Donald Trump's and Tom Reed's Weak Condemnation of the Charlottesville White Supremacists

Donald Trump's condemnation of the Nazi terrorists in Charlottesville was as strong as his condemnation of Vladimir Putin for interfering with our election and for expelling hundreds from the American embassy in Moscow. In other words, it was so weak it was almost nonexistent.

Here was his condemnation on Twitter

 

He also issued a statement at a press conference in which he said, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides." To his credit, Trump also added, "Above all else, we must remember this truth. No matter our color, creed, religion, or political party, we are all Americans first."  But he refused to call out the White Nationalist/Nazi movement for what it is--a terroristic movement that is a cancer on our nation. Watch the clip below and see for yourself.

 

 

 

Did you hear what Trump said in the above clip about his plan to combat this scourge? He wants to study it. Study it???  What's there to study?

 

 

 

 

 

Nazis marching in Charlottesville

 

 

Here is how the "good folks" at the neo-Nazi site, the Daily Stormer, took Trump's criticism of the events in Charlottesville. This was posted in their Live Updates section on August 12.

3:46 PM:

Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!

So he implied the antifa are haters.

There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

He said he loves us all.

Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

No condemnation at all.

When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.

Really, really good.

God bless him.

 

Virginia Governor, Terry McCauliffe's condemnation of the White Nationalists and his call for them to go home and not come back provides a stark contrast to President Trump's namby pamby condemnation of both sides.

 

 

But Governor McCauliffe is a Democrat. You would expect a Democrat to call out the racists.  But how about Republicans?  Are they criticizing the Nazis?  Fortunately, many of them are.  Colorado Senator Cory Gardner couldn't have done a better job .

 

Marco Rubio has done a fine job as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senators Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jeff Flake, and Tim Scott have also called out this terrorism. As has Lindsey Graham.

 

The White House emailed the following statement today after Trump received much criticism from his fellow Republicans for not taking a tougher stance against the White Supremacists

 

The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, K.K.K. neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.

 

The New York Times reports that this statement was attributed to an unnamed spokesperson and was not directly attributed to Donald Trump. It was also made more than 36 hours after the Charlottesville protest began.

So how did our very own Congressman Tom Reed do in condemning the Nazis/KKK/White Supremacists? Did he rise to the occassion like Senator Cory Gardner?  Or did he issue a statement that was nothing more than malnourished mollycoddling of milquetoast mush?  As of this writing, Reed has issued one tweet and made one statement to the press explaining his position.

 

 

WXXI News reported Tom Reed's statement about the Charlottesville protests along with statements from four other prominent New York State leaders. Note that the other four leaders call out White Supremacy by name. Reed is the only one who does not.

 

I'm outraged by the violence and senseless deaths that occurred today in Charlottesville and condemn those who would abuse our freedoms and divide us with bigotry.  Hatred will never have a place in the true American spirit. Our condolences are with the families of all three of today's victims.

 

Reed's statement to the press is better than than his tweet But it would be a lot stronger if he had specifically stated who was responsible for the hatred and bigotry. Was it the White Supremacists, or the Antifascists who came to battle them? I doubt Reed intends to give aid and comfort to White Supremacists. I sincerely believe he is appalled by their actions. But Reed is also a strong supporter of Donald Trump's and I suspect that he is unwilling to antagonize a very loud faction of Trump's ever-shrinking base of support. (And I don't mean to imply that all--or even most--of Trump's supporters are Nazis. All Nazis are Trump supporters, but not all Trump supporters are Nazis) However, as we have seen in the message from the Daily Stormer above, White Supremacists could interpret Reed's statements as a sign of tolerance. Reed needs to do better than that.

I call on Congressman Reed to do the following:

  1. Explicitly condemn the White Supremacists by name and issue a statement that their very ideology is built on hate and violence.
  2. Join the Anti-Defamation League in publicly calling for Donald Trump to expel all White Supremacists from within his administration.
  3. Publicly push for the restoration of $400,000 that Trump's Department of Homeland Security cut that was supposed to go to Life After Hate, a group dedicated to fighting White Supremacist radicalization online.

 

As I said, I seriously doubt Reed has any sympathy at all for these White Supremacists. But White Supremacists will interpret his weak statement as either support or tolerance. Taking these three steps will remove all doubt and prove that this interpretation is wrong.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with an entertaining anti-racist propaganda video that was produced by the United States Department of War in 1947. Though it was produced 70 years ago, it is still very relevant today.

 

 


 

Update 8/19/17:  Now THIS is how you make a statement. There are a few brave Republicans out there willing to do the right thing. But far too many are content to utter mealy mouthed mush. If more Republicans were like Mitt Romney the Republican Party could avoid becoming known as the party of traitors, racists, and scoundrels.

Are you listening, Congressman Reed?

From Mitt Romney's Facebook page.

 

I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.

The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president's words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces--made up and sustained by men and women of all races--could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?

In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?

The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis--who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat--and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.

This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country.