Report: Trump narrative about violence at protests is largely false, and it’s destabilizing the country

Donald Trump and others of his ilk love to push the narrative that America’s cities are burning down at the hands of protesters who object to racial injustice and the murders of Americans by police.

Except that’s not true, says a new report.

The Washington Post, citing a report by the nonprofit Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), says that 93 percent of American protests since the May 25 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police have been non-violent.

ACLED tracks incidents of violence all over the world.

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Think about it. Only 7 percent of protests by Black Lives Matter and other organizations have resulted in physical violence or property damage.

Shortly after protests became widespread, Trump started with his law-and-order routine. While violence, looting, and property damage aren’t baseless, they also shouldn’t be dominating the discussion.

He told US governors to “dominate” the streets of their states with National Guard units and warned that he would send troops to take over if they did not comply. “These are not acts of peaceful protests. These are acts of domestic terror,” said Trump.

He sent federal troops to Portland, and threatened Seattle with them. He held a Bible up for a photo op in front of a Washington, D.C., church where police gassed protesters and shot them with rubber bullets to clear a path for Trump.

If you have half a damned brain, you can see what he’s doing. He is stoking fears of social change to try to get himself re-elected Nov. 3.

The ACLED report also concluded that an escalation in government response to protests and a sharp rise in extremist activity means the United States faces a growing risk of “political violence and instability” before the 2020 election. So this is Trump capitalizing on legitimate protest to further destabilize the country.

It’s not the other way around.

Thinking people should remember this “stuff” in November. It is dangerous and un-American. And it’s your so-called president who’s more responsible than anyone else for this slide toward violence and chaos.

“In this hyper-polarized environment, state forces are taking a more heavy-handed approach to dissent, non-state actors are becoming more active and assertive, and counter demonstrators are looking to resolve their political disputes in the street,” the authors of the report wrote. “Without significant mitigation efforts, these risks will continue to intensify in the lead-up to the vote, threatening to boil over in November if election results are delayed, inconclusive, or rejected as fraudulent.”

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