Former First Lady Michelle Obama claimed in a Joe Biden campaign video released Tuesday that protests across the U.S. are largely peaceful and “only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all.”
Obama says to differ with that conclusion is “racist.”
“It’s true,” Obama said about the protests. “Research backs it up. Only a tiny fraction of demonstrations have had any violence at all. So what the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong, and yes, it is racist.”
But Obama cautions that President Donald Trump’s campaign is willing to focus on the violence as an election wedge issue that could be effective “because this is a difficult time, a confusing time.” She suggested in the video that aims to elect Democratic presidential nominee Biden that “when people hear these lies and crazy conspiracy theories repeated over and over and over again, they don’t know what to think.”
She suggested that by the repeated use of “falsehoods being spread throughout the internet … even reasonable people might get scared. And the one thing this president is really, really good at is using fear and confusion and spreading lies to win.”
Obama suggested that Trump is only using his emphasis on law and order as a diversion to “distract from his breathtaking failures” and to scapegoat racial minorities.
“They’re stoking fears about black and brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation and they’re pinning it all on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity,” she said.
The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) released a report in early September that seemingly backed Obama’s claims. The group found that 93% of the 7,750 Black Lives Matter-inspired protests across the United States in 2020 could be described as peaceful. That left 543 events categorized as violent.
Author: David Krayden