Charlottesville. We're in a battle for the soul of the nation — and the president has picked a side. But make no mistake: it's a battle we will win."

"This isn't 'racially charged,' racially tinged," or sparked by 'racial anxiety,' " added former Housing and Urban Development secretary, Julián Castro, one of Biden's competitors for the nomination. "This is racist, white supremacist language amplified by the President of the United States."

Even Trump ally Ryan Saavedra, a conservative writer, noted the "stupidity" of Trump's tweet. "Had dinner with a bunch of Trump supporters last week who plan on voting for him in 2020. There is 1-thing they all agreed on: he needs to stop with the stupid tweets and comments. A lot of his supporters are getting fatigued by the constant drama," he tweeted.

If it was an isolated incident, a case could be made to forgive Trump for this tweet. But it's not isolated. He has continued to fan the flames of the racial unrest happening around us that was kicked into high gear after George Floyd died at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.

At two of his political rallies, Trump referred to COVID-19 as the "kung flu." The first rally was initially set for Juneteenth. After criticism, the rally was moved to the following day, but he claimed he made the holiday "very famous." Facebook recently reactivated dozens of Trump campaign ads that included a symbol previously used by Nazis to label political prisoners in concentration camps.

With all this unrest and violence from the protests, along with the coronavirus pandemic that's gotten out of control, Trump continues to focus on all the wrong things. Along with tweeting this "white supremacy" video, he is stating emphatically that he'll block any effort to stop celebrating Confederate leaders. 

He has pledged to block all efforts to change the names of military bases and to take down statues. But he can't put forth the same effort to get the country all on track to beat the pandemic or to insist on police reform and to call out what happened to Floyd and others as wrong.

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