Yesterday, President Donald Trump continued to avoid condemning white supremacists for the violent "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville over the weekend. The rally was organized in response to planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee and resulted in the death of anti-racist counter-protester Heather Heyer and the injuries of dozens of other anti-racist activists.
In a press conference, Trump refused to call the violence terrorism; refused to blame the alt-right; insisted that “not all of those people were neo-Nazis...not all of those people were white supremacists”; and said that the “alt-left” was equally to blame. (You can read the full transcript over on Politico here.)
Trump insisted that “there is blame on both sides,” echoing his initial blame on “many sides.” He said:
“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.”
“I am not putting anybody on a moral plane, what I’m saying is this: you had a group on one side and a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs and it was vicious and 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’ve 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.”
“I do think there is blame – yes, I think there is blame on both sides. You look at, 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, and, and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.”
Let me remind you about what sides we’re talking about.
One side is white supremacists, KKK members, and Nazis. The other side is anti-racist protestors.
YOU CAN’T “BOTH SIDES” THINGS WHEN ONE SIDE IS NAZIS.
After Trump’s statements, numerous politicians and activists, including many Republicans, condemned his remarks. You know who didn’t? Former KKK leader David Duke, who tweeted, “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists.”
WHEN DAVID DUKE IS ON YOUR SIDE, YOUR SIDE IS THE WRONG SIDE.
Our president is literally #NotAllNazis-ing. He’s #gottahearbothsides-ing, but one side is pro-white supremacy and the other side is anti-white supremacy. THIS IS MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE.
Trump has a long history of racism and white supremacy, but usually he has just a little more subtlety. We absolutely need to condemn him and everyone who supports him, but please, don’t stop there. If you hear or see a friend, family member, or social media acquaintance saying they gotta hear both sides, call them out. Because, literally, ONE SIDE IS NAZIS.
Top photo: Facebook/Donald Trump
More from BUST