DOMESTIC TERROR IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA & PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FAILED LEADERSHIP

POSTED AUGUST 14TH, 2017 | BY MICHAEL J. PAYTON

Over the weekend, a group of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. A group of counter-protesters soon gathered in response to the anti-semitic, anti-Black rhetoric that was being spewed. The confrontation soon grew violent, and a white-supremacist protester drove his car into the crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring dozens more innocent protesters.

Donald Trump, the President of the United States, was at first slow to respond at all to the protests and the acts of violence from the white supremacists and neo-Nazis groups, most of whom support the President. The protests were lead by former KKK Imperial Wizard David Duke, who openly supported Donald Trump during the presidential election, and whom Trump and his team were reluctant to renounce.

 

President Trump eventually held a press conference in which he said that he condemned the violence on “many sides” of the protest. This drew widespread criticism from the Left and from the Right, as there was only one side that was violent during these protests - the white supremacists. Many believe President Trump was reluctant to explicitly renounce these hate groups, as they compose a significant portion of his support base.

 

Democratic California Senator Kamala Harris released a hard-hitting critique of the President’s response:

 

“'Many sides' suggests that there is no right side or wrong side about what happened in Charlottesville, that all are morally equal.” The California Senator said in a post on Facebook. “But I reject that false choice. It’s not hard to spot the wrong side here. They’re the ones with the torches and the swastikas.”   

 

But the condemnation - of Trump and the white supremacists - wasn’t strictly along partisan lines. Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida had some strong words for the President as well. In a tweet, the Senator said: "Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists."

 

Even Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who himself has been labeled a racist and criticized for racist views, condemned the white supremacists in Virginia, calling what happened “an act of domestic terrorism.”

 

Caving to the pressure, the President would eventually make a statement to White House reporters repudiating the acts of violence at the hands of white supremacists:

“Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," The President said.

 

The general view of this is that this is another example of the President failing to rise to the occasion to address a major American crisis. It took the President nearly 2 days to explicitly denounce white supremacists. The failure of the President to wholeheartedly condemn white supremacist and neo-Nazis in a timely manner only fuels the notion that many already have that this administration is too friendly with those types. It should be noted that the current White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is the former head of the Alt-Right/white supremacist media organization Breitbart.

 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those victims at the hands of white supremacists and nazis in Virginia. This is a time that our country should come together and realize that there is no place for hatred or bigotry in the modern world. We will keep you updated as the story progresses.

Michael J. Payton is Founder & Editor in Chief of CSUITEMUSIC.com

Michael is an Executive Fellow in the Office of the California Governor 

Contact Michael at michaeljpayton@nyu.edu

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