What Trump means when he talks about “American carnage”
January 23, 2017

“In his inaugural address, Donald Trump promised to save America from a hellish wave of crime and disorder. ‘The crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential,’ said the president. ‘This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.’

“There’s a small problem with this image. It’s a fantasy. And it’s a fantasy that serves a particular purpose: to demonize groups and protest movements organized around police reform. The evidence is the White House page on law enforcement, updated after Trump’s inauguration. ‘Our job is not to make life more comfortable for the rioter, the looter, or the violent disrupter,’ writes the administration on a page titled ‘Standing Up for Our Law Enforcement Community.’ But this isn’t demonization for its own sake; it’s central to the president’s larger political vision, a white identity politics that looks with skepticism and hostility toward claims of racial injustice.”

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