Michel Martin, the black host of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Saturday, said “protesters” in Minneapolis have been subjected to tear gas and other enforcement while “mostly white protesters” who gathered in Wisconsin and Michigan last month to push for governors to allow businesses to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown were “heavily armed” and “occupied” the state capitols.
The report comes as riots break out in Minnesota and across the country after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers on Memorial Day.
“This hour, we’ll have the latest from Minneapolis and an update on protests nationwide,” said Martin on the taxpayer-funded media outlet’s weekly program.
“But first, we want to take a moment to note how the unrest over Floyd’s death comes at an extraordinary time for America, as the country takes the first tentative steps to reopen from a pandemic lockdown, a crisis in which black and brown Americans have experienced disproportionate sickness, death and economic harm.”
“It’s also a moment where other disparities are in full view,” Martin said. “For example, recent protesters in Minnesota have been subjected to tear gas, and President Trump has spoken of using the military to restore order, while last month, heavily armed, mostly white protesters in Wisconsin and Michigan occupied state capitals to demand that businesses be allowed to reopen, at times openly confronting law enforcement.”
“Few arrests took place,” Martin said, followed by a soundbite of one of those protesters from last month saying, ‘The guns are fine. We are allowed to bring guns. We are allowed to bring them here.”
“President Trump called those protesters very good people and said this about them,” Martin said, followed by an edited soundbite from President Donald Trump.
“They seem to be very responsible people to me, but it’s – you know, they’ve been treated a little bit rough,” Trump said in the selected soundbite.
“Yesterday in a tweet, President Trump referred to the protesters in Minnesota as thugs, writing the word in all capital letters,” Martin said.
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