By Tehran Times editorial board

What does Trump’s handling of protests tell us Iranians? 

June 1, 2020 - 13:59

When thousands of Iranian demonstrators took to the streets to vent outrage at surprise hikes in gasoline price in major cities in December and January, the White House masked its evil face under an angelic language to support vandalism and terror inside the country.  

“To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!” U.S. President Trump twitted in January. 
Similarly, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech at the State Department in December, “The faces of the victims will not be forgotten… Iran’s human rights violations are worse than unacceptable. They’re evil and they’re wrong.”
These comments were made in reaction to Iranian authority condemning vandalism and looting during demonstrations as the act of organized groups and thugs.
In a turn of events five months after the protests in Iran, the viral video of a Black man, George Floyd, grasping for breath as a white Minneapolis policeman kneeling on his neck has sparked nationwide rage across the country. 
Floyd’s death comes on the heels of Ahmaud Aubrey’s murder at the hands of two white men in Georgia. 
What is interesting is President Trump’s reaction to the righteous protests. On Saturday, he commended the Secret Service for its handling of the protestors, who he said in tweets were “professionally managed” and “organized group”. He warned them that they would have been “greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” if they had breached the security cordon and managed to enter the premises.
Trump had earlier called the protestors “thugs” and warned them, deploying a controversial phrase used by a Miami mayor against civil rights activists in the 1960s, and later by a segregationist — “When the looting starts, shooting starts”. 
For the Iranians who yet to see the dark side of White House officials and their true intentions, the handling of the protests should serve as a cautionary tale. A reminder of the fact that it is not just African Americans who “can’t breathe” under the systematic racism and dictatorship of the U.S. There are millions of human beings across the globe who have suffered and continue to suffer from under the tyrannical boots of the U.S., including 80 millions of Iranians. 

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