Women

RNC 2020: Melania Trump makes plea for racial harmony

40Views

The normally limelight-shunning US First Lady Melania Trump has taken centre stage at the Republican convention as she makes the case for her husband's underdog re-election bid.

The party conference's second night also heard from the president's children Eric and Tiffany Trump.

President Donald Trump will address the convention's final night on Thursday.

He currently trails his Democratic challenger Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of November's election.

A total of 17 million people watched the Republican convention's first night on Monday, according to Nielsen.

Some 19.7 million TV viewers tuned in to the first night of the Democratic National Convention last week.

What did Melania Trump say?

The US first lady delivered Tuesday evening's keynote address before a small audience at the White House.

Her decision to speak from the seat of presidential power has angered Democrats, who say the chosen venue is an inappropriate use of government resources.

"Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country," she said, as Mr Trump and officials watched from the audience. "It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage you to focus on the future while still learning from the past."

In a message to racial justice protesters, she added: "I urge people to come together in a civil manner so we can work and live up to our standard American ideals.

"I also ask people to stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice, and never make assumptions based on the colour of a person's skin."

Tuesday's convention schedule began with a prayer for Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old black man who was shot multiple times in the back by police in Wisconsin on Sunday. The prayer on Tuesday, which was also offered up for police officers, came as unrest following the shooting continues in the Midwestern state.

During Tuesday's convention, Mr Trump tweeted a call for the Wisconsin governor to call in the National Guard, which he has already done.

Over the weekend, Mrs Trump unveiled renovations to the White House Rose Garden, which included the relocation of about a dozen crabapple trees that were planted by former First Lady Jackie Kennedy.

On social media, some wrongly claimed historic rose bushes and trees had been removed, with a former New York Times reporter angrily denouncing the Slovenian born first lady as a "foreigner".

The Trump administration says the three-week project was paid for by private donors and have not disclosed the total cost.

What did Trump children say?

Eric Trump railed against "radical Democrats" – a theme of the convention so far.

"They want to disrespect our National Anthem by taking a knee," he said, "while our armed forces lay down their lives every day to protect our freedom."

He added: "The Democrats want to defund, destroy, and disrespect our law enforcement."

Tiffany Trump, Mr Trump's daughter with his second wife Marla Maples, accused the media of manipulating Americans.

"This misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved to the ideas they deem correct," she said. "This has fostered unnecessary fear and divisiveness amongst us."

Who else spoke on Tuesday?

Tuesday's programme is designed around the theme of "Land of Opportunity".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a pre-recorded speech from Israel, upsetting critics who call it unethical. Normally, the nation's top diplomat does not attend political conventions.

"President Trump has put his America First vision into action. It may not have made him popular in every foreign capital, but it has worked," said Mr Pompeo, a former Republican senator.

He also credited Mr Trump with cooling tensions with North Korea, eradicating the Islamic State terror group and holding "China accountable for covering up the China virus".

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul praised Mr Trump for being an opponent of "endless wars" and claimed Democrats were likely to start wars if they won the White House.

"To those of you who want to stand up and fight the socialists poisoning our schools and burning our cities, join me in supporting President Trump," Mr Paul continued.

Speakers also included a former Planned Parenthood employee who became an anti-abortion activist, and a Kentucky schoolboy whose tense interaction last year with a Native American man went viral.

Moments before a woman whose police officer son was killed by an illegal immigrant was due to take the stage, organisers announced she had been pulled from the line-up.

The decision to withdraw Mary Ann Mendoza came hours after she apologised for retweeting an anti-Semitic online screed earlier on Tuesday.

Where's President Trump?

Though he is not scheduled to deliver his keynote address to the convention until its final night, Mr Trump played a major role in Tuesday's schedule, just as he did on the opening day.

Media playback is unsupported onRead More – Source

bbc