Do not take the bait, begged the African-American Reverend Jesse Jackson to the people who for a week have demonstrated in Kenosha (Wisconsin) against police violence and racism hours before the arrival of President Donald Trump to the city.
“Trump is going to come in order to use us as a publicity bait to scare white people and get votes, he wants to see activists on one side and his supporters with red caps on the other,” he warned, according to statements collected by The Washington Post . “We better let the wind blow it away,” Jackson asked activists.
“He wants to use us as advertising bait for his campaign,” warns Jesse Jackson.
Kenosha is a city in mourning. Located 75 kilometers north of Chicago, the town made headlines a week ago when a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American, seven times in the back. The violent look that the demonstrations took during the first three nights overwhelmed the local authorities. Amid the chaos, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old white teenager who traveled from Illinois armed with an AR-15 rifle, shot dead two Black Lives Matter protesters. The intervention of the National Guard, at the request of the governor, Tony Evers, put a stop to the damage.
This is the volatile scenario in which President Trump found himself yesterday, ignoring the warnings of local and state leaders, who believe that his presence will only contribute to creating more division and tension. The NAACP (the historic association for the defense of black rights) said that no candidate should visit the city for now, neither the Republican nor the Democrat, Joe Biden.
According to the White House, his visit aims to help the city heal its wounds, although his language and his gestures did not seem to seek reconciliation. Without distinguishing between rioters and peaceful protesters, Trump has labeled participants in the protests “anarchists,” “looters,” and “violent” and has refused to condemn Rittenhouse’s actions. Asked whether his visit could not exacerbate tensions, he said that “it can also increase enthusiasm and love and respect for our country.”