Trump’s Address and “Walk across the Park” for a Biblical Photo-Op

A Thoroughly Christian Fascist Speech and Display… A Serious Threat to the People



A full week after the brutal murder of George Floyd set off rebellions in America on a scale unprecedented in over 50 years, Donald Trump finally spoke. But his major speech at the White House on Monday afternoon did not focus on that heart-grinding murder. It did not mention the day-in day-out toll of other Black people murdered by the cops. Nor did it so much as touch on the monstrous history and present-day reality of the oppression of Black people in this country.

Instead, Trump focused on attacking, slandering, threatening and vowing to “dominate” the rebellion that has erupted across the country in the wake of this wanton murder. The split-screen coverage sent an unmistakable message. Shortly before Trump spoke, heavily armed and shielded military police used tear gas and violence to clear Lafayette Park, opposite the White House. These military pigs continued their assault in the streets as Trump gave his speech. Then Trump walked through Lafayette Park to St. John’s Church, accompanied by members of senior staff and massive security. There he held aloft a Bible for a photo-op, with the church as background.   

The actions, rhetoric and display were a Christian fascist call to arms, a dangerous move of advancing repression, white-supremacy and fascism, one that must be defiantly opposed. 

Calling himself a “President of law and order” in his remarks, Trump slandered the righteous protests and rebellion as “acts of domestic terror” by “professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa and others”—and threatened dire consequences and violent repression. Using martial language, Trump threatened to call out the military to “dominate the streets” in states across the country. And he used the military police, called out under his orders, to display the promised brutality against peaceful protest—while he spoke!

He threatened protest organizers with “severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.” This followed earlier threats to designate “Antifa,” a broad catch-all term, as a “terrorist” organization, with highly repressive and punitive implications under U.S. law. The threats and attacks on Antifa and anyone else standing up against white supremacist police terror and fascism, especially attempts by the state to brand them as “terrorist” or put them on watch-lists, must be firmly opposed by all those on the side of justice.

Trump made sure to use religious terms, like “crime against God”(!), in slandering the protests. This, coupled with his remarks and acts, his theatrical walk across the park cleared by the military, and his photo-op with the Bible signified a consolidating Christian fascism and fascist call to arms. These were reinforced by pledges “to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans,” including “Second Amendment rights,” code words venerated by the white supremacist fascist militia and thugs, a core part of his social base. Instead of justice for George Floyd, Trump’s singular focus was law and order, and on helping “your business” and protecting property. Criminalizing protest and resistance is an essential part of the consolidation of fascism underway under the Trump/Pence regime, and taking a leap with today’s actions and speech.

Trump spoke as if the (mainly) Democratic mayors and governors of the cities and states where the protests are going on are not “tough” enough—ignoring the curfews, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray, clubs and mass arrests at the hands of rampaging, heavily armored police that are being brutally rained down on the protesters under these Democratic officials. This is part of what Trump meant by his repeated invocations of “one law.” These Democrats are with Trump in wanting to repress the uprising; Trump differs in being even harder and more repressive, openly dictatorial, and not even recognizing basic civil liberties or acknowledging or pretending to try to do something about police brutality and white supremacy.

Taken as a whole, the assault and assertion of power, the intentional violent attack on legal nonviolent protestors that ushered it in… the threats of military occupation of the cities… the threats of dire punishment of those who dared to exercise what are supposed to be civil rights… the open language of “domination”… the assertion of the rule of law while the rule of law itself was being violated… topped by the photo-op at the church meant to assert the rule of religion represents a serious escalation and very serious threat. The invocation of the Second Amendment, along with the threat of directly ordering of the U.S. Army into the states, evokes contours of a potential civil war and amounts to a threat.

The implications are clear: Trump aims to seriously escalate the repression against this beautiful uprising, as part of an overall fascist direction and consolidation. The struggle for justice for George Floyd—and for a world without white supremacy and a world with a whole better way for people to live—must go forward in the face of these threats.


PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor/@Yamiche tweeted: “Here is what was happening outside the White House as President Trump was giving his Rose Garden address and saying he is an ‘ally of all peaceful protestors.’ Peaceful protestors being tear gassed outside of the WH gates. I confirmed because I was teargassed along with them.”
Photo: AP

After the assault on protesters Trump walked across the park to pose in front of the church where they had been. Photo: AP

Order or Justice? is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met. This means working and organizing with all our creativity and determination to bring thousands, eventually millions of people into the streets of cities and towns, to demand:

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