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U.S. President Donald Trump compared the congressional impeachment inquiry to “lynching.” He faced backlash from Black LGBTQ leaders who called his comment “irresponsible” and “ignorant.”
Here’s the background 👉 Last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the U.S. House of Representatives would be initiating a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The inquiry was prompted by a whistleblower’s revelations of Trump’s alleged involvement in pressuring Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden.
On Tuesday, in the midst of the impeachment inquiry, the president tweeted: “So someday, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here—a lynching.”
This comment was widely criticized, and several Black LGBTQ activists spoke out publicly against the comparison to “lynching.” In an interview with The Washington Blade, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, David John, said, “Trump’s misdirected comparison is reflective of the work that still remains to ensure all Americans are aware of the legacy of racial terror that was lynching and the threat of lynching Black people.”
Alphonso David, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, also called out Trump for his reckless comparison. In a tweet, David said, “Learn your history, @realDonaldTrump. From 1882 to 1968, at least 4,743 lynchings occurred in the U.S. Of those lynched, 3,446 were Black. To compare an inquiry into your alleged corrupt behavior to the murders of innocent Americans is simply revolting.”
Now what? When he spoke to reporters on Tuesday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said that the president was “not comparing what‘s happened to him with one of our darkest moments in American history.”
As reported by The Washington Blade, Gidley said, “What he’s explaining clearly is the way he’s been treated by the media since he announced for president. The word impeachment was used about this president the day he was elected and before he was even sworn into office.”
Trump has frequently used racist rhetoric over the years. In a series of tweets from this past summer he wrote: “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”
Though the president didn’t mention names, people believed the tweets were directed toward Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley. All are women of colour.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,” Trump later tweeted.
The American president also has a long history of supporting anti-LGBTQ2 policies. During his term as president, he has tried to ban trans people from the military, he rolled back protections for trans students and allowed employers to discriminate against LGBTQ2 workers on the grounds of “religious freedom.” According to a document tracked by the GLAAD, an American LGBTQ2 watchdog group, Trump has attacked queer people via policy and rhetoric 126 times since he became president in 2016.
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