After responding to Tucker Carlson, I guess Trump has now decided he will defend statues.
Protesters toppled the only statue of a Confederate general in the nation’s capital and set it on fire on Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the US, amid continuing anti-racism demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Cheering demonstrators jumped up and down as the 11-foot (3.4-meter) statue of Albert Pike – wrapped with chains – wobbled on its high granite pedestal before falling backward, landing in a pile of dust. Protesters then set a bonfire and stood around it in a circle as the statue burned, chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.
Eyewitness accounts and videos posted on social media indicated police were on the scene but did not intervene. The president, Donald Trump, quickly tweeted about the toppling, calling out DC mayor Muriel Bowser and writing: “The DC police are not doing their job as they watched a statue be ripped down and burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our country.”
The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country! @MayorBowser
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2020
Jubilant protesters read out Trump’s tweet over a bullhorn and cheered. After the statue fell, most protesters returned peacefully to Lafayette park near the White House.
The Pike statue has been a source of controversy over the years. The former Confederate general was also a longtime influential leader of the Freemasons, who revere Pike and who paid for the statue. Pike’s body is interred at the DC headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which also contains a small museum in his honor.
The statue, dedicated in 1901, was located in Judiciary Square about half a mile from the US Capitol. It was built at the request of Masons who successfully lobbied Congress to grant them land for the statue as long as Pike would be depicted in civilian – not military – clothing.
We have statues of George Washington coming down. I don’t think any statues should come down, but Trump failed to mention George Washington and now he’s defending Albert Pike. Not really consistent. Hopefully, he’s ready to now just defend all statues, and defend the culture generally.
The tweets don’t mean a lot, but they mean something. If he really can’t use the Justice Department to make anything happen, he should be tweeting attacking the Justice Department for failing to do anything. He didn’t have a problem doing that to Jeff Sessions over the Russia hoax. He should attack Barr now for letting these people riot and refusing to prosecute anyone.
If all he can do is tweet, then he has an obligation to go completely nuts on Twitter, until they ban him (which they appear to be on the verge of doing). Then he’s going to have to come up with something else.