KENOSHA, Wis. – President Donald Trump has rejected requests for leave and visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, not to seek racist treatment after a white police officer shot a Black man in the back but expressed support for law enforcement in a city rocked by civil unrest.
With the United States divided by problems of racial injustice and police brutality, Trump is appealing to his white supremacist party for a “legal and orderly” message as opinion polls show him leading his Democratic Alliance rival, former vice president Joe Biden.
Trump, meanwhile, has paid close attention to the racial wounds caused by police brutality and reduced the death toll of more than 180,000 U.S. people since the coronavirus epidemic.
The President of the Republic has also threatened to send more government officials to cities controlled by Democratic Alliance mayors even if local officials object to this, saying, “Sometimes … we have to do it ourselves.”
Trump did not visit Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a white police officer shot him in the back seven times on August 23. He also did not meet Blake’s family, but met his mother’s clergy.
He has promised to replace Kenosha and provide more funding for the Wisconsin government, a political battleground that Trump has narrowly won in 2016 and must keep in his column as he seeks re-election on November 3.
Opposition candidate Biden has accused Trump of inciting violence in his speech. Biden’s campaign on Tuesday caught up with Trump’s trip to Kenosha as he accused his superiors of seeing “violence as a winning election strategy.”
The president visited a burned-out furniture store that was destroyed during the riots and took over a temporary command center to commend National Guard soldiers who had been called in to strengthen local police after a night of peaceful protests were replaced by looting, arson and firearms.
“These are not acts of peaceful protest, but terrorism at home,” Trump told local business leaders in the high school gym.
Peaceful protesters lamented that violent protesters, mostly white, hijacked their protests by destroying property. But many also strongly criticized the police, saying the United States needed to give serious consideration to its law enforcement measures.
“To prevent political violence, we must also address strong ideologies. … We have to condemn the anti-police rhetoric, ”Trump said, adding that without his help Kenosha would have been burnt to death. ”
THE COMPLAINT TO ‘CHANGE YOUR HEART’
The visit was not without full sympathy. While Trump avoided questions about systemic discrimination and problems with the police, he said he was “very sympathetic to anyone passing by,” referring to police shootings, and that he was honored to meet Blake’s mother pastors, the only two black people at Trump’s table.
But when he arrived, the president promised $ 1 million in government funding for Kenosha lawmen, $ 4 million for small businesses, and $ 42 million for public safety across the country, in defiance of the words left to “pay the police.”
Much of the country has been involved in the civil rights movement since the death of George Floyd, a black man on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck. The country was facing the same charge when Blake was shot into his car on August 23.
Kenosha has become one of the flashpoint cities where anti-apartheid protesters clashed with Trump supporters who had gathered at protest sites, sometimes carrying weapons while promising to protect property from looters.
A 17-year-old Trump supporter has been charged with killing two people and injuring another with a shotgun in Kenosha. Trump defended the white teenager, who faces six criminal charges, and refused to criticize the violence from his supporters.
But in Portland, Oregon, a hotbed of three-night protests that have turned violent, a Trump supporter was shot dead on Saturday and the president cried out for “killing someone on the street.”
The president has taken the credit for bringing peace to Kenosha since the deployment of legal security forces. Although Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers summoned the National Guard for his powers, Trump sent about 200 law enforcement officials.