A FAM­ILY AF­FAIR: FIRST LADY, ERIC AND TIF­FANY TRUMP HIGHLIGHT DAY 2 OF GOP CON­VEN­TION

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - MARY MITCHELL mmitchell@suntimes.com | @MaryMitche­l­lCST

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump couldn’t have writ­ten a bet­ter script for a re­al­ity show than the one play­ing out in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin, where ve­hi­cles were burned Mon­day night af­ter Ja­cob Blake was shot at least a half-dozen times in the back Sun­day.

While the over­ar­ch­ing theme of the 2020 Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion is “Hon­or­ing the Great Amer­i­can Story,“so far con­ven­tion speak­ers have res­ur­rected the theme of law and or­der vs. crime and chaos that has been used in the past to turn out votes.

Four years ago, it was the threat that a Demo­cratic vic­tory would mean the end of Sec­ond Amend­ment and the right to bear arms. At this con­ven­tion it is a three-headed bo­gey­man— so­cial­ist, an­ar­chist and looter — that have del­e­gates sound­ing the alarm.

Speak­ers, in­clud­ing Don­ald Trump Jr., have ham­mered away at the loot­ing and ri­ot­ing that broke out in cities like Chicago, Min­ne­ap­o­lis, Port­land and Seat­tle af­ter the bru­tal po­lice killing of Ge­orge Floyd.

“It’s al­most like this elec­tion is shap­ing up to be church, work and school vs. ri­ot­ing, loot­ing and van­dal­ism,” the pres­i­dent’s son said Mon­day night, while po­lice in the Mil­wau­kee sub­urb were go­ing toe to toe with hun­dreds of an­gry pro­test­ers.

Ge­orge Pear­son, Will County GOP Chair­man, a Black man and a con­ven­tion del­e­gate, be­lieves Trump will get a big­ger slice of the Black vote this time around, in part, be­cause of the civil un­rest.

“Ev­ery­one looks for se­cu­rity. We want good polic­ing. we stand with good polic­ing. We stood with ev­ery­one with the mur­der of Ge­orge Floyd. Re­gard­less of his back­ground, he did not de­serve to die like that. But the reck­less law­less­ness that oc­curred af­ter­wards was more re­venge than seek­ing jus­tice,” he said.

Pear­son, like other African Amer­i­cans sup­port­ing Trump, blame Democrats, the party that brags about Black vot­ers be­ing its “back­bone,” for the en­trenched poverty in some Black neigh­bor­hoods.

“Trump has ac­tu­ally done things to in­crease rev­enue which gives us an op­por­tu­nity for home­own­er­ship among Black peo­ple and that helps Black peo­ple build wealth,” he said.

Kim Klacik, a Mary­land con­gres­sional can­di­date, blasted the Democrats dur­ing her speech, tick­ing off the prob­lems that many African Amer­i­cans rou­tinely com­plain about.

“Aban­doned build­ings, liquor stores on ev­ery cor­ner, drug ad­dicts, guns on the street. That’s now the norm in many neigh­bor­hoods. Sadly the same de­cay ex­ists in many of Amer­ica’s Demo­cratic-run cities and yet the Democrats as­sume that Black peo­ple will vote for them no mat­ter how much they let us down and take us for granted. We are sick of it,” she said.

Ver­non Jones, a Black state rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Ge­or­gia, de­scribed him­self as a life­long Demo­crat when he took the podium at the slickly pro­duced vir­tual con­ven­tion.

“Joe Bi­den has had 47 years to pro­duce re­sults but he’s been all talk and no ac­tion. Joe is like so many of the Democrats who have been mak­ing prom­ises to Black vot­ers for decades. We’ve been their cap­tive au­di­ence,” Jones said.

Be­fore go­ing to Congress, Jones said he di­rected “one of the largest pub­lic safety de­part­ments in the South­east.”

“I’ve seen tragic shoot­ings on both sides. Of­fi­cers killing cit­i­zens and cit­i­zens killing of­fi­cers in the line of duty. Po­lice of­fi­cers are our fel­low cit­i­zens. They have fam­i­lies too. Un­for­tu­nately, Democrats have turned their backs on our brave po­lice of­fi­cers. They call it de­fund­ing, and it’s a dan­ger to our cities, our neigh­bor­hoods and our chil­dren” he said in his con­ven­tion speech.

“Our po­lice need more fund­ing, not less — for fre­quent psy­cho­log­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tions, for non-lethal re­mote re­straint tech­nol­ogy and for more de-es­ca­la­tion and use-of-force train­ing,” he ar­gued.

“I’m hear to tell you, Black voices are be­com­ing more woke and louder than ever. The Demo­cratic Party has be­come in­fected with the pan­demic of in­tol­er­ance, big­otry, so­cial­ism and anti-law en­force­ment bias and a dan­ger­ous tol­er­ance for peo­ple who at­tack oth­ers, de­stroy their prop­erty and ter­ror­ize our own com­mu­nity. That’s what this elec­tion is all about,” he said.

When po­lice can shoot a Black man mul­ti­ple times in the back for do­ing noth­ing, it also plays into Bi­den’s slo­gan that we have lost the soul of our coun­try.

Ev­ery busted-out win­dow. Ev­ery burned-up car. Ev­ery looted store. Ev­ery vi­o­lent en­counter be­tween a pro­tester and a po­lice of­fi­cer re­in­forces the mes­sage that the Repub­li­can Party is try­ing to get out to Amer­ica’s vot­ers this week.

TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES

Burned out ve­hi­cles lit­ter the lot at Car Source on Tues­day in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin.

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