All it takes is one crazy Tweet by the President that got a lot of people seeing red.
To the point where that Tweet, about a conspiracy theory about an injured white protestor, became the most talked-about story of the day, even before George Floyd’s funeral began and way after it ended. (At least as far as the number of mentions in our Twitter feed and news feeds that we follow go).
Still, how could such a despicable move on the part of the President ever reflect well on him, in any way, in any universe? If anything, Trump’s conspiracy theory amplification could’ve even lost him some voters among his white followers, who may have not seen the video of an elderly white man being viciously assaulted by police in Buffalo until now. (And frankly, this particular moment of violence is what brought the story home to a lot of white people who’d been watching all the unrest and uprising and militaristic police actions over the last couple of weeks, not really sure what to make of it). Never mind that in Trump’s preferred telling, the story is completely twisted around to blame the victim, and narrated by a very strange, heavily Russian accented voice. (To his credit, the protestor, 75-year old Martin Gugino, wasn’t having any of it. And is probably the only person involved who didn’t immediately take the President’s bait. Except for a bunch of the President’s supporters on Capitol Hill, who ran and hid from it.)
To add to the day’s weirdness, when we went to Google to search for coverage of the funeral, look at the suggestions they gave us after we’d only typed in the word “George”. We didn’t even get to “Floyd”. Now what’s that all about?
But none of that’s the point. Nor are we suggesting there was anything planned about what the President did; like he woke up this morning and cunningly decided to do something to eclipse George Floyd’s funeral. It’s instinct.
The point is the President cannot bear being out of the spotlight, even for a moment. So he found a way to keep himself in it, on a solemn day when he absolutely should not have been.