June 11, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - Donald Trump’s
indulgence in conspiracy theories is running amok.
The latest is his speculation that a 75-year-old man
who had his skull split open by police was a
The man in question, Martin Gugino, was
shoved to the ground by police officers after he
approached them openly, without threat and in broad
daylight during a public protest in Buffalo, New
York state. He fell backwards, suffering concussion
and spilling blood on the sidewalk. Dozens of police
officers in riot gear then walked past his prone
body to enforce a curfew.
Two officers have been subsequently charged with
assault over the incident.
A follow-up report on the One American News
Network, a pro-Trump outlet, claimed that Gugino may
have been a supporter of antifascist provocateurs.
Trump then amplified that highly speculative
report with his Twitter platform.
There is no evidence that the elderly protester
was doing anything other than peacefully exercising
his Constitutional right to support the mass
demonstrations that have engulfed the US after the
killing of African-American man George Floyd by
Minneapolis police on 25 May.
Like thousands of other US citizens protesting
against police brutality over the past two weeks, Martin
Gugino found himself subjected to police brutality. The
world has been shocked by
images of officers manhandling civilians, driving
vehicles into crowds, shooting at journalist crews and
sweeping into neighbourhoods like vigilante gangs,
yelling at residents to go inside their homes.
Trump has pitched himself as a “law and order
president”, calling for the National Guard to back up
riot police. He and his supporters have sought to
portray largely peaceful protests as being infiltrated
by extreme leftwing subversives, referred to as “Antifa”.
This is not to deny that such radical activists exist
across the US, but Trump’s claims about their presence
and influence are grossly exaggerated.
Even US law enforcement organisations have found
little evidence of Antifa being responsible for
fomenting protests in hundreds of American cities and
towns, the vast majority of which have been peaceful and
of a wide multiracial composition, simply demanding an
end to racist policing.
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This conspiratorial thinking is aimed at confusing
the overdue public debate on US police brutality and
militarisation of law and order. By blaming others and
inflaming passions and prejudices, the desired effect is
to let the system off the hook.
The same blame-game is at play over Trump’s attempts
to incriminate China or the World Health Organisation
for spreading the coronavirus pandemic.
Like his latest Tweet about a 75-year-old man being a
provocateur for getting his head smashed in by police,
Trump has accused China without a shred of evidence of
releasing the virus from one of its laboratories.
Trump is showing himself to be completely deranged as
well as being a chillingly cynical practitioner of the
dark arts. His earlier advice about people drinking
household bleach as a cure for Covid-19 also show him to
be a dangerous buffoon.
But the truth is that such conspiratorial
loony-thinking is embedded in US political culture in a
way that cuts across both so-called right and left.
The supposed liberals in the Democrats and
their supportive media like the New York Times and CNN
may condemn Trump for peddling outlandish speculation
and for “pouring gasoline on flames”.
But these same sources have been relentlessly pumping
out nonsense about Russian and Chinese interference in
US politics, setting up geopolitical conflicts that
pander to American imperialism and its military
For decades, it is a staple of US
politics and establishment media to portray American
social problems as the work of outside agitators and
foreign enemies. McCarthyism, Red-baiting and so.
Conspiracy-thinking about phantom bogeymen is the
traditional way for US politics to avoid fundamental
democratic change because it conceals the inner
corruption. It’s just rather apt that’s all that the
current president is a conspiracy theorist-in-chief.
Cunningham has written extensively on
international affairs, with articles published in
several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in
Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor
for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England,
before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is
also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he
worked as an editor and writer in major news media
organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and
Independent. - - "Source"
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Trump tweets conspiracy theory about
protester shoved by N.Y. police
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