John Cusack, Cardi B, Issa Rae and more celebrities expressed anger with President Donald Trump after he made a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House in which he threatened to use the American military to end violent protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. His remarks came just minutes after federal police teargassed and and used rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse about 1000 protesters in Lafayette Square in front of the White House, without “provocation”, according to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. Trump insisted that although he is “an ally of peaceful protesters”, he will step in if cities or states “refuse to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents.”
After his speech, Trump walked across the street to St. John’s Episcopal Church and held up a bible in front of its doors for a photo op. The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese, Mariann Edgar Budde, whose diocese oversees St. John’s, was “outraged” by Trump’s actions – having peaceful demonstrators removed forcefully and then holding up a bible in front of the church – and told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview, that the president “used a bible and church of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.”
— John Cusack (@johncusack) June 1, 2020
Like the Bishop, many stars were furious with Trump after his performance. John Cusack, who made headlines on May 30 when he posted a video in which he claimed police officers were hitting his bike with batons during a Chicago protest, was one of the first to respond to Trump’s threat. “He declared himself dictator – him or us-,” he wrote in a tweet.
Cardi B also took to Twitter to clap back at Trump. “Believe it or not the president have a lot of power his tongue,” she tweeted. “Today he held a press conference. Instead of comforting us letting us know that justice will be made and THAT YES! Black lives matter! He goes and threaten the people makin the people more angry!”
Believe it or not the president have a lot of power in his https://t.co/uTtBbt91Qq he held a press conference.Instead of comforting us letting us know that justice will be made and THAT YES !Black lives matter! He goes and threaten the people makin the people more angry !
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) June 2, 2020
Issa Rae called Trump a “white supremacist president” in her tweet and said she thinks his “cowardly enablers would rather kill everybody than stop killing black people.” Joy Behar, The View, stuck up for the protesters in her tweet writing, “All I see are peaceful protestors [sic] being intimidated by Trump’s mounted police. A disgrace. We saw what happened at Kent State many years ago. These are young people. Stop it.”
Your raggedy white supremacist president and his cowardly enablers would rather kill everybody than stop killing black people.
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) June 1, 2020
Other stars like Rosanna Arquette, Diddy and Khalid also spoke out against Trump’s proposed military intervention into U.S. states against protesters. While Arquette called him “lawless and disorderly for almost 4 years”, Diddy wrote, “TRUMP IS TRIPPIN!!!” in his tweet. Khalid brought up martial law and expressed his disbelief about it. “Martial Law???? Are you f**king serious????” his tweet read.
All I see are peaceful protestors being intimidated by Trump’s mounted police. A disgrace. We saw what happened at Kent State many years ago. These are young people. Stop it.
— Joy Behar (@JoyVBehar) June 1, 2020
After Trump proposed invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 in order to send the U.S. army into the states to quell “rioting”, lawyers debated whether that action would even be legal. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin argued that it was illegal for Trump to use the act alone, and without invitation from governors, even if there was violence in their state.
Protests over Floyd’s tragic death after he was handcuffed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25, began last week and now have spread into dozens of cities throughout the country. Police officer Derek Chauvin has now been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in his death. While a majority of the protests have been peaceful, they have been accompanied in some cities by looting, which appears to have been perpetrated by a small group of individuals. As a result, numerous American cities are under curfews tonight, June 1, including Washington D.C.