On Saturday, a “Unite the Right” protest of White Supremacists to dispute the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville turned deadly when a man drove his car into a group of those opposing the alt-right supremacists, killing one and injuring 19 others. Miraculously, on the day this occurred Trump’s twitter fingers appeared paralyzed. When he finally surfaced, his words revealed between-the-lines support for these racists. In an unpresidential speech that supports racism, the leader of the free world refused to condemn those responsible by name.
Not only did Trump’s barely unspoken speech upset the Democrats, he was slammed by members of his own Republican party for stopping short of explicitly condemning the far-right. It is bad enough that Trump has surrounded himself with white supremacists like Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller, however his refusal to “call a spade a spade” added insult to injury. In an unpresidential speech that supports racism, here is what the President of the United States had to say:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.
Trump has no problem calling people out and even attacking his own in matters less severe than this. However, to this tragedy, he responds with almost silence before surfacing with a lukewarm speech. While victims of the horrifying terror attack were still covered in blood, Trump refused to state blame and instead renders an unpresidential elucidation of “on many sides, on many sides.” After his Twitter fingers were finally revived, he tweeted:
Above all else, we must remember this truth – no matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first.
The Charlottesville terrorist attack should make it clear to any previous doubters that racism is alive and well in these United States called America. It does no good to pretend it has evaporated into the fibers of history. Although racism has progressed forward from half a century ago, irrational racist bias is still a part of everyday life in this country. Yes, laws have moved towards equality and now it seems the nation has taken a great leap backward in efforts to mirror historic radicalism.
Such a sad day in this country. Here it is the last half of 2017, and “white” is still right! If anything positive can arise from this tragic event in Charlottesville, it would be, that America wakes up to a sober reckoning and serious acknowledgment of the past and present history of racism in these loosely United States. The shallow mentality of ignoring the uncomfortable truth surrounding socioeconomic and racial segregation is untenable for a country that brands itself “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Nothing is farther from the truth; America is not united and seemingly not safe for black people. As Americans continue to display their ignorance of history and the current reality, it only serves as confirmation that they would rather believe a lie than deal with the truth. It is an easy feat when Trump can issue a biased and unpresidential speech as the one in this case where it continues to fuel racism by not challenging those responsible.
For Americans who are “awake,” it is abundantly clear that the President is both a sympathizer and enabler of their lost cause. As a known bully and one quick to spew accusations, Trump’s speech was unpresidential and a clear support of racism.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Politico: Charlottesville mayor: Trump’s response to the violence has left him ‘on the sidelines’
Top / Featured Image Courtesy of Stephen Melkisethian’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Chris Blakeley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License