Trump’s utter failure to call the appalling violence in Charlottesville, Virginia what is was is not the least surprising.
The death of a thirty-two year old woman was directly related, and the deaths of two state troopers in a helicopter crash was ancillary, to clashes between neo-Nazis and counter-protestors. The neo-Nazi terrorists came to Charlottesville for a “unite the right” rally, called because city officials planned to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a public park.
They also came to provoke.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump at a news conference a few hours after the deaths. “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.”
On many sides? David Duke and other known racists spoke to the neo-Nazis. Trump failed to condemn them. He made zero reference to the neo-Nazi terrorists, and their clearly racist and hate-filled agenda. His reference to Barack Obama was apropos of nothing. His remarks expose his complete lack of leadership, as well as his indifference to, and ignorance of, social realities in the United States.
As if we needed further proof.
From what I saw, the white nationalists came to Charlottesville with helmets and other protective gear, like bulletproof vests. Many of them were probably also armed. I don’t know that for sure, though one who was arrested had a concealed weapon. Clearly the intention was at very least to incite violence.
It’s reprehensible, though not surprising, that Trump went straight to “don’t blame me!” rhetoric. At that time no one had blamed him. But blame him we should. He knows perfectly well that he furthered the toxic and divisive environment that led to the Charlottesville deaths.
He only condemned the violence because politically, he had no choice. This racist, divisive fraud could not care less about what happened, and the root causes he almost single-handedly provoked.
At left is thirty-two year old Heather Heyer, the woman killed when a neo-Nazi thug deliberately plowed his car into protestors. Less than twenty-four hours ago, as this is written, she was alive. Her name belongs now with Goodman Chaney Schwerner, Emmett Till, and countless others, who died needless deaths because of white racists. Her blood, and the blood of the two state troopers, is on Trump’s hands.