Donald Trump Jr. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on July 09, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell / Getty Images)
Like former president, like former president’s son. Congressional Black Caucus chair Rep. Joyce Beatty and eight others were arrested during a protest in D.C. Thursday pushing the Senate to take action on legislation to protect and expand voting rights. The legislation has stalled due to the unwillingness of a few Democrats to break the filibuster, much to the delight of the GOP, which is actively attempting to tighten voting restrictions in several states.
“You can arrest me. You can’t stop me,” Beatty tweeted following her arrest in the Hart Senate Office Building. “You can’t silence me.”
At least one prominent Republican thought all of this was somehow hilarious: Donald Trump Jr., the son of a certain former president who’s eight months into trying to tank American democracy as a coping mechanism over his 2020 presidential election loss. “This is terrible. I had no idea that Black Women couldn’t vote,” Trump Jr. tweeted. “How is this not a bigger story?”
Earlier Friday, Trump Jr. shared a petition to “save” the filibuster, which has been used throughout the course of American history to deny Black people civil rights, including voting rights. While the attacks on voting rights aren’t as explicit as they were when Southern Democrats wielded the filibuster against them in the 1950s and ’60s, key tactics that undermine democracy—including gerrymandering and voter ID laws—have been found to disproportionately impact people of color.
The latest round of voting restrictions or proposed restrictions in states such as Georgia, Arizona, and Texas comes after the highest turnout election in more than a century, driven by unprecedented access to voting necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Texas, Democratic lawmakers have fled the state in order to deny Republicans a quorum on a bill which, among other things, would ban drive-thru voting and sending absentee ballot requests to voters who didn’t specifically request them. Earlier this week, the Texas House authorized an arrest warrant for the Democrats who’ve left; those Democrats met with congressional Democrats in Washington this week to push for federal action on voting rights. “Republicans have broken their promise to our seniors and the disabled by making it harder to vote, and also making it harder for Latino and African Americans,” state Sen. Carol Alvarado said at a Wednesday news conference in Washington.Trump Jr. has indulged his father’s conspiracy theories about the election being stolen since well before the election actually happened, so you’d think he might be a little more hesitant to throw stones in glass houses with regards to voting and elections. But as it turns out, this is the second time in as many days that Trump Jr. has weighed in on racism in America; it unsurprisingly didn’t go well the first time, either. On Thursday, the former president’s son suggested that lightning striking a George Floyd mural was an act of God. “I mean you have to wonder if someone, like a higher power, is telling us something here?!?” Trump jr. said in an Instagram post. “Obviously what happened to George Floyd should never happen anywhere!!! That said, objectively speaking, given his history I’m not sure turning him into a deity and a role model for our children is exactly the right idea either.”