Trump backtracks on denouncing KKK, White Supremacy, and neo-Nazi Groups

Anti-hate protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Anti-hate protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia.

(TriceEdneyWire.com) — In a Trump Tower press conference on Tuesday, August 15, President Trump stunned Republicans, Democrats and people across the nation by leaning back toward his original stance, also blaming anti-hate protestors for the violence during the march in which White supremacists chanted slogans against Black and Jewish people. His reversal has gained a note of thanks from former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke who earlier warned that the hate marchers represented Trump’s base.

Race hate groups claim to be riled over the Charlottesville City Council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the city’s downtown. The Aug. 12 rally followed a July 8 Ku Klux Klan rally, also in Charlottesville. Observers say the hate groups are only using the statue removal as an opportunity to spread their White supremacist messages and recruit.

“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, White supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” Trump told reporters at a White House Press Conference Aug. 14. “We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.”

As strong as that statement may sound, it came two days after the terrorist attack—far too long for a president who tweets daily attacks against political foes. Trump had issued an earlier, far weaker statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said during a short statement from his private golf club in New Jersey on August 12, the day of the attack. “It has been going on for a long time in our country—not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Trump’s second statement (calling out the names of the groups) came only after pressures and demands from civil rights leaders, his family and fellow Republicans who, either by example or direct urging, told him his first statement was not nearly enough.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, was clear: “I have a message for all the White supremists and all the Nazis that came into Charlottesville today. That message is plain and simple. Go home. You are not wanted in this great Common-wealth. Shame on you,” he said.

“You came here today to hurt people, and you did hurt people,” McAuliffe said. “But my message is clear. We are stronger than you.”

Civil rights groups chimed in one after another.

The Congressional Black Caucus was quick to point out the so-called ‘alt-right’ (White supremacist) connections in the Trump White House that may have influenced his tepid response.

Trump’s second statement came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he had opened a civil rights investigation into the killing of Heather Heyer.

James Alex Fields, Jr. will remain incarcerated without bond unless his court-appointed lawyer is able to convince the court otherwise.

More hate rallies are likely to occur as Confederate monuments to the cause of slavery and race hatred are being removed around the country.

Meanwhile, the National Urban League and NAACP both concluded that the key answer is unified, non-violent action against hate.

“This weekend, we once again saw the familiar faces of hate and bigotry,” said NAACP Interim President Derrick Johnson.

“We saw White supremacists brandishing torches, Swastikas, and Confederate flags march through Charlottesville, one of our great American cities. And we felt a familiar frustration as those in our nation’s highest office chose not to acknowledge the pain that these hateful symbols bring, but rather chose to blame individuals on “many sides.” I say, we must stand strong, arm-in-arm with our neighbors, to speak out in one unified voice. We must use our time, our talents and our resources to assist and to caution against the repeated rhetoric that helps to fuel this climate of division and derision.”