Editorial

    Will We Allow Trump to Get Away with Fomenting White Supremacy and Racist Violence?

    August 17, 2017

     
    A controversy is raging in the United States, and internationally, in the aftermath of the white supremacist marches, assaults, threats, and near takeover of Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11 and 12. Their “Unite the Right” demonstrations led to the murder of Heather Heyer, a 32-year old white counter-demonstrator, when a neo-Nazi drove a car into the counter-demonstration—a deliberate act of domestic terrorism. Nineteen other people were injured by the car, and another 15 were injured in separate assaults.

    President Trump expressed his dismay at the death but blamed “many sides.” It took him until Monday, two days later, to call out the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK (the infamous Ku Klux Klan, who have terrorized African-Americans ever since Emancipation). He read out the words condemning them from his teleprompter, without conviction. Then, on Tuesday, in a rant-filled press conference devoted to clarifying his position, he asserted that the “Unite the Right” demonstrators included “many” “very fine people” and reverted to his initial claim that “both sides” were to blame for the violence. His absurd equation of fascists with those protesting them is now the focus of debate throughout the country and elsewhere. Leaders of Britain and Germany have spoken out against Trump for this.

    Heather Heyer, and her final Facebook post

    Heather Heyer, and her final Facebook post

    Once again, American racism has stolen the headlines away from world events, even from the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea. With echoes of the 1950s and 1960s, racism has become the central issue for Trump’s America. Tragically, we are moving in the opposite direction from the period of the Civil Rights Movement; white supremacists are attempting to affect a counter-revolution against African-Americans’ gains in justice and equal rights––and the President agrees with them. Today, the question before the U.S. is: Will we let Trump get away with fomenting white supremacy and racist violence?

    [Read more…]

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