President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election and his and the Republican Party’s dangerous actions and rhetoric are now causing damage that might not easily be undone.
Led by the Proud Boys, whom Trump infamously asked to “stand back and stand by,” Pro-Trump demonstrators wreaked havoc on the nation’s capital over the weekend, clashing with counterdemonstrators at Black Lives Matter Plaza.
The result was several stabbings, at least 23 arrests, and the vandalizing of historic Black churches in Washington, D.C. Two police officers were reportedly injured and transported to a local hospital.
There were other demonstrations and unrest in cities around the nation as organizers of “Stop the Steal,” which reportedly is linked to pro-Trump operative Roger Stone, and church groups urged people to gather for “Jericho Marches.”
Protests also occurred in Georgia, a state where Trump’s campaign has sought to overturn President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory, and Mobile, Alabama.
In the Washington state capital of Olympia, local media reported that one person was shot and three arrested after clashes between pro-and anti-Trump protest groups.
The Proud Boys clashed in all-out brawls near the White House, the Supreme Court, and Black Lives Matter Plaza, with D.C. Police using pepper spray to break up several melees.
Reuters reported that about 200 members of the Proud Boys, wearing combat fatigues and ballistic vests, flashed white nationalist hand signals while carrying helmets as they menaced people in the nation’s capital.
While flying to a college football game in New York, Trump directed the Marine One helicopter to fly over the protestors, where he basked in the cheers they heaped upon him.
“This is all because Donald Trump can’t accept defeat,” said Carol Gray, a Washington, D.C., resident who said she and her boyfriend were “heartbroken” to see Black Lives Matter banners ripped from churches and other sites by the Proud Boys.
“This is so dangerous for a United States President. It’s the bloodiest of all stains America has seen since Jim Crow and slavery for [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and all of those Republicans who are backing Trump in his plot to overthrow the government and in his plot to destroy democracy,” Gray remarked.
Her boyfriend, Rashawn Hilton, agreed.
“As bad as 2020 has been, I don’t think anyone in this country, or around the world, would have ever thought they’d see an American President instigate what might eventually be a civil war,” Hilton offered.
At least 50 federal and state court rulings have upheld Biden’s victory. Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court – which includes three Trump appointees—rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas and backed by Trump seeking to throw out voting results in four states.
That hasn’t stopped Trump and many in the GOP from falsely claiming the election was rigged or stolen. Many believe if Trump or GOP leaders would take a stand by refuting the false claims about the election and denounce the Proud Boys and other violent groups, America could return to some political normalcy.
“Notice how quiet Senate GOPers are about their Proud Boys white supremacist terrorists trashing D.C. last night and causing chaos with fights, stabbings, and bare [bottoms] on display?” Singer Ricky Davila tweeted. “It’s who they are and who they represent.”
Stacy M. Brown is an NNPA Newswire senior national correspondent