Trump reluctant to denounce white supremacists
Why is President Donald Trump so reluctant to denounce white supremacists who support him?
During the campaign, Trump “denounced” the endorsement of David Duke, a renowned white supremacist, rather than outright condemning and rejecting him. White supremacists turned Charlottesville, Va., into a violent scene reminiscent of the hatred wrought by bigoted whites upon blacks during the civil rights movement. Duke was in attendance.
And Trump again was reluctant to condemn the hate.
It took him over an hour to respond after a racist madman drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one person and injuring 19 others. While the president seemed to dither about what to say, others — including his wife — called it exactly what it was.
“Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville,” First Lady Melania Trump tweeted.
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members planned the Unite the Right rally to protest the city’s plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Trump — a normally effusive serial tweeter — took until after 1 p.m. to finally tweet:
“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!”
Calling this hate by its name “white supremacy” would have been a more appropriate response for Trump, especially since dozens of these white nationalists were wearing Make America Great Again hats (Trump’s campaign slogan), as reported the Washington Post.
Instead, during a press conference in New Jersey after the tragedy, Trump again avoided calling racists by their name.
“The hate and the division must stop and must stop right now. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides,” Trump declared. This was not the occasion to cling to his anti-PC mantra, which is what he seemed to be doing.
There’s only one side, as former vice-president Joe Biden tweeted. And Trump could say the name of the side that in Charlottesville who caused the hatred and violence.
When asked by a reporter at the press conference if he wanted the support of white nationalists, Trump said nothing. A president brings the country together when he leads by example.
In contrast, the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish and married to a Jared Kushner, also Jewish, tweeted words the president can’t seem to.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.”
And then Duke quoted Trump’s tweet in a tweet that read:
“I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was white Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”
Perhaps, therein lies the answer to the troubling question of why Trump can’t find the courage to say more.
As a native of Richmond, Va., the former capital of the Confederacy, I know all too well how some whites like to cling to their heritage of hate.
Monument Ave. is a grand boulevard in Richmond, littered with statues of Lee and other notable Confederate warriors. Thank God the war was won by the right side.
In America, you’re entitled to your free speech. But you’re not entitled to kill people with it.