As Donald Trump canceled a rally in Chicago Friday over public safety concerns after scores of protestors clashed with Trump supporters, Rachel Maddow did what she does best, and put the escalating violence into historical context.
And it isn’t pretty. On the out MSNBC anchor’s eponymous show Friday night, Maddow highlighted how Trump has been egging on these kind of confrontations in his speeches for months.
“I think we got here by deliberate means,” Maddow says. “I don't think this was an accident.”
Maddow notes that the country for the past several years has been engaged in a heated, emotional discussion about police violence, and especially the unabated killings of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and vigilantes. But beltway politicians and party leaders have, for the most part, declined to substantively engage in this national discussion, Maddow argues.
Donald Trump, on the contrary, has used this tension as a rallying cry to support his campaign, to “Make America Great Again” by, presumably, quelling such dissent. Trump has cheered on his supporters as they harass demonstrators at Trump rallies (who are most often people of color and women), and even offered to pay the legal fees of a 78-year-old white man who sucker-punched a 26-year-old black man as he was being escorted from a rally. Police immediately tackled and handcuffed the younger man, while the elderly Trump supporter — who has since been arrested — told media that the peaceful protestor deserved to be punched in the face.
“Next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” John McGraw told Inside Edition.
That is the setting as the Trump campaign “left the deep South and prepared to swing into Chicago tonight and Cleveland tomorrow,” Maddow explains.
Then she dives in to a detailed documenting of each of the escalating, racially charged incidents at Donald Trump rallies over the past few months, highlighting how the billionaire businessman has responded to each:
“But this sort of bloodlust, right? This half tongue-in-cheek, mostly serious call for a tougher America where there are more beatings, and where anti-Trump protesters should fear for their lives. As he heads into these tinderbox cities today and tonight, I just want you to watch how that part of candidate Donald Trump's rhetoric has escalated it. …
"If you want to see the crescendo here; if you want to see the deliberate act that created what happened tonight in Chicago, well watch where it came from. …
“Anyone who tells you there is no connection between the behavior of the mob at these events and the man at the podium leading the mob at these events, has not actually been watching what he has been saying.”
Watch Maddow’s illuminating, ominous segment below.