Global Times, China's hawkish state media, has written a troll article to rub salt into the wounds of the United States as violence and riots there have erupted in several cities -- in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The article came after an act of police brutality was caught on video: A Minnesota police officer was seen kneeling on the neck of an arrested man, George Floyd, who was struggling to breathe, and who eventually died.
The protest that started in Minneapolis soon spread to Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.
The police officer involved has since been arrested and charged.
Global Times gloat
In a May 29 editorial written by the Global Times editor, Hu Xijin, the headline of his polemic was a normative statement to poke the U.S. in the eye.
It read: "US should stand with Minnesota violent protesters as it did with HK rioters".
The New York Times, in a July 2019 profile piece, described Hu as someone "increasingly seen as a combative public voice of the administration of President Xi Jinping in an era of more open rivalry with the United States".
Hu's main point with his latest missive?
Since U.S. politicians are so fond and agreeable with the violent Hong Kong protesters, they should also stand with the violence perpetrated by protesters in Minnesota and other cities now.
Hu highlighted he tweeted at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, calling on him to do just that and stand with the violent protesters back in the U.S.
Hu tweeted: "Secretary Pompeo, please stand with the angry people of Minneapolis, just like you did with the people of Hong Kong."
Secretary Pompeo, please stand with the angry people of Minneapolis, just like you did with people of Hong Kong. pic.twitter.com/5o71w2U0oq— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) May 29, 2020
The Global Times piece also pointed to U.S. President Donald Trump's intolerance of violence happening in Minneapolis -- a dig at American hypocrisy.
Trump tweeted early Friday morning: "I can't stand back & watch this happen."
He instructed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to "get his act together and bring the city under control".
If not, Trump said he would send in the National Guard and "get the job done right".
"When the looting starts, the shooting starts," Trump tweeted.
The tweet has since been covered by Twitter on its platform with a warning label for "glorifying violence".
....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Trump’s line about looting and shooting has racial history behind it.
It echoes the sentiments of Walter E. Headley, the Miami police chief who attracted national attention in the late 1960s for using shotguns, dogs and a heavy-handed "stop-and-frisk" policy to fight crime in the city’s black neighborhoods.
Headley said in a 1967 news conference: “We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting, because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
No army sent to quell Hong Kong protests
Hu, in his smug conclusion, wrote that no army was sent to quell the Hong Kong protests, despite months of unrest that turned violent at times:
They directly applauded Hong Kong's riots, calling them a "beautiful sight" of democracy. The chaos in Hong Kong has lasted for over a year and military forces have not been dispatched. Yet after only three days of chaos in Minnesota, Trump publicly threatened the use of firepower and implied military forces could be utilized.
That is the state of US inequality and another example of the country's double standards. Well, America, what should I say?
Riots in U.S. stemmed from injustice
The Global Times piece clearly and purposely missed the point of the unrest currently engulfing major cities in the U.S.: It was the glaring injustice of a black man dying as a result of police brutality that sparked the greater violence in Minneapolis and elsewhere.
But this could be where the protests in the U.S. and Hong Kong share some similarities.
The source of Hongkongers' discontent stems from their sense of unwarranted exertion of power from authority, as they are feeling the weight and encroachment of Beijing increasingly.
But in Hu's characterisation, the death of Floyd was just another death that occurred during a pandemic in a country that has claimed more than 100,000 lives -- due to the vast inequality already in existence there:
In the US, more than 100,000 people have died from Covid-19, most of them weak, elderly, poor and minorities. The death of George Floyd, from another perspective, reveals the desperate inequality rampant in the US.
You can read the full Global Times piece here.