Senator Ted Cruz called the protesters associated with the Black Live Matters campaign American Taliban after they pulled down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Minnesota. The violent protests triggered following the death of 46-year-old man George Floyd, demanding an end to racial discriminations, targeted the statues of Columbus in Minnesota, Boston, and Virginia.
On Wednesday, a large group of agitated protesters targeted the statue of the explorer, placed in Minnesota's state Capitol grounds in St. Paul. The statue was placed in 1931. The protesters attached a rope to the monument to pull it down from its base. The iconic footage of the statue, which came crashing down when pulled by the cheering protesters, was shared widely on social media.
Cruz Tweeted 'American Taliban'
MPR News reported that protesters, led by Mike Forcia with the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, said they consider Columbus a symbol of genocide against Native Americans. Sharing one such video clip, Cruz, a Texas Republican, tweeted: 'American Taliban.' However, it wasn't clear whether the Senator was drawing similarities to the 2001 incident where Taliban militants destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, or he was calling the protesters American Taliban.
Cruz's tweet was reshared over 18,700 times on Twitter and the hashtag American Taliban was one of the top ten trending topics on the social media platform.
Twitter Enraged With Cruz's Reference
Outraged over the reference, many supporters of the BLM campaign, lashed out at the senator. "Ted Cruz calls Americans who deface statues of racist confederates "American Taliban." Then what the hell do you call men who stand in government buildings holding assault-style rifles, causing terror?", wrote a user.
This is hilarious coming from a guy who supports evangelical Christianity and their anti-gay hatred, which is the ACTUAL American Taliban," wrote another. "Wait, the Right Wing talking point is that anti-racism protesters are an "American Taliban" for destroying confederate statues, because the Taliban destroyed ancient statues of the Buddha? Robert E. Lee and the Buddha, same thing, to them? Wow. Even for them that's...wow," expressed another user.
"Wondering if @tedcruz thinks that pulling down the statue of man who was a traitor to his country and a violent white supremacist makes them the "American Taliban" ?" tweeted another.