"I Cannot Remain Silent," former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen writes in an Atlantic op-ed today, "Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so."
It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel—including members of the National Guard—forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president's visit outside St. John's Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.
Whatever Trump's goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.
There was little good in the stunt.
While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.
Mike Mullen was the 17th chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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PHOTO: Impeached President Donald "Bunker Boy" Trump Visits St. John's Episcopal Church, after armed goons tear-gas Americans and push priests out of the way. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead, Public Domain)