President Trump is going to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday. During a trip to Louisiana and Texas Saturday to survey the damage done by Hurricane Laura, he was asked by a reporter if he planned to go to Kenosha. At the time, he said he “probably” would. By Saturday evening, the White House announced the president will indeed travel to Kenosha.
Trump plans to meet with local law enforcement and to survey the damage done by riots in Kenosha. Asked if the president will meet with the family of Jacob Blake, a White House spokesman said the president’s schedule wasn’t “fully ironed out yet”.
When asked earlier Saturday if he will visit Kenosha, Trump said, “probably so” before praising the federal presence in Wisconsin.
“Probably so. We’ve had tremendous success as you know. We were finally able to get the go ahead from the local authorities to send in the National Guard,” Trump said. “Within a few minutes of the guard, everybody cleared out and it became safe.”
Trump sent in 1,000 National Guard into Kenosha last week as the violence and rioting spiraled out of control following the death of Jacob Blake. Blake is being made into a martyr in the media and by BLM. His record, however, points to less than admirable behavior, including criminal behavior such as sexual assault. Police responded to the scene where Blake was shot because he violated a restraining order related to a sexual assault. In doing so he again sexually assaulted the woman who got the restraining order against him. Blake isn’t just some innocent black man who was singled out by police for harassment.
The situation in Kenosha seems to be calmer now, with the help of the National Guard. It likely is safe for a visit from Trump. I think it’s a good idea for him to go. He can praise the National Guard and thank them for their service. He can offer general support for local law enforcement but that will be a dicey situation because an investigation is still ongoing but it isn’t looking very good for how the police handled the arrest. And he can show unity with the local authorities. Should he visit with Blake’s family? Maybe. He can offer his ear to whatever they have to say to him and it will show the warmer, fuzzier side of him that the speakers at the Republican convention spoke about. Trump is good at these kinds of meetings and likely would come out of it ok. Biden and Kamala have already milked their calls to the family for all its worth.
Trump did call Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, last week but she missed his call. She apologized to the president for missing the call during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon. She also apologized for some rude talk from a family member towards him. She said, “And I’m not mad at you at all. I have utmost respect for you as the leader of our country.” Let the rest of the family blame Trump for everything. He is good with grieving mothers, though. And, in this case, Blake is alive, though hospitalized.
We know that Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by less than 23,000 votes. He is, however, the first Republican to carry Kenosha County in 44 years. So, it is important that he pay close personal attention to Kenosha from a purely political point of view. Any claims of Trump politicizing the situation on the ground in Kenosha by a visit can easily be countered with the way Democrats are responding to the violence and riots in Kenosha, as well as other hot spots. Few prominent Democrats have bothered to condemn the violence and destruction. They are all trying to stay as far away as possible with the presidential election coming up. The BLM protests and riots are already political.
Members of Blake’s family attended the rally in Washington put on by Rev. Sharpton and Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday. Blake’s father spoke. He and Jacob’s uncle were guests of Sharpton. Jacob’s sister also spoke.
“Nobody expected this. You wouldn’t want to do this to your worst enemy, to be in the position that we’re in,” Justin Blake said about the shooting of his nephew and subsequent national attention.
“Our family’s been putting in work for years now,” Justin Blake said. “In 2020, we can make a historic change for people across the nation and the world. That would be the legacy we’d like to leave.”
On Saturday, Blake’s family led a march in Kenosha. Members of the family spoke here, too, and Blake’s father addressed visiting his son in the hospital. He put a very sympathetic spin on the situation. He said when his son asked why the police shot him so many times, he responded with, “Baby, they weren’t supposed to shoot you at all.” I’m just spitballing here but perhaps he should have told his son that one way for the police not to shoot him is by not violating restraining orders and continuing to sexually assault the woman involved and then walking away from the police. And, maybe he shouldn’t have brought his children along in his vehicle, which he reached into that caused the reaction from the police. It’s reported that a knife was found in the vehicle.
The Blake family led Saturday’s march, and thousands followed from 52nd Street down to Sheridan Road to the Kenosha County Courthouse, where several members of the Blake family spoke, along with activists, supporters and elected officials.
Retired Rev. Tony Larsen walked with his guitar. He played songs of unity as people sang along.
“Black and white as one,” he sang. “We’ll walk hand in hand.”
The Rev. Monica Cummings of Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist said it had been a long week for her.
“I’m just tired and weary,” Cummings said.
“We want the mayor, the Kenosha County sheriff and the chief of police all to resign,” Cummings said. “Incompetence all played a part in what transpired in terms of the death of the two guys Tuesday night.”
Bradford Community Church is next to a car lot that was set on fire Sunday night. The blaze spread to the church’s marquee, which read “Black Lives Matter.”
Wisconsin lawmakers and the state’s lieutenant governor point to November 3 and voting as “a mile marker, not the finish line.” And on we go during the Summer of Love.