Oakland, California’s mayor is hitting back after Donald Trump said that the city was “like living in hell.” Mayor Libby Schaaf responded to the president’s assertion, saying that the real “hell” would be “another four years of this racist.”
As Newsweek reported, Trump took a shot at Oakland during an interview with Fox News that aired on Thursday night. Lumping the California city in with Detroit and Baltimore, the president said that living in those cities was “hell.” As the report noted, his statement came under fire, as all three places he mentioned are Democrat-led and home to a large number of Black people.
The statements did not go over well with Schaaf. She posted a clip of Trump’s interview and called out the president for what she saw as a racist attack.
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) June 26, 2020
The president made the statement while criticizing the violence that has broken out at some protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. He referred to protesters as “troublemakers, agitators and anarchists.”
“They’ve created bedlam. They’ve destroyed very important things,” Trump said in what appeared to be a reference to the movement to tear down Confederate statues and those celebrating figures with complicated racial histories.
As The Inquisitr reported, the president signed an executive order this week protecting historical monuments, statues, and memorials. The order calls on the attorney general to go after individuals and groups that vandalize or destroy these monuments or statues, suggesting a prison sentence of up to 10 years for those found guilty of committing “willful injury” to these artifacts.
The order also sought to penalize members of law enforcement who witness the vandalism and don’t step in to stop it. Critics have said that his efforts to protect Confederate statues are based in racism.
This is not the first time the president has been accused of racism in his response to the protests. He also came under fire for a statement he posted to Twitter referring to violent protesters as “thugs” and what appeared to be a warning that he would authorize members of the U.S. military to shoot looters. In that tweet, Trump also used the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Critics pointed out that this phrase was made popular by a former Miami mayor who was accused of racist crackdowns against black protesters in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
The criticism dates back to Trump’s candidacy, when some said he pointed to violence in inner cities and painted an incomplete picture of the nation’s overall decreases in crimes.