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The Villages
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Residents embarrassed at spotlight on The Villages due to President Trump’s tweet

President Trump is known for igniting firestorms with his Twitter account, but Villagers aren’t warming up to the blaze he set off Sunday when he retweeted a video from a golf cart parade here in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

Trump tweeted a (since deleted) video of a man from The Villages who shouts “White power” during a June 14 rally at Lake Sumter Landing. The video was shot for and published on Villages-News.com.

While condemnation flooded the airwaves in the hours after Trump’s tweet, many Villagers cringed at the unwanted attention paid to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown by an all-star media lineup including CNN, Fox News, National Public Radio, USA Today, the Washington Post, Bloomberg.com, Politico, Time.com, BBC.com, The Guardian, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press.

“It was just a matter of time before the Villagers for Trump made the national news. Unfortunately, Trump tweeted a video of a Villager yelling, ‘White power!’ during their recent golf cart parade. While I hesitate to generalize about my fellow Villagers, I pray that most of us do not agree with the man yelling,” said Diane Yates of the Village of Virginia Trace.

She said the golf cart parade shown in the video does not represent The Villages. 

Katie Hiland, right, pulls Sharon Sandler out from in front of a golf cart June 14 at Lake Sumter Landing after a fight almost broke out between Democrats and supporters of President Trump.

“Less than 1 percent of The Villages population participated in the parade, yet this man is now the face of this community to our fellow Americans,” Yates said.

Kathy Strope of the Village of Silver Lake said she fears the video retweeted by the president will leave a scar on The Villages’ reputation.

“I am embarrassed that people around the country will think this is our community. I am embarrassed to call these people neighbors, and I am even more embarrassed that the president of our country would praise this hate. Our country is at a tipping point,” Strope said.

Trump’s tweet started out as shout out to The Villages and then suggested he might be coming back for a visit.

One of the many participants in the June 14 golf cart parade shows her support for President Trump.

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages. The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall. Corrupt Joe is shot. See you soon!!,” he wrote in the early Sunday morning tweet. It was deleted about three hours later.

Another Villager has a message for the man who shouted “White power” and for those who may have egged him on.

To the man who shouted and to the many veterans in The Villages, I wonder how you feel now that you know Trump was told in March that Russians were paying Islamic militants a bounty for every American soldier’s head? Since Trump was told this news, he provided Russia with ventilators, issued a joint statement with Putin, withdrew from Open Skies, pushed to invite Russia to the G-8 and reduced our troops in Europe. While he was addressing the cadets at West Point, Trump was aware that Russia has a bounty on their heads. Is there anything Putin can do to the USA that Trump won’t bend over for?” asked Carole Mellin of the Village of Summerhill.

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