Former First Lady Michelle Obama has defended ongoing race riots and is blaming President Trump and members of the Trump administration of “stoking fear” and “lies” about the demonstrations.
In a brief video uploaded to social media, Obama described the protests and riots as “overwhelmingly peaceful” despite growing insurance costs suggesting otherwise.
Obama contended President Trump was “stoking fears about black and brown Americans and lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs. [They’re] whipping up violence and intimidation and they’re pinning it all on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity. It’s true, research backs it up. Only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all. So what the president is doing is once again is patently false, morally wrong, and yes it is racist.”
“That doesn’t mean it won’t work because this is a difficult time; a confusing time. When people hear these lies and crazy conspiracies repeated over and over again, they don’t know what to think,” Obama concluded. “With everything going on in their lives, they don’t have time to fact-check falsehoods being spread throughout the internet. Even reasonable people might get scared. The one thing this president is really, really good at is using fear and confusion and spreading lies to win.”
.@MichelleObama on BLM riots: Trump is “pinning [violence] on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity; it’s true, research backs it up; only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all … What the president is doing is … racist.” pic.twitter.com/7wBsmACiCQ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 6, 2020
Washington Examiner contributor Brad Polumbo responded:
She is right that after the death of George Floyd in May, peaceful protests and calls for criminal justice reform broke out across the country.
But she sweeps past the fact that from Chicago to Seattle to Minneapolis to New York City and more, open riots broke out in the streets, as well as peaceful protests. In Minneapolis alone, at least 1,500 properties were destroyed, vandalized, or damaged, many of them minority-owned. In New York City, at least 450 properties were looted or damaged.
To downplay hundreds of riots in cities across the country as “mostly peaceful” is to turn a blind eye to the thousands of businesses destroyed and countless lives that were ruined. All born out of an apparent unwillingness to denounce left-wing radicalism.
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This downplaying of violence is like saying Sept. 11 was an “overwhelmingly peaceful” day because only a few buildings out of the entire country were destroyed. It’s like saying that the day someone died was “mostly uneventful.” It’s like saying the coronavirus is “mostly harmless” because the vast majority of people infected survive the disease.
In all the above cases, we would rightly decry such comparisons as tone-deaf and misleading. Obama’s narrative is no different.
And, as Axios reports, the ongoing riots have recently reached the costliest in United States history.
“The vandalism and looting following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history,” Axios reported.
The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful, but the arson, vandalism and looting that did occur will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King.