In June a harrowing photo went viral showing a white couple brandishing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters as they marched along a privately owned street in St. Louis, Missouri.
The image will undoubtedly go down in history as a modern snap shot of America’s temperature when it comes to racial violence and the grasp for whiteness.
But now the couple in the photos, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, were recently asked to speak at the Republican National Convention next week. Their lawyer confirmed the invitation with NPR, but it remains unclear what day they will participate.
It should be no surprise that the two support Trump, but the sheer and blatant boldness to align with them should be shocking but isn’t. And it should be no surprise that Trump and those who follow him support the McCloskeys.
The McCloskeys face felony charges for pointing and waving firearms at demonstrators as they marched through the couple’s neighborhood on the way to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who lives nearby.
The couple, both attorneys, said they armed themselves because they felt threatened by the protesters.
Since that time their legal representation attempted to spin the incident, saying the couple understood how bad the optics looked and want to distance themselves from being labeled as racists.
“They are appalled that they have been portrayed in a fashion which they believe is going to be used by some to support the position that its time to grab the Confederate flag and grab a gun and protect ourselves against the BLM movement,” their attorney Albert Watkins said. “My clients know that they looked like lunatics.”
However, speaking at a convention that encourages the reelection of a racist, sexist, xenophobic president probably isn’t the best way to convey the message that they are level headed, “good” American citizens.
At this point positioning yourself with Trump in any way shows where you are morally and ethically, in the loudest manner there is.