New Delhi: Singer and pop star Taylor Swift lashed out at US President Donald Trump Friday over the riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota, accusing him of “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism” for the length of his presidency.
In a now viral tweet, Swift called out Trump, saying, “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump”
After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence? ‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November. @realdonaldtrump
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 29, 2020
Swift was referring to a controversial tweet put out by Trump hours earlier, in which he called those protesting the death of a black man, George Floyd, by police brutality “thugs” who were “dishonouring” his memory.
Floyd, a 46-year-old man, was arrested by officers in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 dollar note. The officers pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck despite him repeatedly telling them, “I can’t breathe.”
He died soon thereafter, sparking days of protest in the city which turned violent, with reports of arson and widespread shooting.
On the protests, Trump wrote, “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
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….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Police brutality in the US
Trump’s response to Floyd’s arrest and the subsequent riots has been criticised for being tone-deaf, and even prompted Twitter to flag the his tweet, saying it violated the company’s regulations by “glorifying violence”. As part of its regulations, the tweet cannot be commented on or liked.
The killing of Floyd has opened up old wounds of police brutality and hate crimes against people of colour in the US. According to The Washington Post, black people accounted for 23 per cent of the people killed by law enforcement in the country in 2019.
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