On Saturday, President Trump issued a statement that was as clear, concise, and deliberate as we should expect from any American leader who has a less-than-complete grasp of the total situation at hand. In commenting on the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
This, of course, left him open to an unceasing barrage of criticism from the left (and, not surprisingly, from members of his own party), accusing him of downplaying the racist views of some of the protesters, one of whom may have been responsible for the tragic vehicle attack that left one woman dead and 19 others injured.
But what Trump said was appropriate and prudent, given the circumstances. If it comes out in the next couple of days that James Alex Fields is a white supremacist who deliberately set out to kill minorities, then perhaps it will be incumbent on President Trump to issue another condemnation more specifically calling out this form of racial violence. But if he doesn’t deem that necessary, we won’t be among those calling him a white supremacist. Because, frankly, he already condemned white supremacy in his general denouncement of hatred on “all sides.”
But to narrow that condemnation down to solely white supremacists, Nazis, the alt-right – whatever you want to call the groups of people who attended the Unite the Right rally – would be to ignore that equally violent (if not MORE violent) groups were present, and that they were representing the other side of the ideological spectrum. These groups, including the black-clothed Antifa instigators, already had blood and property destruction on their hands before showing up to Saturday’s protests. And yet they never get one-tenth of the mainstream media coverage as their adversaries on the other side of the issue.
In remarks made Saturday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va), encouraged America to unite in the face of violence. But he made it clear quite quickly that he did not want to unite with everyone. On the protestors who came to Charlottesville to demonstrate against the removal of a Confederate statue – most of whom had zero intentions of bringing violence to the city, and most of whom did NOT – McAuliffe said, “There is no place for you in America. Please go home and never come back. Take your hatred and take your bigotry.”
This is unsustainable. One side is not guilty for all of the “hatred.” There was plenty of violence in Charlottesville before Fields ran those people down. If he hadn’t done so, however, we PROMISE that the white nationalists would have still been blamed for all of the violence that transpired. And while we’re not defending the likes of the KKK or other groups who are pushing for an all-white America, it is an exercise in denial to pretend that they are the only groups causing trouble. And it is monstrously unfair to lump 60 million Trump-voting Americans in with this infinitesimally small number of racists.
When that leftist idiot shot Steve Scalise a couple of months ago, all we heard was how “both sides” were responsible for the hateful rhetoric. Now, it’s solely on the right. Nuh-uh. Sorry. It isn’t going to play. When liberals start taking responsibility for their societal agitations, they can start pointing the finger at Donald Trump. But not a second before.