Donald Trump has been on an extended meltdown ever since Nancy Pelosi announced plans to begin the process of impeachment. Maybe he’s been freaking out since he started his presidency, beginning with his fight to prove people came to his inauguration. The president has a serious persecution complex.
That’s why the looming threat of impeachment seems to have pushed him into overdrive. At first, he was satisfied to call the investigation into his many alleged crimes a “witch hunt,” which is both ahistorical and mildly offensive. Now he’s decided to get really offensive.
So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here - a lynching. But we will WIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2019
In a Tuesday morning tweet, Trump referred to the investigation as a “lynching.”
Prepare for Trump surrogates to start referring to his possible impeachment as a lynching while wondering why black Americans do not vote for Republicans ... pic.twitter.com/43QWPPF1jB— Eugene Scott (@Eugene_Scott) October 22, 2019
Reporter Eugene Scott makes a great point—Trump sets the tone for how the GOP and his followers talk, which means the word “lynching” is likely about to become normalized as a way to describe the legal, political process of holding a government employee accountable for breaking the law.
In reality, the word is most associated with the murder of black men and women by white mobs. Lynchings were predominantly used as a form of domestic terror in the era of Jim Crow, especially in the south, driving black families to leave their homes and head north, if they survived. The NAACP reports that 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968. Of those, 72.7 percent were black.
The word has a very specific connotation and history and because Trump has used it in a tweet, it’s trending on social media. Though Trump’s language is always causing an outrage, this instance demanded some serious pushback:
This is the first time Trump has used the word “lynching” as president, on Twitter or out loud. pic.twitter.com/540h8Cdtgo— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 22, 2019
You think this impeachment is a LYNCHING? What the hell is wrong with you?— Bobby L. Rush (@RepBobbyRush) October 22, 2019
Do you know how many people who look like me have been lynched, since the inception of this country, by people who look like you. Delete this tweet. https://t.co/oTMhWo4awR
Lynching? Really?— Pé Resists (@4everNeverTrump) October 22, 2019
You're so close to saying the n-word… and your GOP sycophants defending your use of it.
Lynching?! Sir, don’t you DARE invoke the darkness of America’s viciousness toward black people to defend your corruption. How dare you?!… https://t.co/rxoa5w9LaR— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) October 22, 2019
Trump does dare, because he knows his followers are willing to not only rewrite history to defend him, they’re willing to rewrite reality. Disgust is the only proper response—and those articles of impeachment.