In two weeks since the death of George Floyd, consultants of President Donald Trump worked to prepare him to meet the national moment.
Others encouraged Trump to be more empathetic by sharing stories about him or his friends’ experiences about racism.
A group of White House officials gathered ideas about police reform advocates for criminal justice reform advocates and suggested that the President meet with African American leaders. And this week, the White House officials put the President in a room with law enforcement, who argued that certain aspects of policing could change.
However, since Trump is now considering supporting some of these reforms and addressing the issues of race and policing in a prominent speech, his message appears mixed and – in the opinion of some counselors – with a stern stance he initially adopted. Some of the protests across the country find it difficult to withdraw.
In the two weeks since the start of national protests, Trump tried to suppress unrest using overwhelming police and military force, did not show much interest in addressing questions about systemic racism in the heart of the protests, and renewed the criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem as a peaceful form of protest.
Though police reform proposals may appear as early as this week, Trump and his senior lieutenants see the rejection of systemic racism as a policing issue at all.
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