Donald Trump claims he wants “LAW & ORDER.”
At least, that’s what he seems to be tweeting out on a daily basis these days.
However, setting aside for the moment the fact that the president has undermined the rule of law in this country as it pertains to his own behavior, it appears that what Trump is really advocating is not law and order but vigilantism.
That’s the logical conclusion to draw from the president’s retweeting of an ABC News story about an armed confrontation between what appears to be a well-heeled white couple standing in front of their stately mansion brandishing an automatic weapon and a handgun as a group of protestors marched towards the mayor’s home in St. Louis, Missouri yesterday evening.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 29, 2020
The crowd of racially-diverse protestors was headed to demand the resignation of the mayor after she used an online briefing to dox the identities of several St. Louis residents who had called for defunding the city’s police department to reallocate some of that funding to other social services, reading their names and addresses aloud and essentially putting targets on their backs for retaliation by exactly the type of vigilantes that the protestors encountered on their way.
Judging by the maskless state of the couple in the video, their apparent paranoia was not motivated concerns about contracting COVID-19 from the largely masked crowd marching by their doors.
Instead, it seems as if this unidentified, but apparently ostentatiously wealthy, couple — who could have come straight out of central casting, given their stereotypical attire — had been consuming a steady diet of Trump’s divisive “LAW & ORDER” rhetoric and were ready to put a load of bullets in the gut of any demonstrator who dared to step towards them.
In any other time, with any other president, Americans would be shocked to see the supposed leader of their country posting virtual recruitment ads for armed white militias to defend against an orderly march of a coalition of people of color and woke whites demanding change and justice for all people, not just the affluent bourgeoisie ready to shoot them down.
With Donald Trump in office, it’s just another day of rabble-rousing, race-baiting, and the divisiveness that has become the lasting hallmark of his failed presidency.
The Twittersphere was savage in their comments on the president’s retweet.
If a black couple stood outside of their homes pointing assault weapons at peaceful white protesters, they'd be swarmed by a swat team and shot within minutes.
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) June 29, 2020
Change must come. Judging from Trump’s rhetoric of retweets, it will not be easy or without violent pushback.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
Original reporting by The Associated Press and ABC News.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.