Trump continues to fan flames of racism: Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Caribbean American Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has strongly criticized United States President Donald J. Trump for continuing to fan the flames of racism.

Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, on Wednesday accused Trump of “mishandling instances of targeted police brutality and protests across the nation” in the wake of the killing of George Floyd for a white police officer in Minneapolis.

“45 did not create the systemic racism that has caused this moment, but he has spent three years fanning the flames of hatred and spent the last week emboldening the police to continue their wanton aggression against peaceful protestors,” Clarke, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life, alluding to Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

“As the nation continues to try to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, a crisis substantially exacerbated by a lack of executive leadership, many Americans have taken to the streets to voice deeply held convictions about the longstanding, nearly inherent inequities of our system,” she added.

“The reaction of the executive branch exposes an underlying truth that both sides of the aisle could likely agree on: The White House is more concerned with order than justice,” Clarke continued.

“By declaring himself the ‘law and order President,’ 45 has dug deeper into the open wounds that have plagued this nation since its founding and has long since abdicated any responsibility he has regarding the moral leadership of the nation,” she said.

On Wednesday, the Office of Minneapolis Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges against Officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, in addition to the original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter with culpable negligence.

The other three officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting murder for failing to intervene.

Video footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck, as he screamed “I can’t breathe,” resulting in his death, has sparked outrage and violence, for over a week, across America.

“‪The decisions to elevate the charges against George Floyd’s murderer and charge three more officers involved is a welcome relief,” New York City Councilwoman Farah N. Louis, the Haitian American representative for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life.

“It is a testament to the power of a collective voice,” added the daughter of Haitian immigrants. “But it should not take days of protests to bring these perpetrators to justice. Furthermore, justice will not truly exist until we commit to reforming a racist system.”

In what has been described as an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting United States President, former US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Wednesday harshly condemned Trump’s use of the military against peaceful protesters.

“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside,” said Mattis, who served for more than four decades in the US Marine Corps and rose to the rank of four-star general before he was chosen by Trump to lead the Pentagon, in a statement.

He said that America is witnessing the results of three years “without mature leadership.”

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people —does not even pretend to try,” Mattis said. “Instead he tries to divide us.

“We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort,” he added. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

“We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,” Mattis continued. “This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

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