"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen," Trump tweeted. "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
The latest celebrity "is over party" might actually have a little more weight than the usual fare, which has featured some of the most inane and ridiculous reasons for Twitter users to try and cancel one star or another. This time, though, it's the president they're trying to cancel.
President Trump has tweeted a lot of things since the murder of George Floyd underneath the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin, but Thursday night's missile was the one that immediately made him the central figure of the latest "Is Over Party" trend.
As the protests in Minneapolis erupted into violence for the third night in a row after the public death of a black man while in the custody of white police officers, Trump clearly grew frustrated with the ongoing situation in Minnesota.
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
As you might predict, he blamed the "very weak Radical Left" in his two-part tweet on the issue Thursday night, as well as a "lack of leadership" from Minneapolois' Democratic mayor Jacob Frey.
He threatened to bring in the National Guard, and followed it up by saying that rioters are "dishonoring the memory of George Floyd" -- but he didn't use the word "rioters."
"These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won't let that happen" is what he wrote [emphasis his], and even concluded this tweet with the phrase, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."
Not only did he use a term that's been systematically deployed as an attack against black Americans for decades now, but he did so in all caps to ensure that everyone saw it.
Is there a possibility that Trump is unaware of the deeply racist connotation this term carries, especially when coming from a white man of power?
Is there a possibility that no one on his team saw the problem with this tweet, even after the fact, as it was not immediately taken down on Thursday night? Instead, it quickly racked up over 50,000 comments in the span of two hours.
Within that same span, the hashtag "DonaldIsOverParty" began trending, with many speculating (some hoping) that this might be the moment that ended his chances at reelection.
Also surging to the top of Twitter's trending topics were the terms "Thugs," "National Guard," "BlackLivesMatter," "MinneapolisProtests," "MinneapolisRiot" and even "Frey."
At the same time, Twitter itself jumped into the fray by actually censoring the second part of Trump's tweet as potentially "glorifying violence." This was the part which included both the use of the term "THUGS" and the threat, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
The move comes on the same day that Trump signed an executive order attempting to curtail the platform's ability to fact-check tweets (which he drafted in response to them tagging two of his own tweets in this manner). He will surely have plenty more to say about this latest censorship.
Meanwhile, in a late-night press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Frey was heated in his response to Trump's tweets, which he had read to him by a reporter as he'd not yet seen them.
"Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis," Frey said, according to USA Today. "Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re gonna get through this."
Protesters again grew violent on Thursday night, breaking their way into a Minneapolis police precinct and setting it ablaze. Riots have reportedly broken out in additional locations as well, according to the outlet, including New York, Denver and Louisville.
All the while, the "DonaldIsOverParty" is in full swing on Twitter, with people equal parts disgusted by what they see as blatant racism and hope that this moment will matter come November.
Remember that Trump reacted to violent white protestors in Charlottesville by calling them “fine people” yet he’s now calling black protestors in Minneapolis “thugs.” This is strategic and dangerous and disgusting. If you support this president you are complicit and just as bad