Yesterday, a deranged motorist plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many far-right protesters had congregated at Emancipation Park in protest of the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
One person is confirmed dead. Nineteen others have been injured, on account of the deranged far-right radical who maliciously and senselessly rammed his Dodge Charger into a throng of Americans who were exercising their constitutional rights of freedom of speech.
Earlier today, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe responded to the attack appropriately. “You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. We are stronger than you. You have made our common wealth stronger. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here,” said McAuliffe in an impassioned speech.
One person who hasn’t responded properly to the violence in Charlottesville, however, is the president of the United States himself, Donald J. Trump.
For some reason—and I’m guessing it’s because he doesn’t want to anger a core part of his constituency—Trump refused to condemn this horrible attack today directly.
Mr. Trump ignored a question from a reporter as to what he would say to white supremacists who voiced support for him Saturday.
Trump seems absolutely terrified of directly condemning white supremacists. They’re a huge part of his support base.
At a press conference yesterday, Trump said:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.
What?! On many sides?! This type of ambiguity is wholly inappropriate as well as dangerous. The counter-protesters had not rammed vehicles into the protesters. Trump’s statement is basically the equivalent as saying: “Yes, the murderer was wrong for killing those people, but they instigated them by peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights!
That a president of the United States of America is afraid to openly condemn these white supremacist groups should be a cause of concern for all lovers of freedom of speech and democracy. Not to mention the fact that Trump is sending a frighteningly terrible message by equating nonviolent counter-protesters to violent ones.
Donald Trump’s actions are, once again, shameful.
What’s your response, GOP? How could you possibly back this man any longer?