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)