President Donald Trump retweeted a video Monday night showing a Black man repeatedly punching a white man, adding the caption, “Looks what’s going on here. Where are the protesters? Was this man arrested?”
He retweeted a second now-deleted video showing a Black man pushing a white human into the side of a subway car. The clip was captioned “Where are the protests for this?” to which Trump added “So terrible!”
Critics immediately called the president’s tweets out, saying that Trump is attempt to equivocate systemic violence against African Americans to that of random acts committed by individuals.
The tweets come as protests against racial inequality and police violence continued across the country, with a particularly notable protest in front of the White House on Monday night.
Trump has been facing accusations of racism this week after using the term “Kung flu” at his rally in Tulsa on Saturday when referencing the novel coronavirus. His latest tweets have added to the backlash, as commenters point out that stories of Black on white crime have been used by far-right and white-supremacist websites to foster divisive sentiments.
Justin Baragona, an editor at the Daily Beast, noted that Trump has called himself “the least racist person in history” but was using his platform to highlight videos of random Black men attacking white people.
Conor Friedersdorf, a writer at the Atlantic, added his own criticism.
“Trump is seizing on and amplifying random, anomalous [sic] instances of interracial violence, needlessly inflaming racial tensions at a moment of polarization and social upheaval. This is abhorrent and irresponsible. His subordinates and children know this and should say so.”
The first video came from an account from someone who calls themselves the “#1 race baiter” and says he exposes instances of racism. That video was then tweeted by Matt Walsh, who described it as a “horrific hate crime” in his caption.
“This guy brutally assaulted a Macy’s employee because of his race and then slandered him by claiming he said the n-word, which was a lie. This is a horrific hate crime and if the races were reversed it would be the only thing we talk about for days.”
Trump’s messages were further criticized by people who say that they will certainly increase tensions that are already bubbling in the country after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.