President Donald Trump walks past police in Lafayette Park after he visited outside St. John's Church across from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Part of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
President Donald Trump walks past police in Lafayette Park after he visited outside St. John's Church across from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Governor to UpNorthNews: ‘Being overly mean to people doesn’t cut it.’

It was a conference call many of America’s governors won’t forget, even though some, like Wisconsin’s Tony Evers, might prefer to.

The June 1 telephone meeting with President Trump came as communities across the nation were seeing escalating protests and violence over George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police. Later, Trump would walk from the White House to a nearby church for a photo opportunity once demonstrators were cleared with tear gas.

It only reaffirmed what Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes thought of the President’s behavior in times of crisis.

“I can’t think of many situations where the President has stepped in and made it better,” said Barnes.

In the call, Trump sparred with Democrats and urged governors to “dominate” and to “put it down,” referring to the protesters.

Evers, in an interview with UpNorthNews, blasted the President’s message and tone when Trump “talked about (how) he’s going to be the president of ‘law and order’ and fix all these things by being overly mean to people. That doesn’t cut it in anybody’s life.”

“It ain’t helpful,” the governor said, “Let’s put it that way.”

Evers and Barnes said the need to address systemic racism and harmful police practices will be addressed no matter the President’s position or tactics.

“The people of this country have stood up and said ‘enough is enough and we need to move forward,’” Evers said. “Unfortunately, if the President doesn’t come along with us we are going to fix it without him.”

In the full interview, Evers and Barnes also discuss racial inequities in health care which is why they continue to press the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature to accept federal Medicaid expansion funds and strengthen BadgerCare.