Tiffany Trump has come under fire for taking part in a social media protest over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer as both her father’s supporters and critics condemned her for vastly different reasons.
After days of silence amid the protests and civil unrest around the country, the first daughter took to Instagram to share a black box in support of #BlackoutTuesday, a day started by activists to grieve and advocate for policy change following Floyd’s death.
‘”Alone we can achieve so little; together we can achieve so much.” – Helen Keller #blackoutTuesday #justiceforgeorgefloyd,’ Tiffany, 26, captioned the post, which quickly faced backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.
Under fire: Tiffany Trump sparked controversy when she participated in #BlackoutTuesday, a day for grieving and advocating for change following George Floyd’s death
Interesting choice: Tiffany, 26, quoted Helen Keller when she shared her post
The Georgetown Law graduate’s message came just hours after peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. — including priests — were doused with tear gas by cops who were clearing a path for her father so he could take photos in front of St. John’s Church.
Supporters of Black Lives Matter urged Tiffany to share her thoughts with her father, who called Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs’ and threatened violence against them in a series of inflammatory tweets.
‘Maybe you could try to explain this to your father,’ one person wrote, while another added: ‘Please call your dad so he can get the message… he’s called for heads to roll in so many situations but has yet called for these cops to face justice.’
Many people found the post to be hypocritical because of the president’s actions and threats of violence against the protesters.
Awkward: Tiffany’s post came hours after her father was slammed for using tear gas and pepper spray to clear out protesters near St. John’s Church so he could have a photo op
No longer peaceful: Officers with the Arlington County Police Department are pictured pushing back demonstrators outside of the White House
Hitting back: Critics called Tiffany’s post hypocritical and urged her to talk to her father about his treatment of the protesters if she wants change
‘How do you feel about the tear gas on peaceful protests in front of the Church???’ one Instagram user asked. ‘As a legal scholar, how do you feel about him involving the Insurrection Act of 1807?? I think those words would speak louder than this action…’
‘Ha! This is rich. Did you see what your father did to peaceful protesters in DC last night so he could post with a holy book he has clearly never opened?’ another commented.
‘Would have been a good idea to quote a black activist/thinker but oh well,’ someone else pointed out, while journalist Dave Quinn noted: ‘Fitting that you used a Helen Keller quote here, as you and your family continue to be blind and deaf to what’s really going on.’
Some agreed that Tiffany can do more to evoke change, with one woman person saying she should use her law degree to fight systemic racism.
Black sheep? Many people wondered what Tiffany’s father would think of her calling for justice for Floyd
Other side: A great deal of the backlash, however, came from conservatives who called her a ‘sheep’ and threatened to ‘unfollow’ her, all while arguing ‘all lives matter’
‘Hollow, Tiff. Hold your father to account. Call out your poisonous siblings,’ she added. ‘Use your platform for action rather than vanity. You are getting a law degree? Become a public defender. Champion prison reform. Do literally anything but this. Change your name, while you’re at it. History has its eyes on you.’
A great deal of the backlash, however, came from Trump supporters who essentially dubbed her a traitor. Conservative critics called her a ‘sheep’ and threatened to ‘unfollow’ her — all while arguing ‘all lives matter.’
‘Disappointed, You’re definitely not your father,’ one person commented, while another wrote: ‘I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU’RE FALLING FOR THIS CRAP! Unfollowing you!!”
‘You drank the koolaid, Tiff,’ someone else said.
Praise: Tiffany did receive some support from fans, including her boyfriend Michael Boulos’s father Massad Boulos, who used to thumbs up emoji to stick up to her
‘Not you too!!?? Sheeple, all lives matter,’ one Instagram user argued.
‘Oh boy I would love to [know] what your family thinks of this,’ another wrote, prompting Massad Boulos, the father of Tiffany’s boyfriend Michael, to respond with two thumbs up emoji.
Despite all the criticism, there were those who praised Tiffany for being courageous enough to share the post knowing she would face backlash from both sides.
‘Wow it looks like there might be one Trump that actually gives a crap about mankind? Thank you for saying that. I respect you had the courage to post it,’ one person wrote.
‘The only Trump I’ve ever had time for. Your mom raised you well,’ another noted.
Mother’s daughter: Tiffany’s mother Marla Maples shared a #Blackout Tuesday post
Keeping quiet: Neither of Tiffany’s half-siblings participated in the social media protest, though her sister-in-law Lara Trump shared a black box with hearts in the center
United front: Tiffany’s boyfriend Michael used the hashtags #blackouttuesday and #justiceforgeorgefloyd when he shared his post
Both Tiffany’s mother Marla Maples and her boyfriend Michael participated in #BlackOutTuesday with similar posts.
‘One world. One Love. One Spirit flows between us… Please God let’s pause to feel this … let’s take this day to feel the pain and fear which has been inflicted on our brothers and sisters and come together… Unified,’ Marla, 56, wrote. ‘I Choose Love. I Choose Peace. I Choose to Listen. I Choose to Learn with a heart wide open #georgefloyd #callforlove #blackouttuesday #pray.’
Intention: Michael also posted a portion of a quote from former President Barack Obama on his Instagram Stories, though it appears as though he may have been trying to stick up for Tiffany’s father
Meanwhile, Michael, the 22-year-old heir of the multibillion-dollar Nigerian conglomerate Boulos Enterprises, used the hashtag #blackouttuesday and #justiceforgeorgefloyd.
He also posted a portion of a quote from former President Barack Obama on his Instagram Stories, though it appears as though he may have been trying to stick up for Tiffany’s father rather than show support for the previous leader.
In the quote, Obama explained that ‘the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.’
Neither of Tiffany’s half-siblings participated in the social media protest, though her sister-in-law Lara Trump shared a black box with hearts in the center — without a caption any mention of Floyd or Blackout Tuesday.
There have been seven days of protests in cities across the country after Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25.
While he was in police custody for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli, white officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Chauvin has since been taken into police custody and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s family is calling for a first-degree murder charge to be filed against Chauvin after an independent autopsy found that he died as the result of asphyxiation from sustained pressure on his neck.