June 21, 2020
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump drew fire from critics Saturday for sprinkling racially divisive stereotypes throughout his remarks at a high-profile campaign rally in Tulsa as the nation is grappling with racism and police misconduct.
Speaking after protests and unrest broke out in cities across the nation following the death of George Floyd last month, Trump described violent protesters he claimed had forced the cancellation of a separate outdoor campaign event in Tulsa as “thugs.” He used the term “kung flu” to describe the coronavirus. And he blasted the removal of Confederate statues, arguing that a “left wing mob” wanted to “vandalize our history.”
At one point during his remarks, as he sought to brush aside calls from some on the left to defund police departments, Trump painted a scene of a “tough hombre” who he described as “breaking into the window of a young woman whose husband is away.”
“And you call 911 and they say, ‘I’m sorry, this number is no longer working,'” Trump said.
The president’s remarks came as demonstrators continued to gather in many cities to protest the death of Floyd, a Black man whose neck was pinned under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer for nearly nine minutes. Violence erupted in many cities after Floyd’s death, but protests were largely peaceful nationwide.