Trump responded to a domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, VA in a way that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is, indeed, a bigot.
Bigotry is defined: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Trump’s constant refrain during the campaign was accusing former President, Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton of not using the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” In the former instance, Trump was correct: Barack Obama did not see using the term as beneficial, it would “play into the terrorists’ hands.” In the latter instance, however, Trump was incorrect: Hillary Clinton did use the term to describe ISIS, but this did not stop him from lying about her doing so.
However, in making his argument, Trump was clear about his take when he said:
“You can’t solve a problem if you refuse to talk about what the problem is.”
White Nationalists believe in “taking back their country” from their fellow Americans and are literally supportive of Trump and his agenda. In fact, they openly supported his candidacy. Worse? Trump has done nothing to distance himself from these groups.
But, as he has said above: you can’t solve a problem if you refuse to talk about what it is.
So, when a man attending a White Nationalist rally yesterday plowed his car into a crowd of anti-racist counter-protesters — killing one woman and injuring nineteen, one would think Trump would have zero difficulties in calling out the problem, right?
Instead, these were the words issued by Trump regarding the incident in Charlottesville:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on ‘many sides.'” “On, many sides.” He continued, “It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump; Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.”
Watching the President was painful, as he was reading those words off of his note card, and his heart surely did not seem into the speech. In other words, his affect did not match his words, making his speech highly ineffective, condemning the violence in the vaguest of ways possible.
Take a look for yourselves, folks:
Compare and contrast Trump’s words with what Governor Terry McAuliffe from Virginia had to say about the incident:
“I have a message to all the White Supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple: Go home. You are not wanted in this great Commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are Patriots but you are anything but a patriot.”
One need not be a political analyst or scientist to see whose words were more passionate considering the incident; Trump’s or McAuliffe’s. Remember: attending the rally were David Duke, White Nationalists, KKK members, and Unite the Right groups participating in the protest over Robert Lee’s Memorial being taken down, with the perpetrator and others driving to Virginia from out of state.
Errol Louis, Political Anchor for Spectrum News, explains how the President’s lack of addressing the presence of White Nationalists at that rally, and his unwillingness to denounce these groups are problematic. He states on CNN:
“He is clearly avoiding the direct statements, the direct criticism that we get when he is totally about, for example, the media, when he’s talking about frankly, some of his political allies, someone like Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader; he’s very specific, he’s very caustic. There’s no mistake what he means when he goes after a political opponent or frankly certain of his allies. In this case when he says, ‘many sides,’ he cries out for further explanation, and in fact, reporters were shouting at him as he walked away and refused to answer exactly what he meant by that. Who are these many sides? How about some straight clarity?”
Louis continues and concludes:
“People have been saying now for hours and hours, this ‘many sides’ sort of ambiguity is aid and comfort to the racists and the Supremacists and the violent extremists who caused this tragedy, and we need some clarity from the President. We have not received that clarity, and frankly, I am not sure we ever will.”
Mr. Trump: It’s been nearly 24 hours since this domestic terrorist attack took place. When are you planning to address the problem?
You know, the problem of White Nationalists supporting you and your agenda, and your surrounding yourself with folks like Steve Bannon, an avowed White Nationalist, Michael Flynn, an Islamaphobe, and Sebastian Gorka, who wore “a medal typically worn by Vitezi Rend members,” a quasi Nazi group, to your Inauguration? When will you clarify that the event which took place, the murder of an American by a hate group, is not a “many sides” issue, but an issue of hate groups believing they are entitled to privilege? And when will you distance yourself from them as President?
When you treat liberals who protest those they disagree with the same as White Nationalists who kill those who protest their heinous hatred – you show that you feel they are the same, that liberals are as bad as racist murderers. That simply disagreeing with you is as bad as killing a woman and injuring 19 others because they were where you didn’t want them to be.
There aren’t “many sides” to this issue, there are only two: wrong (murdering those who disagree with you) and right (not murdering people). Honestly, addressing this now is a bit useless, your delay and initial reactions prove that you are bigoted.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore, CC2.0
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