Last night, tiki torch wielding white supremacists of the so-called “alt right” gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia in a vile display of racist hate that predictably turned violent. Today, Trump has responded (below).
The overt white supremacist movement that grew in the aftermath of the Civil War never went away but was rightfully shamed into the fringes of American society in the half-century after the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. That disgraceful side of American culture was emboldened over the last two years and brought front and center by the candidacy and presidency of Trump himself.
Trump’s campaign rose on the flames of hate and bigotry that he intentionally stoked, as evidenced by last night’s chants of “Heil Trump!”
Trump did not create white supremacy, but there can be no question that he fueled it to serve his own narcissistic political ambitions. So when he half-heartedly offers an obligatory condemnation of all hate, without any specific mention of the perpetrators acting in his name, it rings more than a little hollow.
For a man who so consumed himself with the words “radical Islamic terrorism” his refusal to explicitly address white terror gives the perpetrators his tacit approval. His focus on “ALL” of us focuses responsibility not on the perpetrators and instigators but innocent parties and victims as well.
Actions speak louder than words, and Trump’s superficial tweet does nothing to address the threats to America that he himself has exacerbated, and the abdication of his responsibility to the American people is a true disgrace.
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017