Colin Kaepernick uses his knee to peacefully protest, Derek Chauvin uses his to commit murder. Courtesy photo.

Because events of that particular week have been so tragic, some Fridays I regret having come up with the “Laughing Matters” banner fourteen years ago. A classic example was the 2012 mass murder of 20 elementary school children and their teachers at Sandy Hook. (Former radio host and Donald Trump sycophant, Alex Jones said Sandy Hook never happened and accused the grieving parents who wept during their Congressional testimony of being “paid actors.”)

The six weeks where Trump said Covid-19 was a hoax were also difficult ones from which to mine humor. This past week, with the sadistic murder of George Floyd leaving the country further torn apart by police brutality and racial division and Trump threatening to deploy active troops to American cities, may be the worst yet. (Surely, this has to be rock bottom?)

We now have two pandemics: 106,000 dead, 40 million unemployed, riots, racial injustice, Cold War with China and 18,000 Trump lies. And to think Trump told us we’d be “Bored from all our winning.” Meanwhile Iran, China, Turkey, N. Korea and Russia, with Trump’s pal Putin, are celebrating the “collapse” of the U.S.

Because of how George Floyd was killed, I recalled quarterback Colin Kaepernick peacefully taking a knee to protest police brutality and Trump calling him a “son of a bitch.” I also remembered a 2017 Trump speech where he encouraged police to be more violent in handling suspects. Apparently Derek Chauvin, charged with 2nd degree murder, took Trump’s words to heart (assuming he had one) as for 9 minutes he callously drained the life out of Floyd who pleaded the tragically all too familiar “I can’t breathe!” and called out for his late mother.

Back to Sandy Hook, immediately after that horrific massacre I suggested to Daily Press honchos that I have a second banner “No Laughing Matter” that I would use only during tragic times. Instead of the little man laughing emoji he would now be frowning.

My suggestion, however, was met with a big fat yawn. (Meanwhile, for five days my last column appeared on the SMDP website as written by “Guest Author,” which I’m hoping wasn’t a subtle hint.)

Following the deplorable rioting, looting and arson in Santa Monica, I was impressed with Council member Terry O’Day’s handling of a TV press conference. I was also proud of SMDP editor, Matthew Hall’s pertinent and concise questioning of our Chief of Police, Cynthia Renaud. For a second I imagined what if she asked him, “Are you going to give Jack that No Laughing Matter banner so he can write about events like this?” (Then again what if she said, “Besides, I read his columns, he’s not that funny anyway.”)

And that brings me to Trump lie #18,001, perhaps his most diabolical and two-faced. (Both faces saturated in carrot-colored bronzer.) But first, the context. After the initial day of massive protests in 75 cities (now 200 cities in 27 states) tough guy Trump hid in the White House basement and turned the lights out.

Trump posted two inflammatory retweets: “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” and “When the looting starts the shooting starts, ” which was flagged by Twitter as “glorifying violence.” (#Disgraceful.) Almost immediately Trump was mocked as “President Tweety,” and then Twitter blew up with his new nickname, “Bunker Boy.”

So the following morning, “Bunker Boy” came out to give a statement. The myriad of lies included, “I’m the ally of peaceful protesters.” At that very moment, those peaceful protesters were being tear-gassed, pepper sprayed and flash-banged so loudly windows on the West Wing rattled and reporters smelled the pepper spray. Not only is Trump a pathological liar, but so remarkably stupid to think nobody would notice the sounds and smells of an attack on a 100% peaceful protest. (Which easily could have turned into another Kent State.)

So minutes later, with the crowd cleared, Trump and his all-white entourage, walked from the White House for an absurd photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Ivanka had given him a bible which Trump awkwardly held in the air (upside down!) like it was a Trump steak or something he was auctioning off on The Home Shopping Network.

Trump’s blasphemous use of the bible and church as political props was condemned by many clergy, including Pat Robertson. So the next day Trump and Melania, who looked like a hostage, staged another pathetic photo op at Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

Faking a broad smile, Trump, sotto voce, instructed Melania to smile, which she did with such disdain, you could say it was a Laughing Matter. (Clearly, I haven’t given up on a “No Laughing Matter” banner, because, as famed Washington Post columnist, George Will, writes, “There’s no such thing as rock bottom for Trump.”)

For a laugh, Google:“Trump asks Melania to smile.” Jack is at: facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and jackdailypress@aol.com.

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