CNN Opinion: Trump’s support for Michigan protesters sends a dangerous message

May 6, 2020

By Halie Soifer

Growing-up in East Lansing, Michigan, I was aware of the Michigan Militia, a pro-gun, anti-government paramilitary group that emerged in the mid-90s.

As a member of Lansing’s small Jewish community, my family was deeply troubled by this gun-wielding organization — part of a nationwide militia movement increasingly aligned with white nationalists — based in neighboring towns. We never saw the militia in action, but their mere existence posed an ominous threat to our community and others. I never imagined that I’d see the day when the president of the United States would praise a group of protesters, including militia members, as “very good people,” using similar language to the words he directed at groups that included neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville less than three years before.