Saddened this morning by the racism, hate and violence that left three dead in Charlottesville Saturday.
White supremacists brought violence into our midst and a President who embraces both violence and white nationalists tried to evade his role in all this with a statement that has brought denunciations and calls for a stronger stance from both sides of the two political parties that divide our nation today.
Hate and racism dominated the actions of white supremacists. One drove his Dodge Charger into a crowd of those rallying on the other side. The attack killed a 32-year-old woman crossing the street. The car turned weapon threw several through the air.
“It was a wave of people flying at me,” said 24-year-old Sam Becker, sitting in the emergency room for treatment of leg and hand injuries.
James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Kentuckian who recently moved to Ohio, told his mother he was “attending a rally in Virginia’ Saturday. She said she didn’t know it was a white supremacist rally.
“I thought it had something to do with Trump,” she told The Associated Press.
Fields is in jail on several counts, including second-degree murder.
Charlottesville is the home of former President Thomas Jefferson and the city where he founded The University of Virginia.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville Mayor blamed the bitter partisanship that dominates our national government in Washington today and the white supremacists who came from outside of Charlottesville and Virginia to bring violence, hate and death.
The white nationalists at the rally praised President Donald Trump and said his victory in last year’s racially charged and bitter election gave them a stronger voice to promote their hatred of blacks.
Trump, in his usual way, used Twitter to send out a tweet saying “we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” but claimed he plays no role in the growth of racial violence in America since his election.
“I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in America today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president,” said Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer.
Signer is a Democrat but Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said: “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.”
“There is only one side,” responded former Vice President Joe Biden to Trump’s remarks.
“We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah.
“The President’s talk of violence ‘on many sides’ ignores the shameful reality of white supremacy in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
White Supremacists praised Trump’s soft reaction.
Said White Supremacist web site Daily Stormer, which is promoting a “Summer of Hate:”
Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. … No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.
Is Trump a racist? At the very least he is a blatant opportunist who used racism and hate to promote himself and his causes. The Ku Klux Klan, white nationalist and white supremacists openly endorsed his candidacy for President.
White Nationalist Stephen Bannon, former owner of Breitbart News, is Trump’s “strategic counsel” in the White House.
Sadly, we saw the fruits of Trump’s actions in Charlottesville Saturday.
Trump campaigned on a theme of “Make America Great Again. The White Supremacists who turned Charlottesville into a war zone Saturday said they would “take America back.”
The America we saw today is not “great” and it is time we took it back from the President and those who support his racism, bigotry and hate.