The actions and words of the President over the last half week are disgraceful. He has disgraced himself, the Office of the Presidency, and the United States of America.
He has enabled and legitimized the views and actions of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, and the KKK, even while denouncing them publicly.
In Charlottesville, Virginia all manner of race-based hate groups descended upon the town. They protested the removal of the Robert E Lee statue, a man who waged war against this country. They brought waved nazi flags, they waved confederate flags, KKK flags, Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute banners.
Counter protesters arrived, the two clashed, violence erupted. A woman, Heather Heyer, was mowed down by a terrorist, who rammed many counter protesters with his car.
Two policemen also died in a helicopter crash near the rally, though it seems unrelated, yet still tragic.
I label the driver who drove into a crowd of counter protesters a terrorist. This is because his actions mirror that of terrorists globally. It is evident he was not a lone wolf. He was a part of the protest, among fellow protesters. He used a vehicle to kill those who oppose him, and this incites fear. To me, that is the definition of a terrorist. A person who uses a means of destruction that results in the quelling of opposing voices and inciting fear. Whether this murderer meant to incite fear is immaterial. That is what he did in a violent manner. Thus, he is a terrorist. The action was an action of terrorism.
I feel this rally turned into an act of terror as well.
From accounts this started as a peaceful protest. However, good (true) reporting has uncovered that the white supremacists, the klan members, the nazis, they were armed. The Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe defended the lack of arrests and police action, saying that the protestors--not the counter protestors--were better armed than the police.
What is that teaching us? That if you protest cops shooting black people, and you're not armed, you get arrested, but if you protest a Confederate General's statue removal armed, that there are no legal consequences?
Governor McAuliffe also told reporters that weapon caches were found around the town. They were for the protestors. That's how so many were armed, so quickly.
Kristin Rawls, who studied genocide and human rights for her first graduate degree, discussed on twitter how this parallels the days before the Rwandan Genocide. She wrote, "Here's something you need to know: Caches of weapons were found throughout Rwanda after the genocide [sic] They'd been stockpiled in places underground leading up to it. That's the way everyone got access to machetes right away -- hate radio there told them where to go to get the weapons when it started."
Now, I believe the US is above letting genocide start. Maybe that's entirely naive of me, but I believe that good always wins out. But that doesn't mean there isn't work to do to make sure genocide doesn't occur in this country.
Weapon caches, Nazis and Klan members armed, police afraid to act, death at the hand of a white supremacist. This was an act of terror.
The President saw the Nazi Flags, the Confederate Flags, the Klan members. He heard the news about the death of Heather Heyer. He came out and chose to blame both sides for this violence.
That's a totally asinine statement. One side has Nazis on it, supporting hate and racism, the other fights against racism and hate. They are morally opposed, and one side is morally superior to the other (the counter protesters, if you were confused). Nazi's and those who march with them are evil people.
How easy is it to denounce Nazi's. They've been the human symbol of evil since at least the 1940s. Yet the president decided to go out and blame both sides?
It took mounting public pressure to get Trump to go out and denounce the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and White Supremacists. It shouldn't take public pressure! It should be the immediate response. And even though Trump went out and denounced them, it wasn't enough for me to trust he meant it.
Trump ignored questions about whether or not he wanted the support of white supremacists. He did not take questions after he denounced the evils of racism. He insisted on included comments about the economy during his denouncing remarks. He has kept Steve Bannon on in the White House. He has attacked a plethora of people on twitter much quicker than he denounced racism. He said he wanted time to look at all the facts before making a statement, but didn't look at all the facts when it came to things like saying Obama was born in Kenya, and that Ted Cruz's father killed JFK.
Of course, then Trump went out and equated the violence of what he deemed the "Alt-Left" to the violence of the Alt-Right.
Let's make a couple things clear. Trump acted as though he didn't know what the Alt-Right is, acting as if that's a media made up term. It's not. Richard Spencer, a well known white supremacists, runs a website called the AlternativeRight.com, and claims he made the term up. There are many people who identify with a movement called the Alt-Right. Here is a taste of their viewpoints, as per one of their blogs:
"After the great Alt-Right victory of Charlottesville, the Left was actually doing quite well. Waving around the mangled corpse of one of their lower ranking foot soldiers killed in the general anarchy facilitated by police and antifa, they were able to force cuckservatives to toe the line that the Alt-Right were all "genocidal, evil Nazis" and, worse still, "unAmerican.""
The Alternative Right is evil. The quote doesn't reflect all the views of poeple who associate themselves with the "Alt-Right" but it certainly spews evil. The quote is disgusting, and one of the most unAmerican thing I've ever heard. What happened in Charlottesville wasn't a victory for anyone it was a tragedy.
The language of the post echos what some Alt-Righters are calling for, a warfare of kind. With NRA videos alluding to civil war, politicians afraid to denounce some of their base, and armed militia forming, it is possible that we are inching toward of some type of amateur military movement.
The Alternative Left is a political party in Switzerland. It's also kind of a thing in US. But it is not well organized, and there doesn't seem to be a centralized organization or leader. There are extreme left views in the US, but not nearly as massive as the KKK or Nazis.
Trump pretending to not understand what the Alt-Right is, and strongly assert the dangers of the "Alt-Left" is a classic re-branding strategy. Another extreme example of this is when Clinton called Trump the "puppet of Putin" and Trump immediately started to call Clinton "the puppet." The idea is to deflect criticism off yourself, to erase any unflattering slogans or nicknames, and create one for the opposite side so that the blame gets shifted. It's an attempt to try and control the conversation. "There is no Alt-Right, there is an Alt-Left and they are the norm of the left and dangerous." That's what Trump is attempting to do here. His followers will believe him.
The President's failure to act immediately, whether on purpose or accidentally, sent a message to these people that he supports them. Many will take his statement denouncing them a couple days later as a political necessity, but that he does support them.
With the most recent exchange between reporters and the President, these white-worshipers have been legitimized by this President. Trump again blamed both sides. I'm not a fan of violence in any form, and some people who lean left like me don't like that. I believe in PeaceBuilding, not a running waterfall of violence.
Yet I'm not sure the violence was totally unprovoked. Racist ideology has only been defeated by violence in our (American) history. The ideology of Nazis needs a strong response, and it seems only violence can quell it, yet I hope and long for another way to eradicate these ideas.
Regardless, the violence by counter protestors cannot be equated to the violence of the alt-right. Killing a woman, and plowing a crowd of people, is not the same as using clubs on people. Street violence, while totally inexcusable to me, is not the same as terrorism. Fighting in the name of love and acceptance, is not the same as fighting and killing in the name of a racially pure America.
By equating the two, Trump shows how unfit he is and how uninformed he is. And he should step down. When you cannot stand up to racism and nazis immediately, you are unfit to be president. I have ancestors on both my father's and mother's side who fought against Nazis, they are heroes and true Americans.
Trump also asked if after Robert E Lee's statue was removed if Washington was next, or Jefferson. That question is completely ridiculous. Robert E Lee is a figure in America's history. He is a figure in the south's history. He is not a founder father of the current government. He became an enemy combatant, fighting against Americans, trying to keep alive one of the most, if not the most evil and amoral industries ever, slavery.
Robert E Lee was an enemy of the United States. Having a statue of him, to glorify him is unAmerican, and the opposite of patriotic. Waving the Confederate Flag is anti-American. We went to war against that flag. Flying that flag would be like flying soviet flag during the cold war. If you support the confederacy, you do not support real America.
This notion that pulling down statues of previous Presidents and Founding fathers of the USA is the same as pulling down statues of Confederate Generals is just insane. It's another example of how unaware President Trump is.
If the man cannot see the stupidity of his comments, and the way he has emboldened racists, Nazis and White Supremacists, then he should not be president. A president should know. He has to know, and he must act.
This president should resign.
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