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Donald Trump Fine with His Supporters Assaulting BLM Activists


Around the time Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted a Bernie Sanders appearance, commentary came from some circles as to why BLM wasn’t protesting at right-wing events, such as Donald Trump’s speeches. Never mind that liberal politicians don’t always serve the interests of black people in this country, at least they are ostensibly sympathetic to issues faced by black Americans, which makes them a good audience to address, unlike Republicans who are actively hostile.

And, indeed, what happened when a BLM activist interrupted a Donald Trump event was exactly what you’d expect:

Donald Trump made headlines all weekend, especially after his rally in Alabama. Trump followed up in more than one way, so there’s plenty to rehash here. Of course, Trump said many controversial things during his 51-minute Birmingham speech. He confronted a Black Lives Matter protester and [asked for the crowd’s assistance]( to “get him out of here.” That’s exactly what happened. Trump’s fans did not simply remove the protester, Mercutio Southall, from the premises. They knocked him to the ground with a fury of kicks and punches.

In case you’re wondering what Trump himself had to say about it:

“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

Sure, why not? Why shouldn’t a protester get beaten up for daring to interrupt a Trump speech?

This is to say nothing of his absolutely repugnant comments about Syrian refugees and Muslims in general. His policy “ideas” are straight out of the Nazi playbook, with a truly bizarre lack of self-awareness. Targeting people for religious persecution shouldn’t be a controversial issue: Americans in particular should be extremely sensitive to and offended by the idea, but it seems there is a large subset of conservatives who are fine with people of religions they don’t like facing everything from government-endorsed discrimination to outright abuse.

Evidently, people who complain that BLM protesters aren’t going after Republican candidates are ignorant of (or unsympathetic to) the fact that people risk grievous bodily harm in doing so. While many protest movements throughout history have seen their members face injury and even death in the course of standing up for what they believe in, it shouldn’t be a necessity to prove your commitment by purposely putting yourself in harm’s way. This isn’t a failed state in the midst of a civil war or revolution, it’s a developed country and world leader that should have a respectful political culture that doesn’t have poll-leading candidates endorsing people who support their opponents being beaten up and called racial slurs. This is deeply troubling behavior and Trump’s responses only encourage it to intensify.

Photo by Gage Skidmore