Last night saw the President of the United States stage one of the most breathtakingly cynical and flagrantly performative photo-ops to ever disgrace American history.
Bristling at the thought of being mocked for cowering in the White House behind an army of Secret Service members and National Guardsmen, Trump decided he needed a quick photo-op for FOX and Friends to fawn over and for his legions of chud neckbeards to make memes of.
So he had the cops unleash a wave of tear gas against protesters in a nearby park, strolled through and had his photo-op by a church that had been damaged during the rioting, complete a wave of his “Bible” to satisfy his evangelical supporters.
In preparing for the photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, it turns out the cops “expelled” a priest and a seminarian from the Church’s patio and teargassed a rector.
Rector Gini Gerbasi of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown was at the site, helping hand out water and hand sanitizer to the peaceful protesters in the park when all of a sudden she heard explosions.
Writing on Facebook, Gerbasi describes the horrifying scene:
“Suddenly, around 6:30, there was more tear gas, more concussion grenades, and I think I saw someone hit by a rubber bullet – he was grasping his stomach and there was a mark on his shirt. The police in their riot gear were literally walking onto the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with these metal shields, pushing people off the patio and driving them back. People were running at us as the police advanced toward us from the other side of the patio.
We were literally DRIVEN OFF of the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with tear gas and concussion grenades and police in full riot gear. We were pushed back 20 feet, and then eventually – with SO MANY concussion grenades – back to K street. By the time I got back to my car, around 7, I was getting texts from people saying that Trump was outside of St. John’s, Lafayette Square. I literally COULD NOT believe it. WE WERE DRIVEN OFF OF THE PATIO AT ST. JOHN’S – a place of peace and respite and medical care throughout the day – SO THAT MAN COULD HAVE A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH!!! PEOPLE WERE HURT SO THAT HE COULD POSE IN FRONT OF THE CHURCH WITH A BIBLE! HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO STEP OVER THE MEDICAL SUPPLIES WE LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE WE WERE BEING TEAR GASSED!!!!”
This incident perfectly encapsulates the Republican Party’s approach to governance: senseless, uncaring violence mixed with a laughably insincere pretense to religiosity. While there have been endless outrages and atrocious moments from President Trump that boggle the mind in their nihilistic cruelty and shocking selfishness, this is might be the rockiest of bottoms for perhaps the most unrepentantly sinful man in modern history.
Read Gerbasi’s full post here:
Colin Taylor is the 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.