Every time I touch on Trump’s “very fine people” statement on the violence in Charlottesville that occurred on August 12, 2017, I get angry responses from his cult of defenders. They claim he never praised Nazis and he did condemn them. Let’s look at the facts.
On August 12, 2017, there was a rally by Neo-Nazis to preserve a statue of Robert E. Lee that the city planned to remove. They held a march with tiki torches and chanted “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.” There was violence between the racists and anti-racists. One of the racists murdered Heather Heyer and injured several others when he drove into a crowd of peaceful innocent anti-racism protesters. Donald Trump spoke about the violence on that day.
From his bed-bug infested golf resort in New Jersey, Turdberry, I think it’s called, Trump condemned the violence and hate. He said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
That was his strongest statement that day against hate and bigotry, by blaming both sides. It was his first statement. It was prepared beforehand.
On August 14, 2017, two days later, Trump issued an official statement from the White House condemning Neo-Nazis. The short statement included, “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.”
Donald Trump could never say something this forcefully off the cuff or as a response to a question. He could only do so two days after the fact and as an official statement prepared by a staff of goons. It took him two days to say something negative about hate groups. The only thing more difficult to get him to criticize is Russia. But yes, Donald Trump condemned Neo-Nazis…and a day later, he defended them.
On August 15, 2017, during a press conference in Trump Tower, Donald Trump told reporters there were “very fine people on both sides.”
When a reporter pointed out it took Trump over 48 hours to criticize hate groups, he asked Trump, “why did you wait so long to blast neo-Nazis?” Trump’s excuse was that he didn’t want to condemn the hate groups until he knew the facts.
Yes, the man who told over 30,500 lies while president (sic) and admitted he didn’t have any information that George Soros was funding migrant caravans even though he made the claim, and who often supported his bullshit with “many people are saying,” didn’t want to say something without having all the facts.
It was pointed out to Trump that Senator John McCain blamed the alt-right, and Trump refused to join him. Trump instead asked the reporter to define the “alt-right,” and defended Steve Bannon as someone who’s “not a racist.”
And then he asked the reporter, “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at — excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?”
He continued to equate the anti-racists with the hate groups, using the bogus term “alt-left,” and said, “Let me ask you this: What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news. That was a horrible day.”
He then defended the hate groups, because they had a permit, and said, “I will tell you something. I watched those very closely — much more closely than you people watched it. And you have — you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now. You had a group — you had a group on the other side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.”
A reporter asked him, “Mr. President (sic), are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?”
Trump: “I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane. What I’m saying is this: You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs — and it was vicious and it was horrible. And it was a horrible thing to watch.
But there is another side. There was a group on this side. You can call them the left — you just called them the left — that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.”
Reporter: “You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides. Are the…”
Trump: “Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. If you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And if you reported it accurately, you would say.”
Reporter: “The neo-Nazis started this. They showed up in Charlottesville to protest…”
Trump: “Excuse me, excuse me. They didn’t put themselves — and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group. Excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”
Kids, he defended Nazis and hate groups. He defended the hate groups in Charlottesville. He defended the people marching with tiki torches while chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil.”
What he did was equate anti-racist groups with hate groups. He refused to say something bad about the alt-right and came up with the term “alt-left,” ignoring that if the “alt-left” is a bad thing, then the comparable group, the “alt-right,” is bad too. Yes, he condemnded Nazis the day before, but then turned around and defended them the next day by pointing out they had a permit as if they had a right to be there but the left didn’t. Then, by saying “very fine people” on both sides, he claimed very fine people march with Nazis who chant “Jews will not replace us.”
Let me make one thing clear: Very fine people do NOT march with Nazis. Very fine people don’t socialize and mingle with people who chant “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us.”
I don’t care how much you love a statue, you don’t march with Nazis unless you’re a Nazi. I don’t care if the government is trying to take down a statue of one of my heroes, like Tom Petty, Charles Schulz, or Herblock, as soon as a Nazi showed up, for whatever reason, I wouldn’t march with him. This isn’t like a school assembly thing where you mouth the words while the rest of your classmates are singing. Even if you don’t mouth the words, your silence while marching with people chanting antisemitic slogans is an endorsement of those statements.
Good people don’t hang out with Nazis. The only people who march with Nazis are Nazis. But then again, maybe they’re like those Trump voters who claim they’re not racist, but racism isn’t a dealbreaker.
Racism and Nazis should be a dealbreaker. And if they’re not a dealbreaker for you, like they’re not with the peddlers of the “Great Replacement Theory,” such as Trump and Tucker Carlson, then you’re just as racist as the white supremacist shooter in Buffalo.
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