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No One Is Buying White House Propaganda of Trump’s Fascist Photo-Op

Trump St. John's Episcopal Church fascist photo-op.

Yesterday, amid nationwide protests over racist police brutality following the killing of George Floyd, Donald Trump continued his usual dictatorial tendencies by threatening to use the military to stifle the protests. That was bad on its own, but as curfews went into place around the country, he took things a step further by having peaceful protestors teargassed and forcibly removed so he could try to seem like a brave leader.

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Seriously, that was the entire reason for the use of force. No one bought it. Immediately, despite how the White House would later try to make it look, word got out about what was done to clear Trump’s path to walk out the front door of the White House and over to St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he … awkwardly held up a bible (allegedly) that he would pointedly tell a reporter was “a bible” rather than his bible.

As police moved on the protestors—and bystanders including clergy—they announced that Washington D.C.’s curfew was going into place, though the timing on that was still early. Like the rest of us, Anderson Cooper wasn’t having it, and made his thoughts on Trump’s motivations for his heinous actions extremely clear:

This unnecessary, state-sponsored police escalation came just moments before Trump would claim to be “an ally of all peaceful protestors,” though he’s made it all too clear how he feels about Black Lives Matters protestors in the past:

And, of course, there was his fury over Colin Kaepernick and other football players taking a knee during the national anthem at NFL games, when he said they should “get that son of a bitch off the field.” He’s patient zero for people who demand that activists protest peacefully but then also find reasons why all of the peaceful protests are inappropriate, too. (Surprise: The real reason is they just don’t want to hear protestors at all!)

Of course, today, the White House has followed through with their plans for the photo-op of Trump strutting out of the front of the White House and over to the church like he didn’t have a militarized police force clear the way for him, releasing a propaganda video that has been roundly mocked and placed alongside footage of what really happened.

Of course, the usual suspects—Trump’s Republican allies—committed to the act and tried to pretend it was a true display of courage, just making themselves look ridiculous as they feebly try to convince anyone of their nonsense alternate reality:

But it seems Trump is having a hard time projecting his desired image of success here:

Even the Episcopal bishop of Washington was “outraged” (as were other religious leaders), saying, “Everything he has said and done is to inflame violence. We need moral leadership, and he’s done everything to divide us.”

But while pundits debated last night whether Trump could actually make good on his threat to crack down with the military, and Pentagon officials were Very Concerned, military helicopters were used to disperse protestors who were out past the city’s curfew. Of course, Washington wasn’t the only place where curfews were used as an excuse to attack protestors, either.

How early does a curfew have to start to just a ban on protesting, anyway?

This is what happens when you have Trump’s secretary of defense literally thinking of protests as a battlefield:

Hm. Maybe there’s something to all this talk of an over-militarization and excessive use of force!

(image: screengrab)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>

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