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President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question during the coronavirus update briefing Monday, April 27, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House.Official White House Photo / Andrea Hanks/ Flickr

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July 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump spoke out Monday against an emerging narrative to downplay the violence on the streets of Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, arguing that many “peaceful protesters” among Black Lives Matter (BLM) are anything but.

“The Fake News Media is trying to portray the Portland and Seattle ‘protesters’ as wonderful, sweet and innocent people just out for a little stroll,” the president tweeted. “Actually, they are sick and deranged Anarchists & Agitators who our great men & women of Law Enforcement easily control, but who would destroy our American cities, and worse, if Sleepy Joe Biden, the puppet of the Left, ever won. Markets would crash and cities would burn. Our Country would suffer like never before. We will beat the Virus, soon, and go on to the Golden Age – better than ever before!”

For several weeks, left-wing activists allied with BLM occupied a six-block portion of Seattle dubbed CHAZ, or the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (later renamed CHOP, for Capitol Hill Organized Protest). Violence in the zone included one death and one critical injury by shooting, attempted rape, arson, theft, assaults, and property destruction. The chaos has sparked several lawsuits against the city for failing to protect residents and businesses. 

In Portland, similar violence went on for six weeks, including more shootings, stabbings, and arson, as part of “protests” organized by groups such as the far-left Antifa, until the Trump administration sent in federal law enforcement to protect federal buildings. Even so, Democrat Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler claimed he “saw nothing that provoked this response” of feds using tear gas to quell the situation.

The current wave of BLM protests began at the end of May, following the death of Minnesota man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer. The demonstrations started by billing themselves as a call to end police brutality, but quickly morphed into a broader condemnation of America’s alleged “systemic racism,” expanding into issues such as commemoration of “problematic” historical figures in art, sculpture, and location names.

The intensity of the protests has also been disproportionate to the facts of the cause that sparked them. Floyd’s killing was instantly and unanimously condemned, and the police officers involved have been charged with murder. As to BLM’s broader claim of “systemic racism” in law enforcement, research actually shows that police are not disproportionately likely to use excessive lethal force against black suspects, and may even be less likely due to fears of the racial component being spun to brand them as racist.