On many sides.
In his remarks on the riots in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, President Donald Trump condemned, “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
Make no mistake: There is one side in the wrong, and that is the side of white supremacists.
Hate must be condemned swiftly and roundly at every turn.
And while Trump is typically quick on the draw and very specific when he reacts to the headlines of the day, all he could muster was a half-hearted response open to interpretation.
That was in contrast to other members of his party, who did label the incident as “domestic terrorism,” called white supremacists “traitors,” and that what happened in Charlottesville “can’t be tolerated anymore than what any extremist does.”
It wasn’t until Monday that Trump again addressed the events of the weekend, but the damage had already been done.
The fact that it took the president two days after his initial comments to condemn the K.K.K. and neo –Nazis by name, to say, “racism is evil,” and to acknowledge the tragic, senseless murder of Heather Heyer, in itself is unacceptable. These are clear and obvious words that should not be difficult to utter. They weren’t for his colleagues.
We agree with our member of Congress, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who put it best by saying on Twitter that, “The president should have left ZERO doubt on Saturday about where he stands on hate groups gathering and fomenting deadly violence. Instead, he equivocated and for two days failed to condemn the KKK and neo-Nazis by name. He failed to condemn violent white supremacy.”
Breaking his silence on Monday with a passionless, stilted statement was the lowest bar Trump could possibly jump, so credit for doing the bare minimum of redemption for his earlier words and deafening silence when asked to elaborate.
A true leader would have had sharp words in the immediate aftermath of the violence in Virginia, and not have attempted to, in essence, normalize what had occurred under the guise of “both sides,” as if there are similar factions on the left that foment hatred on the foundation of racial superiority.
Shame on those who live their lives under the belief that they are somehow greater because of the color of their skin, and their heritage.
And shame on the president for his milquetoast rebuke of those that do.