OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

🚨 POLL: Is it “Racist” to use the term “Thugs”?

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Several people were bothered by a recent tweet President Trump posted as it calls people looting and destroying the Minneapolis community “thugs.”

In a series of tweets, Trump decried the violence and unrest and said those partaking in it were tarnishing the memory of George Floyd, the man who was killed by law enforcement officials initially sparking the riots.

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” the president tweeted.

“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!” he added.



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On President Trump’s Twitter feed, the tweet is flagged for “glorifying violence,” but several people who responded to the post were more bothered by Trump’s decision to say the people rioting were “thugs.”

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Many of these responses drew a contrast with how Trump described the rioters versus other groups that have protested (like Michigan residents protesting the governor’s lockdown orders). Some people even alleged there was a racial component to the difference.

But, in 2015, former President Obama used the same word to describe a group of people who were violently protesting and rioting in Baltimore.

From USA Today:

In discussing the riots Tuesday, Obama assailed the “criminals and thugs who tore up the place,” and described them as a distraction from the real issues of police brutality.

Some critics ascribe racial connotations to the word “thug” — Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walked back the term earlier this week — but Obama doesn’t agree, officials said.

Obama’s White House spokesman Josh Earnest similarly described the Baltimore riots as “thuggish,” defending his boss.

“Whether it’s arson or, you know, the looting of a liquor store … those were thuggish acts,” he said. “And when you’re looting up a convenience store or you’re throwing a cinder block at a police officer, you’re engaging in thuggish behavior and that’s why the President used that word.”

And, there’s this: