Melania's Response Condemning Riots Should Be Covered by Every Media Outlet in America


The death of George Floyd has been a tragic moment compounded by riots in cities across America — particularly Minneapolis, the city in which Floyd died on Monday.

Floyd’s death has drawn condemnation across the political spectrum. A criminal complaint says that police officer Derrick Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest, and Chauvin is now charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

In a video taken by a bystander, Floyd can be clearly heard to say, “I can’t breathe.”

There’s been no shortage of reactions from across the political spectrum, particularly now that riots have reached engulfed the nation from Los Angeles to the White House.

First lady Melania Trump, in her response, highlighted the tragedy of Floyd’s death but said that violence is unnecessary given the situation, particularly given the backdrop of COVID-19:

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“Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence,” the first lady tweeted Friday.

“I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing.”

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The post came after a pair of controversial tweets from the president, including one which was flagged by Twitter for violating “the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”

“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” President Trump said.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!

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A fair amount of the coverage of Melania Trump’s tweet focused on the divergence of messages between the president and the first lady, usually using that divergence as a jumping-off point to a screed about the Twitter warning.

Leaving aside the fact that Trump pointed out what should have been obvious — he meant that “[l]ooting leads to shooting,” as he tweeted later — the difference in messages is precisely why the president and first lady play different roles in American public life.

The first lady’s job is to bring the country together. That’s inherently difficult given the political climate and Melania’s last name, but she’s done so effectively enough that she’s consistently been the most popular Trump.

This is partially why: She condemned the riots, she said there was no reason for violence, she expressed her condolences to the family of George Floyd and she reminded us all that unity is key, especially since we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

This certainly isn’t the time for nationwide riots, particularly over a police action that’s been roundly condemned by almost everyone.

Meanwhile, while the left has stayed away from condemning the riots explicitly — either tiptoeing around the subject or explaining them away as a natural reaction to injustice — Melania condemns them, although not in the strong terms her husband did.

In short, this is the kind of unifying response one should expect from a first lady.

This is something that the media should be blaring from the metaphorical rooftops. As for whether or not they will, we already know the answer to that.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture