Issues & Insights
Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenny Holston

What’s Trump Got To Do With The George Floyd Riots?

I&I Editorial

Almost everything connected George Floyd’s tragic death and the subsequent riots involve Democratic leaders. So naturally, President Donald Trump is taking the blame.

Start at the beginning. George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, a liberal city (the New York Times calls it “one of America’s most liberal cities”) in a liberal state (that hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1972). 

In 2017, Larry Jacobs, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, observed that “In Minneapolis, we have one of the most liberal activist agendas in the U.S. They are seeking to accomplish at the municipal level what isn’t being done at the federal level.”

Even that wasn’t liberal enough for city dwellers, who booted out a liberal mayor in November 2017 for an even more leftist mayor, Jacob Frey. He ran promising more affordable housing and, if you can believe it, improved police-community relations.

Meanwhile, almost every city where riots have broken out is a deep blue enclave that has been run by Democrats for many years. In fact, all but a handful voted for Hillary Clinton by wide margins — New York, for example, went 64% for Hillary, Chicago, 67%, Los Angeles, 69%,  Portland, 64%, San Francisco, 82%. In Minneapolis, Hillary got 57% of the vote. The riots also appear to be aided and abetted by professional left-wing agitators.

You’d think that those most responsible for maintaining law and order in their own communities would bear the brunt of the criticism for the ongoing mayhem, wouldn’t you?

And wouldn’t you suppose that cities where liberals have been the most successful at implementing their policies would be treated with particular harshness? After all, don’t the riots expose the rot and the unresolved racial tensions at the core of these liberal would-be utopias?

You might think that. But based on our careful review of the coverage of the riots, that is not correct. The blame, apparently, rests squarely on the current occupant of the White House, who happens to be a Republican.

Here’s a small sampling of the headlines our research uncovered:

On Monday, Trump delivered remarks on the situation. He said that a “small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment. … I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed.” He said “let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it.”

How divisive!

Except, that’s what President Barack Obama wrote. He’s being hailed as the great healer.

Here’s what Trump actually said: “All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain, but we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.”

He listed the destruction and harm caused by the rioters and said “the destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is an offense to humanity and a crime against God.”

Here’s how NPR interpreted that last line: “Trump Calls Acts of Protest Crimes Against God.”

Now we are the first to admit that Trump’s temperament is often abrasive and divisive. He is rarely a calming figure.

But to say that Trump is somehow responsible for the violence, or that his actions have fanned the flames, is simply another symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The same people now blaming Trump for the riots have already blamed him for every other problem, real or imagined, that has occurred in the past three years – including the weather. 

Could Trump act more delicately and be more unifying during this latest crisis? We suppose so. Could his opponents behave less like raving lunatics who are willing to tear everything down if they think it will hurt Trump’s reelection chances? Definitely.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board.

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • Arguing with idiots, and just what are these racist dog whistles that only Democrats hear?

  • “He [Frey] ran promising more affordable housing and, if you can believe it, improved police-community relations.”

    Hmm. That promised affordable housing has been reduced by 190 units just recently.

  • Trump attacked hundreds of peaceful protestors. Read about it in the National Catholic Reporter:

    “Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John’s church near White House”

    “The church appeared to be completely abandoned.

    “It was, in fact, abandoned, but not by choice: less than an hour before Trump’s arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church.

    “Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church’s patio.

    “‘They turned holy ground into a battleground,’ said the Rev. Gini Gerbasi.”

    • The demonstrators were anything but peaceful and there was no tear gas. Thanks for providing an example of the lies discussed in the article.

  • Really!? Please stop the garbage about President Trump’s temperament being abrasive and divisive. Nothing can be further from the truth especially compared to the vitriol and outright lies from the various factions arrayed against the President. It takes a man like Donald Trump with the courage, fortitude, and confidence to survive the non-stop attacks against him 24/7 since 2015.

  • We shouldn’t be surprised that the press would (deliberately) misstate the president’s words. I mean, how many times have we heard that he said both sides (Antifa and White Supremacists) in Charlottesville had fine people, when that was not at all what he said. What he actually said was that there were fine people who supported the removal of Confederate statues and who didn’t support the removal of Confederate statues. But, facts.

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