(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi officials were not happy with statements made by the White House during a time of civil unrest sweeping the United States. In recent days, protests and looting – triggered by the killing of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer – has intensified the call for justice, as well the calls for law and order.
“My administration is fully committed that for George and his family justice will be served,” said President Donald Trump in an address from the White House Rose Garden. “He will not have died in vain. But we cannot allow the righteous cries of peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace-loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as their president I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters, but in recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others.”
Then, Trump made these remarks on taking action:
“I am mobilizing all available federal resources – civilian and military – to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your Second Amendment rights. Therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately. First, we are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now. Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
During a news conference on lifting Hawaiʻi’s inter-island travel quarantine due to COVID-19, Governor David Ige was asked about his reaction to President Trump declaration.
“I was on a call with President Trump this morning at 5 a.m. and with many other governors all across the country,” Governor Ige responded. “I think, universally, we were extremely disappointed at the words that we heard from the President. There was no acknowledgement of the grievances that we’ve lived with all across the country, in addressing the racial discrimination and mistreatment of of our minorities, and we were horrified by the tragic death of George Floyd. The president seemed more interested in arming up and taking action and dominating the situation.”
“When a governor, a fellow governor, had suggested to the President that what the country needed was a calming and restorative call for unity across the country, he ended the press conference in disgust,” Ige said. “Certainly, I think that all of us on the call… truly feel like this is a time for our nation to come together and certainly governors and mayors across the country are committed to providing that leadership in our communities in a way that we can recognize the true, peaceful demonstration and statement and show of support to forcefully and expeditiously address the grievances that we see across the country, in a way that honors the nation that we are.”
When asked about President Trump’s statement on deploying the U.S. military to states that refuse to deploy the National Guard, Governor Ige said “we have a very good relationship with all of Department of Defense and military installations here in the islands. I’m certain that they would not respond explicitly. That we work with them. I don’t believe that we would see Department of Defense personnel – Army, Navy, Coast Guard – taking action without cooperation with myself and all of the County mayors, regardless of what the President says.”
In a later statement, Governor David Ige and the four county mayors expressed the following:
“We join in mourning the tragic death of George Floyd and send our aloha to his family and friends. We understand the sadness, disappointment, anger and fear that so many across our nation live with daily. And we stand with those peacefully protesting long-standing injustices. Diversity is highly valued in Hawaiʻi, and we believe our residents can show the world how we live together respectfully.”