Hollywood actor George Clooney made a $500,000 donation as a means to mock President Donald Trump’s remarks on popularizing Juneteenth, thanking the president for “making Juneteenth famous” in the same way segregationist Democrat politician Bull Connor made “Civil Rights” famous.
“Thank you President Trump for ‘making Juneteenth famous.’ Much like when Bull Connor made ‘Civil Rights’ famous. My family will be donating [$500,000] to the Equal Justice Initiative in honor of your heroic efforts,” the Ocean’s Eleven star said in a statement. The Equal Justice Initiative was founded by attorney Bryan Stevenson, whose story was given the Hollywood treatment in the 2019 film Just Mercy, which chronicles Stevensons’ (played by Michael B. Jordan) courtroom battles against racial injustice and mass incarceration.
Trump made the statement about Juneteenth during an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” Trump, whose Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally was originally scheduled for June 19, told the outlet. “It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.”
This is hardly the first time anti-Trump figures have attempted to compare Trump to the infamous Alabama segregationist, who “became known worldwide for using fire hoses and police attack dogs against black civil rights marchers in Birmingham,” as AL notes.
Former Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told ABC’s This Week last year that they could defeat “demagogues” like Trump by reigniting “senses of civic grace,” using Connor as an example:
We didn’t beat Bull Connor by bringing bigger dogs and more powerful hoses. You beat demagogues by expanding the moral imagination of the country, bringing people together to overcome them. Look, I had a guy when I walked into a town hall put his arm around me and said, “I want you to punch Trump in the face.” And I looked at him and I just smiled and said, “hey man that’s a felony, and us black guys, we don’t get away with that that often.” The reality is, is Trump wants us to fight him on his turf, and his term. He wants to pull our party down. We will not succeed by showing the worst of who we are, but the best of who we are.
More recently, Joe Biden (D), the Democrat Party’s presumptive nominee, spoke on the death of George Floyd and criticized Trump’s response to the protests, many of which turned into violent, lawless riots.
“This nation is a nation of values. Our freedom to speak is the cherished knowledge that lives inside every American,” Biden said during a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall. “We will not allow any President to quiet our voice. We won’t let those who see this as an opportunity to sow chaos throw up a smokescreen to distract us from the very real and legitimate grievances at the heart of these protests.”
“The 13th and 14th and 15th Amendments followed the Civil War. The greatest economy in the history of the world grew out of the Great Depression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 came in the tracks of Bull Connor’s vicious dogs. To paraphrase Reverend Barber — it’s in the mourning we find hope,” Biden added.