Republican Senator Mitt Romney has earned praised online after posting photographs of himself taking part in a Black Lives Matter march. According to Washington Post reporter Hannah Natanson, Romney marched to the White House in a faith-based demonstration to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
Natanson explained: "Mitt Romney is marching with a group of nearly 1,000 Christians to the White House. Here he is on video saying why he’s walking: '...to make sure that people understand that Black Lives Matter.'"
Romney also posted a photograph of himself from the march, simply stating: "Black Lives Matter."
According to the Washington Post, the march started with a prayer from Rev. Vernon Mitchell, who said: “God, we trust in you. We are putting our lives in your hands.”
The protesters then headed to the White House, chanting “Black lives matter!” and singing “This Little Light of Mine.”
The group walked along closed roads toward the White House, a match which was meant to recall the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights marches in Alabama. Romney also shared a photo of his father, George Romney, marching with civil rights protesters in Detroit in the 1960s.
The senator wrote: "This is my father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the Detroit suburbs during the late 1960s—'Force alone will not eliminate riots,' he said. 'We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.'"
Last month, Romney condemned the death of George Floyd writing in a tweet: "No Americans should fear enmity and harm from those sworn to protect us. The death of George Floyd must not be in vain: Our shock and outrage must grow into collective determination to extinguish forever such racist abuse."
No Americans should fear enmity and harm from those sworn to protect us. The death of George Floyd must not be in vain: Our shock and outrage must grow into collective determination to extinguish forever such racist abuse.— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 28, 2020
Romney was also critical of peaceful protesters being cleared from outside the White House so that President Trump could take photos of him holding a bible in front of St John's Episcopal Church.
“From the news clips I have seen, the protesters across from the White House were orderly and nonviolent. They should not have been removed by force and without warning, particularly when the apparent purpose was to stage a photo op,” the senator said in a statement.
CNN claims that the impromptu photo-op was organized because President Trump was angry about coverage of Trump and his family being rushed to the White House bunker as protests outside the White House raged on Monday.
According to the Washington Post and CNN, Attorney General William Barr gave the order to clear the park.
Social media users largely applauded the move, with talk show host Ryan Gorman writing: "Mitt Romney continues to do what he feels is the right thing, no matter the political cost. Too bad there aren't more politicians on both sides of the aisle willing to do the same."
While another added: "So, basically, if you’re an elected Democrat who hasn’t made it to a march in the last 12 days, who hasn’t spoken the words “Black Lives Matter,” you’re behind 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney."
And one user concluded: "I've watched this over and over in awe of the movement that has moved Mitt Romney to follow in his father's footsteps as a civil rights marcher."