letter in the Daily Local News, 8/16/17
The violence that happened in Charlottesville on Saturday, August 12th, at a White Nationalist rally is shocking and disturbing, but really not surprising.
A young woman was killed and 19 others injured by an avowed Neo-Nazi sympathizer who plowed into a crowd of people with his car. The surprise to me is–with all of the armor and open carry firearms brought to the demonstration for White Supremacy full of hate groups like the KKK, Neo-Nazis and others–that gunfire did not break out and more people were not killed and injured. This rally represents the ugly, dark side of a small, but fervent group of supporters of President Trump emboldened by his language of division, scapegoating immigrants, Muslims and our first black President.
Donald Trump has fed the paranoia of white supremacy and bigotry throughout his campaign and term, and has alt-righters like Steve Bannon, Steven Miller and Sebastian Gorka working in the White House shaping his world view every day. No wonder the KKK, Neo-Nazis and others see this presidency as bringing their abhorrent views into the mainstream.
On the day of the violence, Trump called out ‘hatred and bigotry on all sides’ but refused to name White Supremacy or the many hate groups that espouse this corrosive philosophy. As President of the United States, he has a moral obligation to denounce in the strongest terms all vestiges of the ugly hatred and racism that are part and parcel of the alt right. But Trump cannot bring himself to denounce these bigoted groups by name who strongly support his presidency.
There are so many episodes of instability and chaos related to our President. Here is hoping that this very important inflection point will expose Donald Trump’s support for racism and division, and will be given the full attention and exposure for the travesty it is, causing more responsible Republicans to distance themselves from his failing Presidency.
More importantly, it is an opportunity for the Republican party itself to stand up to the alt right and separate themselves from its ideology of hatred and influence on their party today. Marco Rubio, Orin Hatch, and even Ted Cruz stood up and denounced white supremacy. Will our President ever do the same? If not, just one more reason this man is unfit for office.
— Tom Buglio, West Chester
(n.b.: DLN letters are no longer online there)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement after violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia left at least three people dead and 19 injured.
“The Sierra Club condemns this act of white supremacist terrorism in the strongest possible terms. Our thoughts are with those injured and killed and our hearts are with those who are peacefully speaking out to stop hate from gaining another inch in our country and those who are living in fear because of that hate. No one who took to the streets of Charlottesville fueled by bigotry and brandishing the symbols of fascism that so many Americans fought and died to tear down has any claim on the mantle of patriotism. Instead, it is more important than ever that they be called out for exactly what they are: vile and unacceptable racists preaching division and hatred that stands in opposition to the values of equality and justice that must drive our nation forward. Hatred and racism have long played a disgraceful part of American history, but there can be no doubt that those who spew white supremacy feel empowered right now when they see allies in the corridors of power. These bigots must be condemned, not coddled, and we are in solidarity with those elected officials, residents of Charlottesville, and people all over this country who are speaking out for an America that pushes forward toward justice, not slides backward into hatred and fear.”
email, 8/12/17. Contact: Trey Pollard firstname.lastname@example.org
from Progressive Democrats of America, 8/12/17
Today, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) feels saddened and alarmed by the events in Charlottesville, Va., where the Governor has declared a state of emergency. Groups protesting against plans to move a statue of a Confederate general attacked and injured several people. White supremacists, Nazis, and others brandishing Confederate flags, weapons, and shields drove law enforcement officials from Emancipation Park and the surrounding area—creating a chaotic and dangerously lawless situation.
PDA stands in solidarity with the peaceful protesters who challenge racism past and present. We deplore violence, and call upon President Trump to renounce his “Alt-Right” supporters—as well as any other White Supremacist, Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi and other extremists and hate groups who have voiced their support for him.
In 2017, it is high time to put away any and all symbols and statues that glorify the shameful legacy of slavery. It is time to move toward a truly inclusive society that celebrates and honors diversity over division, embraces everyone, and strives to achieve the lofty ideals upon which our nation was founded. That all people are created equal.