Kristen Holmes and Sarah Westwood at CNN report that White House officials are pondering whether Donald Trump should give a speech this week on race and national unity. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson hinted on Sunday and was backed up later by a senior administration official who said the idea was under serious consideration:
Many allies of the President spent the last week distraught as they watched Trump fumble his response to the police killing of George Floyd, only to follow his perceived silence on the resulting racial tensions with a federal law enforcement crackdown on the protesters near his fortified doorstep. […]
Allies and advisers believe that the lack of violence over the weekend allows the President to double down on his “law and order” message, painting the relative calm as a direct result of his push for “domination” in the streets, a source close to the White House told CNN.
If Trump expects to hang onto all the votes of those he has characterized as “very fine people,” he should deliver that unity speech from Chapel Hill, Tennessee, in the front yard of the boyhood home of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the butcher of Ft. Pillow, and the first Grand Wizard of the terrorist Ku Klux Klan (although he lied about it in later years, something that ought to give Trump the giggles). Bonus #1: That boyhood home is now owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Bonus #2: He can invite Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul from next door to attend so he can praise him for being an obstacle to the Senate in finally passing an anti-lynching law. Passing that, as every good Rebel flag flyer knows, would be yet another dastardly destruction of American heritage even worse than kicking statues and monuments of Confederate traitors off public land.
But after his virtual townhall performance at the Lincoln Memorial early last month, it wouldn’t be surprising if Trump chose the Martin Luther King Jr. monument where he can do one of his stiff and inauthentic readings of the words of others, punctuating it with off-script outbursts about how he has done more to advance civil rights than the assassinated reverend.
November cannot come soon enough.