Bleats

Watch Trump Force Melania To Smile For Yet Another Infuriating Church Photo Op

“They turned holy ground into a battleground."

While anger, pain, suffering and sadness continues to emanate from protests in the US and other parts of the world following the death of George Floyd, Donald Trump is posing for photoshoots at churches, and now he’s asked his wife Melania to join in. Hear all the details below:

Footage has emerged from Trump’s recent visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in which he and wife Melania pose for photographers. During the video, Trump appears to look over at his wife and seemingly ask her to smile. She does so – albeit reluctantly – before the couple walk away.

It’s painful to watch, and only made worse by Trump’s photo op outside St John’s Episcopal Church yesterday. In order for him to visit the church, crowds of protesters were dispersed with tear-gas, rubber bullets and military personnel. 

According to The Independent, dozens of bishops and volunteers – who were giving out snacks and refreshments to protesters – were told to leave the church so Trump could have his photo taken while holding a Bible.

“The president just used a Bible and one of the churches of my diocese as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for,” The Right Reverend Mariann Budde said in a statement. “To do so, he sanctioned the use of tear gas by police officers in riot gear to clear the churchyard.”

Hear about how you can help fight racial injustice below:

Trump’s visits to these religious sites have outraged the public and religious leaders alike. In a statement via The Independent, Archbishop Wilton Gregory said “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which calls us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree.”

The President’s tone-deaf photoshoots were complemented by daughter Ivanka Trump’s response to the protests. After she recently tweeted the scripture verse, “This is what the Lord said: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you,” social media users were quick to clap back.

One user responded to Ivanka’s tweet, “Hey, remember how your dad incited mass murder of civilians for exercising their right to protest yesterday?” while others quoted Proverbs, “a ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor, but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.”

Speaking to Religious News Service about Trump’s photo op, Reverend Gini Gerbasi said, “They turned holy ground into a battleground.”

Considering this, is it really that surprising Melania doesn’t feel like grinning for the cameras?

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Surprised Pete Evans Also Supports Trump? You Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Now he's managed to anger even his own fans.

Since COVID-19 came in to ruin the party, controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans has earned quite a reputation for flogging harmful coronavirus ‘cures’, conspiracy theories, anti-vaccine opinions and more.

It didn’t take long for everyone’s BS detectors to go off and as a result, Evans was fined and even lost his TV gig on My Kitchen Rules. However, that hasn’t stopped him from plugging utter nonsense via his chaotic Instagram page.

And yes, that includes supporting Donald Trump.

Responding to the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd, Evans posted a speech from the US President. 

Speaking of the world’s response to the US protests, hear about how big brands have gotten it wrong below:

In the clip, Trump talks about taking “immediate presidential action” to stop the “rioting, looting and arson” occurring at the protests. He also says he’s liaising with governors to “dominate the streets” and “establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence,” using the military if necessary. He enforces a 7pm curfew and warns protesters will be “arrested, detained and prosecuted to the full extent of the law” if they break the rules. 

Instead of offering words of support, or an explanation of any kind, Evans simply captioned the Instagram video with the red love heart emoji.

It didn’t take long for his followers to call him out – with many shocked that he supported the US president. 

“I’ve looked up to you with your consistent messaging of peace and love,” one fan commented on the post. “So, the face that you’re endorsing this man and/or his fight fire with fire proposal is truly appalling.” 

Another, who had agreed with Evans’ controversial stance on diets and vaccines, also expressed their disbelief. “I followed Pete because I agree with him on the nutrition/vaccine etc,” they commented. “[But] I don’t know how Trump is in the good guys gang?”

Evans copped so much backlash on the post, he doubled down on his stance with another one soon after. “Thank you to everyone for sharing your comments,” he captioned an image of a red heart. “I will be sharing with you a lot more recipes, information, and news stories that may challenge your long held beliefs or perhaps reinforce them, wherever you are in your journey.”

The chef went on to say his intention is not to “create division,” but to “create a platform for critical thought where many ideas can be presented.” He encouraged fans to unfollow him if they wish, and ended the lengthy caption by telling the 233,000 followers that still remain, “We may need to look and feel into the wound for the healing to manifest.”

Wow. It’s difficult to understand what Pete Evans is actually trying to achieve with his social media presence, but one thing is for sure, despite the backlash and controversy, it looks like he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

George Floyd’s Death Is All Too Familiar For Indigenous Australians

Racial injustice exists in our own backyard.

By now, most of Australia would be well aware of the protests that have erupted around the US and other parts of the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Hear all the details below:

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following story may contain images of deceased persons.

The anger, pain and sadness emanating from these demonstrations is heartbreaking to watch. It’s also evident that racial tensions have reached boiling point in many US states – but this isn’t a deep seeded issue exclusive to America. Australia is facing racial injustice in our very own backyard.

In 2018, it was found that 407 Indigenous people had died in Australian police or prison custody since the end of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991. As of August 2019, that number had increased to 424, according to The Guardian.

When you take into account the fact that, as of 2018, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island adults make up around 2% of the national population – but constitute 27% of Australia’s prison population, there is clearly a major issue here.

We don’t need to look at stats, studies and figures to prove this, either. George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis bears shocking similarities to the death of Indigenous man David Dungay here in Australia.

Dungay, a 26-year-old Dunghutti man from Kempsey, died in Long Bay prison hospital in 2015 after he was restrained face down and sedated. 

Speaking to the ABC, Dungay’s nephew Paul Francis-Silva compared his uncle’s death with George Floyd’s. “They were saying the exact same words: ‘I can’t breathe.’”

“We really do feel for the family over in the US, because we do know how it feels to actually watch a video clip of a loved one being suffocated to death,” Francis-Silva said of the viral video of George Floyd’s arrest. 

Sadly, David Dungay’s death in custody is by no means a one-off event.

In 1983, John Peter Pat, a 16-year-old Indigenous boy, died in custody after getting involved in a fight with other young boys and four off-duty Australian police officers. Pat died of “head injuries,” but a subsequent autopsy found he had sustained a number of massive blows to the head. The officers were acquitted of manslaughter and in 1991, a Royal Commissioner acknowledged Pat’s death “became for Aboriginal people nationwide a symbol of injustice and oppression.” 

In 2004, Cameron Doomadgee – commonly referred to as Mulrunji – died in a police cell on Palm Island in north Queensland. The ABC reports that he was locked up for being drunk and a public nuisance, but later died from “massive internal injuries.” After his post-mortem, his injuries were compared to “those of plane crash victims.” Doomadgee’s death sparked a state of emergency, and after the police station, court and houses were burnt down, a riot squad was called in to control the crowd.

In 2014, an Indigenous woman known as Ms Dhu was subjected to “unprofessional and inhumane” treatment by Western Australian police before her death in custody. Dhu’s extreme chest pain was written off as a “withdrawal from drugs.” The official cause of death was from an infection due to her partner breaking her ribs three months earlier. 

These stories are a sad and shocking reflection of the treatment Indigenous people face at the hands of Australian authorities. It’s easy to feel angry and helpless, however, we can channel our outrage and encourage change.

Some ways in which you can support Aboriginal Lives Matter include donating to the families, following groups like Sisters Inside and The National Justice Project and most importantly, educating yourself about these issues by listening to the stories of Indigenous people.

It’s up to all of us.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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