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'The definition of racism': Trump melts down and says the phrase 'black lives matter' offends police

MSNBC

President Donald Trump makes very clear his allegiance to the almighty dollar, so it should hardly be shocking that he’s willing to throw Black people under the bus when it comes to his beloved Trump Tower. The president made his position even clearer Wednesday when he vehemently opposed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to have a Black Lives Matter sign painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower. The building’s namesake called the planned sign a “symbol of hate” and berated the mayor for supporting a plan to reallocate $1 billion of the police department’s $6 billion operating budget—a drop in the bucket for protesters pushing for a wholesale overhaul to policing.


"NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue,” Trump tweeted.

Trump claimed the sign would “further antagonize New York’s Finest.” He called for the city to: “Spend this money fighting crime instead!” What the president apparently doesn’t understand is that fighting crime shouldn’t be synonymous with a cop on every corner harassing private citizens for minor infractions and brutalizing Black men, women, and children. That approach to public safety hasn’t been working, and many argue that the city’s budget, which was passed Tuesday, doesn’t go far enough to reimagine policing.

Although the mayor said prioritizing police reform and public safety would be a difficult “balancing act,” he shut down Trump’s claims in epic fashion.

“Here’s what you don’t understand,” he said. “Black people BUILT 5th Ave and so much of this nation. Your ‘luxury’ came from THEIR labor, for which they have never been justly compensated. We are honoring them. The fact that you see it as denigrating your street is the definition of racism.”

Mayor de Blasio added:

“You also don’t know that NY’s Finest are now a majority people of color. They already know Black Lives Matter. There is no ‘symbol of hate’ here. Just a commitment to truth. Only in your mind could an affirmation of people’s value be a scary thing.”

Mayor de Blasio’s words, however, hardly got him off the hook after a disappointing city budget. “The fact that we can't hire anyone new in this City at all except for police says we simply missed the moment....” Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate, tweeted Tuesday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times: "Defunding police means defunding police. It does not mean budget tricks or funny math.”

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