Donald Trump has been heavily criticised after appearing to blame "our great African American President" for the violence in Baltimore.I'm not in the habit of even semi-defending Trump, but the tweet he's being attacked for is just right-wing conventional wisdom right now:
The entrepreneur singles out President Barack Obama for the riots that started after Freddie Gray's funeral.
Gray, 25, suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody and died on 19 April.
... none of the nuance or emotion of the case was processed by Donald Trump, who tweeted:
Our great African American President hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
On the April 27 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Fox host Lou Dobbs responded to the events by blaming the violence against the police on Obama, asserting that "there is a war on law enforcement" that is being "corroborated if not condoned by this administration."And there's this, from Samuel Gonzalez at Right Wing News:
... Later during the show, Dobbs invited Fox contributor Keith Ablow to comment, and he also blamed Obama for the violence, adding that people who want to tear down the system like the people in Baltimore "might be taking [their] cues from this president" ...
It’s called community organizing and that’s who Barack Obama is since he took office.Anf:
Like no other president in U.S. history, he has used the power of his office to foment chaos such as what we saw in Ferguson.
... Obama’s infamous comment, “...the police acted stupidly...”, when a police officer rightly arrested a college professor trying to break into his own home ... set a bad tone around the country on how the community views police....
"Freddie Gray's family doesn't want this." Apologies but we have a President that does. They're outranked.— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 27, 2015
The only point of disagreement on the right is on which black elected official is solely responsible for the violence: the president or Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. From FoxNews.com:
Baltimore mayor's 'balancing act' gave protestors permission to turn violentThat's a misquote, of course, and almost certainly a deliberate one. What the mayor said was certainly subject to misinterpretation, but it wasn't this. Here it is:
“I wanted to give space to those who wished to destroy,” that is how Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake described her policy Saturday at a press conference. Her words, which effectively told police to stand down as those gathered to protest the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray smashed store windows, looted 7-Elevens and forced attendees at a Baltimore Oriole-Boston Red Sox baseball game to remain in the stadium because it wasn’t safe outside.
"I’ve made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to deescalate, and that’s what you saw.”The second-last sentence invites a reasonable interpretation: "It’s a very delicate balancing act, because, while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, [regrettably,] we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well." The final sentence could be read as suggesting that she likes the balance that permits property destruction, but if so, why would she be positive about efforts to "deescalate"?
Well, of course the right will seize on poorly chosen words -- that's what the right always does. Beyond that, though, we see why the right is obsessed with Saul Alinsky. Alinsky's twelfth Rule for Radicals is:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.Right-wingers personalize every possible news story -- there's always a liberal individual, or handful of individuals, on whom all True Patriot rage should be focused.
Meanwhile, Trump is ready to solve the problem, or so he says:
Drop Trump off in the middle of a scene of violent unrest and let him try to work it out? Yeah, I'd grab popcorn and watch that.