It doesn’t happen all that often, but it happened Friday night during his opening monologue, when Jimmy Kimmel eschewed his normal jokey potshots at Trump and instead got serious. In five minutes of straight political commentary, Kimmel spoke frankly about George Floyd’s death and this week’s protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere in the country.
And, of course, Kimmel had plenty to say about Donald Trump’s Twitter response to the situation.
“So last night, the anger is getting more intense. The police are gone. Fire trucks can’t even get to the area to stop the flames. It’s a very bad situation. And our disgusting excuse for a President, Mr. Tough Guy, Donnie Bone Spurs decides, ‘I know what I’ll do. I’ll make this worse.’ At one o’clock in the morning, instead of trying to make peace, Donald Trump makes a threat. A violent threat,” Kimmel said.
In the referenced tweet, which bought Trump a warning from Twitter for “glorifying violence,” he declared: “..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!”
“When the looting starts, the shooting starts. Our President is threatening to order the military to shoot Americans. Specifically black Americans,” Kimmel continued. “And then of course today, as he often does when he says something idiotic, he tried to reel that in. He claimed he was saying he didn’t want that to happen. It was a warning, not a warning warning. But a warning. The sad thing about how much he lies is, he isn’t even good at it.
“And I don’t want to make this about Donald Trump. Because this sense of hopelessness and frustration that black people in this country have been experiencing has been brewing for a long time. And not just under Republican presidents. Or even white presidents. This is not on the government. It’s on us.”
Kimmel closed out this portion of his monologue with a question for the audience.
“Is this who you want leading us? A President who clearly and intentionally inflames violence in the middle of a riot? To show how tough he is?” Kimmel asked. “A commander-in-chief who threatens to put members of our military, our national guardsmen and women, in the position of having to shoot a fellow American on sight? I don’t care what you are. Right, left, Republican, Democrat. I can’t imagine that there are many of us who want that.
“Enough is enough. We gotta vote this guy out already. And we need to work on this problem we have. This blatant double standard. Because when you stand in front of the flag, you put your hand on your heart and pledge allegiance ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ We don’t have that for all. I mean I have it. A lot of you have it. But it’s not for all.”
You can check out Kimmel’s monologue from Friday’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in the video embedded up at the top of this article.