Hard to imagine a president less suited to calm this country at this particular moment - 2020-06-01
I think there were two moments that played a big role in the protests gaining the momentum they did, both occurring Friday. One was when Hennepin County declined to charge the other four officers alongside Derek Chauvin. The other was Trump's inciting cite to racism hall-of-famer Miami police Chief Walter Headley's infamous 'looting and shooting' comment.
Perhaps this weekend plays out precisely as it did regardless, but days later they seem like missed opportunities. Numerous other circumstances contributed to this moment being bigger than the last moment. The video of George Floyd's murder wasn't exactly a Rorschach test, unless it was a Rorschach test in which everyone pretty much only saw a white police officer slowly and disinterestedly killing a black man over a suspected forged $20 bill. The country was and continues to be under a tremendous public health stress, not to mention the record unemployment caused by and consequently compounding that stress.
But it's hard to imagine a president less suited to calm this country at this particular moment — one who reliably spouts racist tropes and often expressly endorses police brutality. It's nearly to Trump's credit that he crawled into a bunker this weekend (literally, as it turned out) and charitably refrained from further encouraging police officers to commit extra-judicial killings in response to property crimes.