The above is from Donald Trump’s Facebook page.
We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today.
As do we all. Killing is killing and leads to more killing and distrust and fear.
How many law enforcement and people have to die because of lack of leadership in our country? (Emphasis added)
Who are the “and people” part? African Americans killed by police? General bystanders? Those killed daily by the incredible number of guns in the United States? This was probably a tweet before it was a Facebook post so Trump only had so many characters, but this (to me) odd “and people” inclusion leaves more questions than it answers. I can’t tell if he’s expressing empathy with victims of violent crime and/or police misconduct or trying to make those who aren’t feel as though they may as well be.
He then does the usual “if only someone strong was in charge” thing by saying people are dying due to lack of leadership. As if all we need to fix these issues in our culture is a leader…like Donald. Not a leader with answers (he has none other than platitudes), just a leader willing to face the obvious truth and lead.
We demand law and order.
So do a lot of people. African Americans who feel their disproportionate targeting for stop, arrest, and killing by police demand those things. As do the loved ones of deceased police officers killed in deranged race-based violence.
The notion that the solution to social turmoil is “a leader” who delivers “law and order” would, I imagine, sound very familiar to those in 1918 Russia and 1933 Germany. Law and order is a byproduct of justice, a feeling of shared community, and a sense of hope for the future. It doesn’t come easy and the answers won’t be found in 140 characters.