Trump Puts Black Lives Matter On Notice
Above Photo: Protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September after the fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Brian Blanco/Getty Images
The new White House website went live following Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, and it contained a bracing message implicitly directed to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement: Your kind is not welcome in Trump’s America.
“The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” reads a page on the website titled “Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community.” It continues: “President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.”
In case it wasn’t clear who and what the Trump administration blames for this “anti-police atmosphere,” the website clarified: “Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter.”
Given the endorsement Trump received from the Fraternal Order of Police and his consistent praise of police officers on the campaign trail, it’s not surprising that he feels revved up about being a “law and order” president who will defend the honor of the nation’s men and women in blue. Still, it was chilling to see such unambiguous evidence of his contempt for those who’ve protested against police violence—and the strength of his apparent resolve to snuff out their movement—appear on the official White House website just minutes after he officially became president.
How this contempt will be turned into policy remains to be seen. But insofar as the Obama administration was an ally to Black Lives Matter—and it was, if only through the Justice Department’s series of scathing reports on systemic racism and misconduct in police departments in Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore; and Chicago—Trump has now promised, in his official capacity as the 45th president of the United States, to be its enemy.