One has to wonder what was going through the minds of Donald Trump’s entourage as he led them towards St John’s Episcopal Church for his obscene piece of contrived propaganda, having just set riot police to violently attack peaceful protestors nearby. The fallout has been telling, with moderate Republicans, mayors, police chiefs, and former cabinet members joining an ever growing chorus of anger and despair at how his behaviour has inflamed divisions laid bare by the murder of George Floyd.
Trump cares not for unifying a country at war with itself. His only motivation is how he appears to his base. Brandishing the Bible and unleashing a violent response to an assault on his authority, he has displayed all the characteristics of a dictator in crisis. As Naomi Klein previously highlighted, when an authoritarian leader brandishes force and demands that citizens stay in their homes, that is the exact time they need to flood the streets and protect their democracy.
It has been reported that the mainly peaceful protests have in places been infiltrated by opportunistic elements looking to cause chaos. However, local communities are showing in a dignified manner that they will not be cowed by the forces of the state, or others not helping their cause. It is critical they maintain the protests and that they are supported globally. An opportunity is in place for the US to finally leave its past behind.