In a move that would sully the reputation of one of America’s most legendary military units and stoke further tensions across the country, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called for President Donald Trump to use the 101st Airborne Division to put down protests.
Ever since the killing of George Floyd, millions of Americans have taken to the streets across the nation to demand racial justice and an end to police brutality. Trump has only responded by inciting violence against protesters while threatening to order the National Guard to shoot them.
On Sunday, prior to hiding in his White House bunker, Trump blamed Antifa for riots and proclaimed that he would designate Antifa as a “terrorist organization” even though he has no such power and Antifa is a term short for anti-fascist.
Frankly, most Americans ought to be anti-fascist by definition. But Trump is clearly pandering to his neo-Nazi supporters.
Cotton, however, went even further by demanding Trump deploy the 101st Airborne Division to target alleged Antifa members.
Anarchy, rioting, and looting needs to end tonight.
If local law enforcement is overwhelmed and needs backup, let’s see how tough these Antifa terrorists are when they’re facing off with the 101st Airborne Division.
We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 1, 2020
The last time the 101st Airborne was called upon to handle law and order domestically was in 1957 when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sent them to Arkansas to protect African-American students who were enrolling at an all-white school after the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court.
The 101st, therefore, has a history of defending civil rights. So using them to put down protests would be unwise. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Cotton and Trump would be forcing a division known for fighting Nazis during World War II to target anti-fascists, and that simply will not fly.
While Trump’s neo-Nazi pals would cheer the 101st for targeting anti-fascists, the division would suffer a devastating black eye for abandoning their storied history by obeying such orders.
The 101st Airborne should be treated with respect and not used to do Trump’s bidding. The only acceptable use for the 101st in this situation is to fight Nazis. And they can start with Trump and his Republican allies like Cotton.
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