US

Michelle Obama blasts Capitol cops for letting MAGA rioters free after heavy response to BLM protest

Michelle Obama has blasted Capitol Police for their response to MAGA protesters who rampaged through Congress just months after their heavy handed response to peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters.

In a statement posted to her social media accounts, the former First Lady also tore into Donald Trump as ‘infantile and unpatriotic’ after he incited his supporters to ransack the US Capitol – and blamed social media for ‘enabling this monstrous behavior’.

In her statement, Obama wrote that the reaction from law enforcement would have been much different if the Capitol rioters were African Americans, arguing that it was a far cry from law enforcement’s crackdown on Black Lives Matter protesters this past summer 

Obama wrote: ‘Like all of you, I watched as a gang – organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election – laid siege to the United States Capitol. 

‘They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government. 

‘And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days.

‘The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures.’ 

Scroll down to read her statement in full 

President Trump

Former First Lady Michelle Obama (left) demanded that social media companies ban President Trump (right) permanently following his mob’s ransacking of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday

(Scroll down to read the statement in full) In a statement posted to her social media accounts, Obama also slammed the lenient police response to the mob, arguing that it was a far cry from law enforcement's crackdown on Black Lives Matter protesters this past summer

(Scroll down to read the statement in full) In a statement posted to her social media accounts, Obama also slammed the lenient police response to the mob, arguing that it was a far cry from law enforcement’s crackdown on Black Lives Matter protesters this past summer

A mob of the president's supporters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday after attending a 'Save America' speech by Trump. One woman was shot and killed by police while three others died of medical emergencies during the rioting

A mob of the president’s supporters stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday after attending a ‘Save America’ speech by Trump. One woman was shot and killed by police while three others died of medical emergencies during the rioting 

She continued: ‘This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement—our nation’s largest demonstrations ever, bringing together people of every race and class and encouraging millions to re-examine their own assumptions and behavior. 

‘Yet in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force,’ her statement said, referencing the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted in the wake of the May 25 police-involved death of George Floyd.

She added: ‘We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.’

Obama was referring to the June 2 incident in which federal officers and riot police deployed tear gas to clear demonstrators out of the Lafayette Park area so that Trump could pose with a Bible near the St. John’s Church. 

She continued: ‘And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation. They’ve just got to look the right way.’

She added: ‘Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. 

‘And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it.’ 

Capitol Police have been criticized for failing to plan for Wednesday’s violence even though supporters of the president had planned to descend on Washington, DC, for weeks while Congress met to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. 

During a ‘Save America’ rally near the White House, Trump encouraged his supporters to march toward the Capitol building.

A large number of MAGA supporters then stormed the barricades and breached the Capitol campus, overwhelming the outmanned Capitol Police force and sending lawmakers to secret, secure locations.

One woman was shot and killed by police as she was trying to force her way into the House Chamber while three others died of medical emergencies.

Several of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol took photographs as they sat at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk and also took artifacts.

Obama also slammed the Republican Party, conservative media and Big Tech sites that had enabled the president.

She blasted: ‘The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures. And the wreckage lays at the feet of a party and media apparatus that gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these.’

She also urged social media companies to permanently ban the president from their sites, after Facebook and Twitter both temporarily suspended his accounts.

She added: ‘Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior – and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.’ 

Obama’s statement was posted hours after Facebook announced it would lock President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts at least until Inauguration Day on January 20th. 

Twitter suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours on Wednesday and for the first time deleted his tweets after he praised the mob who stormed Congress and said he ‘loved’ them. 

His Twitter account is set to come back online on Thursday. 

Trump’s social media blackout

Multiple social media companies have announced that Trump’s accounts have been suspended following the violence at the Capitol:

Facebook – Account access suspended until at least January 20th

Instagram – Owned by Facebook. Account access suspended until at least January 20th

Twitter – Trump’s access to @realdonaldtrump account for 12 hours on Wednesday and deleted three incendiary tweets.

YouTube – Video posted by Trump after the violence removed. Site-wide ban on videos which promote election fraud conspiracies

Snapchat – Trump’s account disabled ‘indefinitely’

Twitch – Trump’s account disabled ‘indefinitely’

Michelle concluded by encouraging Americans to come together and heal in the aftermath of the attack.

‘The work of putting America back together, of truly repairing what is broken, isn’t the work of any individual politician or political party. It’s up to each of us to do our part. To reach out. To listen. 

‘And to hold tight to the truth and values that have always led this country forward. It will be an uncomfortable, sometimes painful process. But if we enter into it with an honest and unwavering love of our country, then maybe we can finally start to heal.’

The former first lady’s statement was released a day after her husband, former President Barack Obama, weighed in on the unprecedented breach of Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

The 44th president said that the chaos was not surprising based on the rhetoric surrounding the election.

‘History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,’ Obama wrote in a statement Wednesday.

He added: ‘But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.’

The former president remained largely silent on the scene taking place in Washington D.C. on January 6 – the same day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden, who served as Obama’s vice president for eight years.

He weighed in, finally, around 8:00 p.m., as the massive scene at the Capitol dissipated and Congress continued their joint session to accept the Electoral College results six hours behind schedule.

‘Here’s my statement on today’s violence at the Capitol,’ Obama wrote in a tweet with an image of his statement attached. 

‘Their [Republicans’] fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of resentment,’ Obama wrote. ‘Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up in a violent crescendo.’ 

Obama said he feels optimistic that members of the GOP are turning against the president, claiming: ‘We need more leaders like these.’

Michelle Obama’s statement on Trump and Capitol riots in full

I woke up yesterday elated by the news of Reverend Raphael Warnock’s election victory. He’ll be Georgia’s first Black senator, and I was heartened by the idea that the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church—the home parish of Dr. King and a spiritual and organizational hub during the Civil Rights Movement—would be representing his state in the United States Senate.

In just a few hours, though, my heart had fallen harder and faster than I can remember. Like all of you, I watched as a gang—organized, violent, and mad they’d lost an election—laid siege to the United States Capitol. They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government. And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days. The day was a fulfillment of the wishes of an infantile and unpatriotic president who can’t handle the truth of his own failures. And the wreckage lays at the feet of a party and media apparatus that gleefully cheered him on, knowing full well the possibility of consequences like these.

It all left me with so many questions—questions about the future, questions about security, extremism, propaganda, and more. But there’s one question I just can’t shake: What if these rioters had been like the folks who go to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday? What would have been different? 

I think we all know the answer. This summer’s Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement—our nation’s largest demonstrations ever, bringing together people of every race and class and encouraging millions to re-examine their own assumptions and behavior. And yet, in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force. We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.

And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation. They’ve just got to look the right way. 

What do all those folks have to say now?

 Seeing the gulf between the responses to yesterday’s riot and this summer’s peaceful protests and the larger movement for racial justice is so painful. It hurts. And I cannot think about moving on or turning the page until we reckon with the reality of what we saw yesterday. True progress will be possible only once we acknowledge that this disconnect exists and take steps to repair it. And that also means coming to grips with the reality that millions voted for a man so obviously willing to burn our democracy down for his own ego.

I hurt for our country. And I wish I had all the solutions to make things better. I wish I had the confidence that people who know better will act like it for more than a news cycle or two. All I know is that now is a time for true patriotism. Now is the time for those who voted for this president to see the reality of what they’ve supported—and publicly and forcefully rebuke him and the actions of that mob. Now is the time for Silicon Valley companies to stop enabling this monstrous behavior—and go even further than they have already by permanently banning this man from their platforms and putting in place policies to prevent their technology from being used by the nation’s leaders to fuel insurrection.

And if we have any hope of improving this nation, now is the time for swift and serious consequences for the failure of leadership that led to yesterday’s shame.

Thankfully, even in the darkness, there are glimmers of hope. It’s something I imagine Reverend Warnock has preached about before—and I’m still heartened beyond belief that he’s headed to Washington. I’m glad his fellow Georgian, Jon Ossoff, is too, and that together they’ll help give control of Congress back to the only party that’s shown that it can put our democracy above its own short-term political fortunes. I pray that every American, especially those who disagree with them, will give our new Congress, President-Elect Biden, and Vice-President-Elect Harris the chance to lead us in a better direction.

But make no mistake: The work of putting America back together, of truly repairing what is broken, isn’t the work of any individual politician or political party. It’s up to each of us to do our part. To reach out. To listen. And to hold tight to the truth and values that have always led this country forward. It will be an uncomfortable, sometimes painful process. But if we enter into it with an honest and unwavering love of our country, then maybe we can finally start to heal.

 

President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will remain locked until at least January 20th amid fears that he will incite more violence.

In an extraordinary blog post, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg accused Trump of using the platform ‘to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.’

The decision was announced by Zuckerberg on Thursday, and will likely put pressure on Twitter after Trump’s favorite social media platform suspended him for 12 hours on Wednesday evening.

Zuckerberg said the president used his Facebook page ‘to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building’ and that allowing him to freely post in the final 13 days of his term would pose too great a risk.  

Facebook on Thursday locked President Trump's account at least until after Inauguration Day. In September 2019, Trump posted a photo of him shaking hands with Zuckerberg during a meeting in the Oval Office. '‪Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the Oval Office today,' the president wrote at the time

Facebook on Thursday locked President Trump’s account at least until after Inauguration Day. In September 2019, Trump posted a photo of him shaking hands with Zuckerberg during a meeting in the Oval Office. ‘‪Nice meeting with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook in the Oval Office today,’ the president wrote at the time

‘The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,’ Zuckerberg wrote. 

In the 13 days left in his presidency, Trump will not be able to communicate to his more than 35.2 million followers on Facebook. 

The president will also be blocked from his 24.6 million followers on Instagram, a Facebook-owned property.  

‘His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people in the US and around the world,’ the statement by Zuckerberg read.

In an extraordinary post, Zuckerberg accused Trump of using Facebook ‘to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government’

In an extraordinary post, Zuckerberg accused Trump of using Facebook ‘to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government’

‘We removed these statements yesterday because we judged that their effect – and likely their intent – would be to provoke further violence.

‘Following the certification of the election results by Congress, the priority for the whole country must now be to ensure that the remaining 13 days and the days after inauguration pass peacefully and in accordance with established democratic norms.

‘Over the last several years, we have allowed President Trump to use our platform consistent with our own rules, at times removing content or labeling his posts when they violate our policies.

‘We did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech.

‘But the current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.’

Zuckerberg concluded: ‘We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great.


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