Just when you thought that the occupant of the White House couldn’t go any lower he always surprises by doing just that. This new low has to do with the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old black man who was jogging in a virtually all-white community near Albany, GA and was accosted by two armed white men, one of whom shot and killed Arbery.
Initially no charges were filed against either Travis McMichael, who fired the shots, or his father Gregory McMichael, who was in the truck also. The case was shuffled between district attorneys since the elder McMichael is a retired law enforcement officer who worked for a time as an investigator for the DA’s office in the county in which the shooting occurred.
Now both father and son have been charged with murder, and a third man, a neighbor, William Bryan (who joined the McMichaels in pursuing Arbery while filming the incident on his phone) might also be charged with a hate crime. Their defense is that they were making a citizen’s arrest when they stopped the jogger (suspecting him of being a burglar). But the law is clear that the suspected person has to actually be in the act of committing a crime for such an arrest to be legal.
So what happened? Why is tRump getting involved? Team Trump, his reelection strategists, saw this as a great opportunity to curry favor with black voters and they probably instructed the president to express sympathy to Arbery’s family, while saying (among other comments) “I saw the tape, and it’s very, very disturbing … he looks like a good guy.” This is supposed to convince black voters that tRump has our back, while nothing could be further from the truth.
Going back to the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, tRump has not been shy in regards to expressing his feelings about black people: from the blocking minorities from renting apartments in buildings his company owned, to taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times in 1989 to call for the death penalty for the teenagers who became known as the Central Park Five, the five black and Latino youngsters that were wrongly convicted of the brutal rape of a jogger in New York City.
So we blacks already know who tRump is; but his call for justice in this current case just might backfire on him among his base. From all available reports, the men who stopped Arbery are rock-ribbed Trumpists, and if he continues to voice support for a murdered black man, some right-wing white supporters are going to be deeply offended by his actions, hopefully offended enough to stay home on Election Day.
Therefore I hope the outrage and demonstrations over this senseless killing continues to the point where tRump has to address it again and show support, thereby further risking alienating a portion of his base. But we all know this guy is as slippery as an eel, and he could change positions in an instant, siding with the alleged murderers, if that’s what his polling numbers informs him to do.
But he can’t have it both ways. If he does publicly change positions he’s going to be held further accountable by black voters this fall, as he should. Sometimes this clown should simply keep his mouth shut, but we all know that’s hard for him to do. Nonetheless, his attempt to fool blacks by pimpin’ death could cause him to be hung by his own tongue.
We can only wish.