As riots and protests continue to rage across the country over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, the response from the right-wing has been fairly predictable.
There are those who reluctantly accept that the treatment of George Floyd was appalling but who condescendingly share photographs of Martin Luther King Jr.’s marches and say things like “THIS IS A PROTEST” as if they wouldn’t have cheered his assassination — and then there are those who openly fantasize about violently suppressing the protests and killing even more black men.
One prominent figure who falls into the latter camp is Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who prompted mockery on social media after calling for the 101st Airborne Division to be deployed to deal with these “Antifa terrorists” that the President and his team have decided are responsible for the vandalism and the looting.
Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.
If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let's see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they're facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.
We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2020
Unsurprisingly, President Trump himself endorsed this appalling idea this afternoon, shortly after blaming state governors for “weakness” and demanding they take harsher steps to stamp out the protests.
100% Correct. Thank you Tom! https://t.co/axdLX7kGNn
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2020
Undemocratic and authoritarian to his core, it’s no surprise that Trump is joining the sociopathic Cotton in fantasizing about the United States military massacring Black protesters en masse.
Rather than even attempt the difficult task of leading this country and bringing its people together after a horrific police killing, Trump has given up entirely and is content to let Rome burn while he cowers in the White House’s nuclear bunker, confident that if he simply tweets angrily enough the vehicles of state violence will restore order.
Having spent his entire real estate and entertainment career bullying and buying his enemies — and his sexual assault victims — into submission, Trump has had much less success trying to force the media and the people of this country into doing as he wants. His behavior throughout a year beset by crisis has made it unequivocally clear to everyone that he is both unfit and uninterested in the job he has been elected to do, and he’s about to find out the hard way that the police aren’t going to be able to save him from a humiliating defeat this November.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.