People in Washington, D.C. joined others this week in publicly opposing the use of controversial practices by law enforcement agents that have killed many black Americans for no apparent reason.

They held a protest Monday near Lafayette Square, a park adjacent to the White House. Their demonstration was peaceful, but members of the U.S. Park Police and National Guard troops still intervened.

The officers and military personnel used either tear gas or smoke bombs to disperse the crowd. There didn’t seem to be the threat of violence, so this measure seemed excessive.

It turns out their presence was inconvenient. President Donald Trump wanted to walk through Lafayette Square on his way to St. John’s Episcopal Church, across the street from the park.

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, which oversees the church, said Mr. Trump did not journey to St. John’s to seek spiritual guidance. He went there to use this particular house of worship as a background for a photo-op.

“He used violent means to ask to be escorted across the park into the courtyard of the church,” Bishop Budde said in a story published Tuesday by NPR. “He held up his Bible after speaking [an] inflammatory militarized approach to the wounds of our nation.

“He did not pray,” she said. “He did not offer a word of balm or condolence to those who are grieving. He did not seek to unify the country, but rather he used our symbols and our sacred space as a way to reinforce a message that is antithetical to everything that the person of Jesus, whom we follow, and the gospel texts that we strive to emulate ... represent.”

Protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was detained by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25. The officer pinned Mr. Floyd to the ground with a knee on his neck for nine minutes while his hands were in handcuffs. Mr. Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, but none of the officers at the scene did anything to help him.

Some of the demonstrations around the country turned violent. Police officers were injured Monday in Las Vegas and St. Louis. Several protesters were killed and property owners assaulted while fires destroyed numerous buildings.

Mr. Trump infuriated many people with his callous reaction to the mayhem. He invoked violent language and urged governors to “dominate” protesters. He’s done much more to divide the nation than to console it.

The president has been criticized for his appalling behavior throughout this period of unrest, and justly so. We don’t expect him to have all the answers to why so many black Americans die at the hands of police officers under dubious circumstances.

But we have a right to expect Mr. Trump to at least address the concerns of so many people by showing he’s listening to them. He doesn’t merely represent those who make up his base of supporters. He’s the president of the entire country, and all of us deserve to know he’s taking our grievances seriously.

When our country faces a crisis, Mr. Trump far too often fails to rise to the occasion. He horribly mismanaged vital preparation tasks when the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out and refuses to accept responsibility for his mistakes. When challenged on his glaring incompetence, he acts like a child by blaming other people and lying about how things are going.

This is not leadership, and it’s not acceptable. We’ve been waiting for more than three years for Mr. Trump to finally act presidential, but we’re once again sorely disappointed.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Tags

Recommended for you

(41) comments

keyser soze

On those rare days when I try to play nice, I sometimes benignly refer to President Trump as‘Resident Trump’ -- In that he has all the trappings of being president, but possesses very little of those qualities we would expect from the office of the presidency -- knowledge, level headedness, maturity, honesty, and a general desire for the well being of ALL people in our county and around the world.

Instead, he still plays the role of a game show host, swiveling around in his large leather chair threatening perceived enemies, or barking out unintelligible orders to demonstrate the power he has obtained.

The office comes with power and it demands certain latitude of inherent respect. But ultimately, respect must be earned. It is the same with authority over Americans. Though he has power, he is losing authority because the crucible of authority includes equity, empathy, and truth. When the lack of these qualities erodes entrusted power to the point where one can only resort to unrestrained authority as a means of governing one runs away from being president while ambling towards becoming a dictator.

It is truly distressing that the resident of the White House cannot learn from some of the great leaders throughout history who have occupied it before him. One would have thought the office itself would engender admiration and respect for the nature of an American presidency and not just a residency.

Holmes -- the real one

Yhis would be a great time to ask Elise Stefanik for her opinion on how Trump is handling things. It would be nice to have her go on record with her opinion although I have no doubt that she would either sidestep the question completely or say that she thinks Trump is doing a great job.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Holmes

"This is not leadership, and it’s not acceptable. We’ve been waiting for more than three years for Mr. Trump to finally act presidential, but we’re once again sorely disappointed." The media won't cover the "disappointed." How about the 'leadership' from the democrats in Minnesota? After all they have been in control of Minnesota since the Eisenhower presidency.. How's that for "we’ve been waiting for?" But, nope, it's Trump's fault..

Holmes -- the real one

Speaking of "waiting for" --- we're still waiting for you to declare your list of reliable sources. What are you afraid of?

rockloper

[thumbup]

rockloper

Minnesota is a beautiful state. Particularly loved Minneapolis. It would be a desert if republicans were in control. Thank zeus it isn't.

Nice_Commenter

Trump has never taken responsibility for anything in his life. That is one of many reasons why intelligent adults didn’t vote for him.

You should spend some time with basic arithmetic BTW, some of your recent “work” shows an incredible level of numeric illiteracy.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Eagle24

If you're going to listen to something, try James "Bulldog" Mathis and the other military officials, John Kelly, Bolton, Tillerson... who worked with POTUS... "we can unite without him"... "we owe it to our citizens"...

Kevin Beary

It seems that Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde will not be happy until the historic church that she oversees is completely rather than partially burned down. She has harsh words for President Trump, who after the arson attack came to the church with a Bible to demonstrate that he would not permit Christianity and its values to be burned out of America by a mob of antiChristian rioters and arsonists. She has no harsh words for whose who tried to burn her church to the ground, and seems to think that Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, "Blessed are the church-burners."

The counter-cultural values of the 60s have metastasized and have corrupted all of our cultural institutions. Jefferson Airplane sang in their iconic We Can Be Together, "We steal, cheat, lie, forge, [mate], hide, and deal, We are obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent...We are forces of chaos and anarchy...Up against the wall...Tear down the wall!" The dissolution of America is glorified in this song, and presented as the penultimate stage before the realization of a fabulous primeval, feral togetherness.

James Burnham wrote that "liberalism permits Western civilization to be reconciled to dissolution...[I]f Western civilization...altogether collapses, we...will be able to see that ending, by the light of the principles of liberalism...as the transition to a new and higher order."

The hippies who danced to Jefferson Airplane are now "grown up," or at least grown much older if not much wiser. Perhaps some day the bishop will find herself sitting in the ashes of her completely burned-out church, not in repentance but in nihilistic self-complacency.

rockloper

kevin you are truly delusional. Scary.

keyser soze

“The hippies who danced to Jefferson Airplane are now "grown up," or at least grown much older if not much wiser.”

Now look what you went and did. Time to dust off my old hippie albums.... it’s been a while.

“When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead

And the White Knight is talking backwards

And the Red Queen's off with her head

Remember what the Dormouse said

Feed your head, feed your head....”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WANNqr-vcx0

rockloper

LOL [beam]

hermit thrush

trump had peaceful protesters teargassed so he could go to the church.

Nice_Commenter

The protestors were non-violent. Trump is the one that brought violence.

Kevin Beaty supports a president who was cheating on his third wife while she was pregnant with an adult film star. Now Kevin would like to talk to us about Christianity.

Kevin wants to bring up some Trotsky-ite who nobody has ever heard of. I’ll share a quote Kevin! “Dennis Hastert is a serial child rapist and Republicans made him third in line to the presidency”. That is fact, in-line whatever drivel from 1937 you are citing.

“The hippies that danced to Jefferson Airplane” are complete hypocrites if they vote Trump.

zeitgeist

Nothing, including utterly inept Trump, has been more shocking and lethal over the past three years than the cult of loyalists who have collaborated with and enabled him- McConnell, Graham, Barr, Pense, Pompeo, his base (including fake Holmes), Stefanik, GOP leadership, opportunistic and hypocritical conservative religious leaders and followers, his daughter and son-in-law, and ad infinitum. Bad leaders don't act in a vacuum. Amoral collaborators and enablers grow and protect them in the name of tribalism, careerism, personal benefit, ideological benefit, religious belief, etc. Trump didn't destroy America, his collaborators and enablers destroyed it. They aided, abetted and fueled the mayhem of his presidency. Their absence of pangs of conscience defy democracy, the Constitution and everything American. Trump's ineptness pales in comparison to the magnitude of the sellout and betrayal imposed on America by his collaborators and enablers.

hermit thrush

great comment.

keyser soze

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Every word of every sentence is a slam dunk!! You have managed to encapsulate in a single paragraph what many of us have been feeling over the past few years and I commend you for it.

rockloper

Yup, right down to the last ignorant supporter. I hate being around those people.

minder

Absolutely!! Well-said! If not for the enablers our country would not be in such danger. I may not have agreed with repubs over the years on policy, but I never, ever would have thought they would allow this to happen to our country. I will never understand it.

rockloper

Where did this article originate? Is the author afraid to sign?

Holmes -- the real one

The lack of signature means it reflects the opinions of the "editorial staff" (which translates to it reflects the opinion of the Johnsons.)

rockloper

IMHO it would state such.

rockloper

Dang either fat fingers or something else that was intended to read should instead of would bonafide Holmes.

Newsjunkie39a

Sorry, thinking of another.

Newsjunkie39a

George Will, writing in the WashPo. Superb column!

Nice_Commenter

I can’t believe a president who started his campaign asking for Obama’s birth certificate and saying “Mexico is sending rapists” would be divisive?

Trump voters have no sense of decency. Phony patriots, phony Christians. No sense of pride in America. Trump is a creature of hate, and has been since the beginning.

There have been four anti-immigrant movements in America. The Trump MAGA movement is the latest.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Holmes -- the real one

Interesting tepid rebuke.

It's not poor leadership.

It's not lack of leadership.

What we have in Trump is somebody who ENJOYS causing division, sowing hatred and racism, provoking chaos, and inciting violence That is what he has done for his whole life and he continued and escalated that behavior since entering the White House.

There was never any chance that he would "become presidential." That is simply what Republican apologists insisted while they were busy explaining what Trump "really meant" with nearly everything he said.

Well --- the hate and racism hasn't changed, the divisiveness is escalating, the chaos continues to worsen, and now he calls for violence against our own aggrieved citizens.

So what do the apologists do now?

rockloper

[thumbup]

Holmes

Where'd you get that? Al Jazeera?

Holmes -- the real one

LOL Actually I'm still laughing at re-reading this -- so thank you for that. Humor is always welcome.

Originality stumps you, huh?

From someone who can't even come up with his/her own name, that shouldn't surprise anyone. That, and a long history of plagiarism. You would do better to not assume people are like yourself.

rockloper

[thumbup]

Holmes -- the real one

BTW, we are all still waiting for you to post a list sources that you consider reliable.

I hate to think that cowardice would hold you back.

keyser soze

Ha, ha, ha... there goes Fake Holmes again, being just plain silly. Or to borrow a familiar word; "ludicrous."

keyser soze

Bingo!!

“What we have in Trump is somebody who ENJOYS causing division, sowing hatred and racism, provoking chaos, and inciting violence…”

Well you are not alone in your judgment RH as confirmed in General James Mattis’s powerful rebuke of the president.

James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution:

“…Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/

Holmes

Mattis should take lessons from MacArthur....Mattis is disgruntled because he was fired...

keyser soze

I was just about to fact check your ludicrous comment Bogus Holmes until I reconsidered when I realized, nah… he’s just not worth it.

rockloper

Mattis is disgruntled because republicans are ruining our democracy.

Newsjunkie39a

Another Trump lie. But we wouldn’t expect you to remember that.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.