WASHINGTON - Amid protests over the killings of Black citizens that have lasted almost a month, President Trump retweeted videos of Black men attacking white victims in separate incidents — one of which occurred last year — while wondering why they did not spark protests like the nationwide demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.
Shortly after 10:30 p.m., the president retweeted a Twitter thread referencing an October 2019 incident in which a 28-year-old Black man was seen on a video pushing a white woman on a subway platform in Brooklyn.
"So terrible!" Trump tweeted.
The woman was not hurt. The man, described by authorities as a known subway recidivist offender, was later arrested and charged with assault.
Floyd was killed by a police officer who pinned him to the ground by kneeling on his neck, and the protests that ensued were directed at official acts of brutality against Black people, or those specifically motivated by racism, not random episodes of violence.
The president then retweeted another viral video of a Black man attacking a white employee at Macy's in Flint, Mich., on June 15.
"Looks [sic] what's going on here," Trump tweeted. "Where are the protesters? Was this man arrested?"
Police in Flint say they have identified two men who they are looking for in connection with the case.
The video clip was posted by Matt Walsh, a conservative blogger, who tweeted: "This guy brutally assaulted a Macy's employee because of his race and then slandered him by claiming he said the n-word, which was a lie. This is a horrific hate crime and if the races were reversed it would be the only thing we talk about for days."
Trump has a long history of stoking divisiveness when it comes to race, and it predates his presidency.
In 1989, after a group of Black and Latino teenagers known as the Central Park Five were accused of the brutal rape and assault of a female jogger in New York City, Trump took out a full-page ad in four of New York City's major newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty.
Their convictions were vacated in 2002 after DNA evidence and the confession of a convicted rapist and murderer exonerated them.
Despite that evidence, Trump said in 2016 that he remains convinced of their guilt.