US President fails to explicitly condemn white racists for deadly rally, garners criticism and protest
American media outlets are reporting today that the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday provoked by an extremist "white nationalist" rally is sparking growing resistance there, and President Donald Trump is garnering criticism for his equivocal commentary on it. One person died during the demonstration by the "white nationalists", two State Police officers died when their helicopter crashed as they responded to the rally, and 19 people were injured.
Trump expressed condemnation of the incidents in Charlottesville but criticized hatred and violence coming from "many sides". He did not say that the racists were the source of the unrest.
The Associated Press reports that the demonstration was joined by top American ultra-right celebrities, including the leader of the so-called "alternative right", Richard Spencer, and the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke. The former KKK leader declared that the extremist "white nationalists" were "working on fulfilling the promises of Donald Trump."
The American neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer also praised the standpoint of the US President today: "Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides! So he implied the antifa are haters. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all. Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him."
Trump first reacted to the events in Charlottesville through a series of tweets urging for the restoration of order and guaranteeing people's safety. In Bedminster, New
Jersey, where he is spending his vacation, he told journalists that he condemned in the most decisive terms the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on
many sides, on many sides."
The President then tweeted that "regardless of color, creed, religion or political party we are all Americans first and foremost". He did not mention the responsibility of the "white nationalist" racists for the unrest.
Trump's stance has sparked reactions of rejection, including among his adherents. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who devotedly supported Trump in his
campaign, posted the following to social networks: "We reject the racism and violence of white nationalists like the ones acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in
leadership must speak out."
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said that "there is nothing patriotic about Naxis, KKK, or adherents of white supremacy. America is doing its best to be the exact opposite
"Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism," Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (Republican) tweeted to
the White House.
Protests happened at other places around the USA last night and into Sunday morning in response to the neo-Nazi demonstration in Virginia. Hundreds of people marched
through the center of Oakland, California, chanting "Call it what it is".
Some demonstrators blocked an interstate highway and police dispersed them, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Demonstrations were also reported from Los Angeles and San Diego.
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