In a completely unsurprising yet somehow still somewhat shocking move, the President of the United States has compared his impeachment inquiry to a lynching.
A lynching. There are just no words.
People with consciences everywhere were quick to condemn the tweet, explaining what really should not need to be explained. That calling a legal process a "lynching" is both factually erroneous and blatantly inappropriate. That a white man in power harkening to historical violence against black people in an attempt to paint himself as a victim is racist as all get out. That the comparison is horrendous and hurtful and beneath the basics of human decency, much less the dignity of the office of the President.
The backlash was swift, severe, and completely deserved.
Scholar and author Ibram Kendi called out Trump's audacity:
A lynching! A lynching? I’m thinking about the lies, the kidnapping, the rope, the torture, the cheering crowd, the… https://t.co/3Ni5rueI8b— Ibram X. Kendi (@Ibram X. Kendi) 1571750348
Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., pointed out that the tweet is "a reflection of the very real trajectory of our nation and the very repugnant evil of racism, which still permeates both legislation and language in the United States."
The President of the United States comparing an impeachment inquiry to a #lynching is not a “distraction.” It is a… https://t.co/4aehVe0Yig— Be A King (@Be A King) 1571756467
Some took the tack of sharing the tragic images of actual lynchings to drive home the appalling offense of such a comparison.
#Lynching Just in case anyone needs to be reminded what it actually is that this orange #Narcissist fool claims is… https://t.co/9pGDER8Ng5— HOMS (@HOMS) 1571749888
They treated it as a social event. They even made postcards out of murders like this. Look at the smiles and the po… https://t.co/1OBMzp1HMH— @tiffanydcross (@@tiffanydcross) 1571749807
RELATED: A teacher had her 8th graders write 'funny' captions under slavery-era photos. Seriously, WTF.
Others sought to educate the ignorant on what lynching really is and why it's not a term to be tossed around lightly.
I am doing my best to make sure I’m not just shouting into the ether when this hellscape timeline gives us another… https://t.co/aho6vpZlwp— 🖤. (@🖤.) 1571759723
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson from Florida, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2011, called the tweet "despicable and disgusting" and anyone who defended it "reprehensible."
Comparing impeachment to a #lynching is one of the most despicable and disgusting things to come out of this presid… https://t.co/qY8P5vKIdg— Rep Frederica Wilson (@Rep Frederica Wilson) 1571758054
Of course, people have defended it because it's 2019 and nothing makes sense anymore. Lindsey Graham told the press that what the president is experiencing is "a lynching in every sense."
Seriously? "In every sense." What is wrong with you, man?
Senator Lindsay Graham on Donald Trump’s tweet comparing impeachment process to #lynching “Yes, this is a lynching… https://t.co/ldrxPA3PaQ— Sonia Dridi (@Sonia Dridi) 1571755445
Except for the part where, y'know, there's no actual #Lynching. And Trump literally took out an ad in the NYT dema… https://t.co/fNBYZLqoTX— John Fugelsang (@John Fugelsang) 1571757245
Some have tried to call the backlash against the use of the word "lynching" hypocritical, pointing out that the same people calling it out are okay with calling those who engage in white supremacy "Nazis."
You can't invoke #Lynching as a metaphor but you can invoke "Nazi" and "Hitler" to criticize people you don't agree… https://t.co/9AzUhA4wcl— Cernovich (@Cernovich) 1571760910
Except that the Nazis were a political party with a racist ideology similar to those who performed lynchings, not the victims of racist, violent oppression. Also, it's not exactly a stretch to invoke the word "Nazi" when actual neo-Nazis voice support for someone in power—someone who also reportedly kept a copy of Hitler's speeches by his bed.
Soooo, yeah. Not the samesies, Mike.
A man who has been repeatedly accused of racism since long before his presidency using the word "lynching" to describe the constitutional checks and balances in our political system is gross on every level. It just is. And while calling him out on it will do absolutely nothing to change his ways, it's good to see that not all Americans have abandoned reason and decency.
Carry on and keep fighting the good fight, fellow citizens.