Donald Trump’s motorcade got a very icy welcome after passing by the March on Washington on Friday, with pool reports saying he was met with a flurry of middle fingers.
Trump was leaving the White House to attend a rally in New Hampshire when he passed by the demonstrations that marked the anniversary of the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which took place in 1963. As MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin reported on Twitter, the protesters were waving signs showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and calling for an end to systemic racism, not taking kindly to the brief appearance by Trump’s motorcade. You can view his post here.
“Many of the protesters along the avenue greeted the motorcade with raised middle fingers,” Griffin wrote, citing the pool report.
“There were far too many middle fingers to count. Several of the people in the crowd opted to raise both of their middle fingers in a double barreled one finger salute.”
Trump has been criticized for his response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide demonstrations that arose after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May and the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this week. Critics have pointed to what they see as heavy-handed tactics, including the use of federal law enforcement officers to forcefully break up protests, including ones that had remained peaceful.
The March on Washington drew thousands of people, many of them speaking out against Trump amid larger calls for racial justice. Others noted that the crowd — which was gathered to mark one of the seminal moments of the Civil Rights Movement — appeared to outnumber those who gathered for the president’s inauguration in January 2017. This has been seen as a point of sensitivity for Trump amid comparisons to the better-attended inauguration for Barack Obama.
I don’t know for sure but it sure as hell looks like the people marching for racial justice far outnumber Trumps inauguration.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) August 28, 2020
As CNN noted, the attendees displaying their middle fingers to the president weren’t the only ones taking aim at Trump. Some of the speakers at the event appeared to take swipes at the president, including Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas. She said that America needs a “healer-in-chief” in the White House and called for the passing of a police reform act as well as a commission to study reparations.
“We want an America that will stamp out the divisiveness, the intimidation in the press, we want a White House that stands as a healer-in-chief, who understands Black mothers’ pain, who understands your pain,” she said.