Monday, August 14, 2017
"By The Editorial Board, www.nytimes.comView Original August 13th, 2017
White nationalists marched on the grounds of the University of Virginia on Friday night in Charlottesville. Credit Edu Bayer for The New York Times
Photo by: Edu Bayer for The New York Times
Let’s discard the fiction that President Trump wasn’t placating white supremacists by responding so weakly to the neo-Nazi violence that killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterdemonstrator in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. The neo-Nazis heard his message loud and clear.
“He didn’t attack us,” crowed The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website, about Mr. Trump’s statement after the two days of racist demonstrations. “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.”
The police said a 20-year-old man, who participated in the long-planned protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, plowed his car into peaceful counterdemonstrators on Saturday, killing Ms. Heyer and injuring 19 others. He was charged with second-degree murder. Two Virginia state troopers responding to the protests died in a helicopter crash.
After the attack, and before he spoke, Mr. Trump reportedly consulted advisers. They told him to condemn the white nationalists who fomented the violence.
He did not. Instead, he spoke of an “egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides.”
Mr. Trump is alone in modern presidential history in his willingness to summon demons of bigotry and intolerance in service to himself. He began his political career on a lie about President Barack Obama’s citizenship and has failed to firmly condemn the words and deeds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan leaders and other bigots who rallied behind him. A number of these people, including David Duke, the former Klan imperial wizard, and Richard Spencer, self-styled theorist of the alt-right, were part of the amen chorus of bigots in Charlottesville.
* (What about Ronald Reagan's in Philadelphia Miss, his welfare queen and George HW Bush's Willie Horton ad). *
“We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” said Mr. Duke, whose support Mr. Trump has only reluctantly disavowed in the past. “That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Mr. Trump’s fear of naming the source of Saturday’s violence sharply contrasts with his eagerness to call out Islamist terror.
All day on Sunday, Mr. Trump remained silent, as H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, and Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose jobs are to understand and combat hate-based threats, covered for him on the television news shows. Ivanka Trump, her father’s senior adviser and self-proclaimed moderating force, issued a single tweet of protest.
“There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis,” she wrote on Sunday, apparently blind to her father’s accommodation of those forces.
One aide not heard from was Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, whose nationalist theories and Breitbart dog whistles helped summon the rage on display in Charlottesville.
On Sunday, the White House issued, anonymously, another weak statement, saying that the president’s words on Saturday “of course” included “white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.”
Meanwhile a handful of congressional Republicans have condemned the hate on display in Charlottesville, and in our politics. Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said of white supremacists, “We don’t want them in our base, they shouldn’t be in a base, we shouldn’t call them part of a base.”
But Mr. Trump does, and in his desperation to rescue his failing presidency, he again clung to them."
The Hate He Dares Not Speak Of - The New York Times