President Donald Trump is quick to demean, condemn and insult people and protests against racism and sexism.
Just this last week, he went after NBA star Lebron James and insulted his intelligence. He also CNN's Don Lemon "the dumbest man on television."
The POTUS has, many times in the past, went on a rampage against NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem and has called to suspend them without pay.
However, last year, when a group of neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan men and an assortment of other hate groups came together as “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and when one of them ran a vehicle into the counter-protestors, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, Trump failed to condemn the driving factor behind the tragedy: white supremacy.
Participants of the rally raised the swastika, chanted antisemitic slogans and Nazi slogans with impunity. Meanwhile, anti-racism activists also came together to protest the Nazi gathering.
As Americans, perhaps for the first time, reckoned with the growth of fascist, Nazi sentiment, many called upon Trump to unequivocally express his disgust at Unite the Right.
However, the president said the violence was from “both” sides, from the Nazis who killed and the counter-protestors who were killed.
He said while neo-Nazis and white nationalists "should be condemned totally," the protesters in the other group "also had trouble-makers. And you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats. You got a lot of bad people in the other group too."
Even then, Trump drew widespread backlash for nurturing a murderous group.
As the nation marks the first anniversary of the “Unite the Right” rally, nothing much seems to have changed.
Jason Kessler, who helped organized the rally last year, has obtained a permit to hold another rally comprising 400 people in Lafayette Park, Washington D.C.
Several groups of counter-protesters have also gained permits for larger gatherings. Unchanged also are Trump’s opinions as he tweeted the following:
The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2018
Yet again, Trump failed to mention the words: white supremacy.
Last year, when Trump refused to outright condemn the “Unite the Right” rally, was the first time that many Americans confronted the possibility that Trump was not just an ill-informed, inexperienced giant baby, but a shrewd person who had milked Nazi sentiments, and was now bent on protecting these people.
The latest failure to denounce white supremacy is another confirmation of that possibility.
Law enforcement officials in Virginia fear another outburst and are on high alert.
The governor of Virginia has declared states of emergency for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Charlottesville.
A statement released by Governor Ralph Northam said the purpose behind the declaration is “to address the potential impacts of events in and around the City of Charlottesville and outside of Washington, D.C., on August 10–12, 2018.”
Thumbnail, Banner: Reuters, Leah Millis