The offending tweet has been censored by Twitter for inciting violence.
A rising chorus of artists are lashing out at Donald Trump after the President posted a tweet that appeared to threaten an armed response to the days of protests spurred by the police-related killing of George Floyd.
Rapper Ice-T shook his head, writing, “This MF said.. ‘When the looting starts, the shooting stars…’ Unbelievable.”
The-Dream was even more blunt. “Just so you know THUGS means N—ers @realDonaldTrump,” he wrote. “Such classy guy. Keep Black People out your mouth!”
In the tweet, which has been censored by Twitter due to its violating the company’s rules about “glorifying violence,” Trump referred to the protesters as “THUGS,” noting that he’d spoken to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and “told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The tweet was also taken by many as a suggestion that Trump is willing to send in National Guard troops to fire at unarmed civilians protesting the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on Monday (May 25) after an incident caught on tape. In the footage, a since-fired officer is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as the father of two pleads for them to stop, saying, “I can’t breathe.”
Taylor Swift, who has become more vocal about her political feelings over the past two years, also posted a scathing tweet, taking Trump to task. “After stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism your entire presidency, you have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?,” Swift wrote.”‘When the looting starts the shooting starts’??? We will vote you out in November.”
Three former members of One Direction also had strong reactions to the Trump tweet, with Niall Horan writing, “THUGS?? these people are protesting against the fact that one of YOUR animalistic white policemen kneeled on George’s windpipe and forced him to stop breathing and killed him??” Liam Payne and Zayn Malik also posted about Floyd’s death on Friday.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton posted a biting retort to Trump’s tweet as well, writing, “The president of the United States is calling for violence against American citizens. That is so wrong. We need honest reckoning and reconciliation.”
See the reactions below.