The real problems with Trump’s statement on terrorism in Charlottesville
Here is the full text of Donald Trump’s statement earlier today on the horrific terrorist incident in Charlottesville and the groups that prompted it, with our comments.
Thank you. I’m in Washington today to meet with my economics team to meet about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform. We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker, and it’s about time. Our economy is now strong, the stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a 16-year low and businesses are more optimistic than ever before. Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them. We have already created over 1 million jobs since I took office.
Nice choice of timing to brag, Donald. Not.
We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.
A little under 48 hours later than you should have.
I just met with FBI director Christopher Wray, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American, and wounded twenty others. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.
You failed to say “terrorist.” But that’s because the perp is white and IOKIYAR.
As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence – it has no place in America. And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws.
Um, no, Donald, that’s not what you said. You said “Many groups, many groups,” insinuating that nonviolent protesters are violent.
We all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.
Tell that to rationalists and racists. That is exclusionary rhetoric.
We must love each other, show affection for each other and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.
That line should have been in your inauguration, but I’m sure it would have been vetoed by President Bannon.
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. We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our creator, we are equal under the law and we are equal under our constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry, strike at the very core of America.
Where are the words, “I disavow the support and endorsements of these groups; I reject their bigotry, their hatred, and their overt and covert support for violence against racial and religious minorities; I condemn them for everything they stand for,” Donald? Huh?
Two days ago, a young American woman Heather Heyer was tragically killed.
Here Trump chose the right word, believe it or not. It would have been nice to have said “murdered,” but that would have given the terrorist perp an excuse to have charges dropped because Trump had irreparably damaged the case by passing judgment.
Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers and our love. We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth and their country.
Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their family, their friends and every member of American law enforcement.
These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.
Well said, and the only part of his statement that didn’t weasel-word the matter or the issues.
In times such as these, America has always shown it’s true character, responding to hate with love, division with unity and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice. As a candidate, I promise to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.
Unfortunate choice of words: “law and order” is dog-whistle conservative-ese for “jail all the blacks.”
We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts and to express the love and joy in their souls. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much.
There is little that could be more jarring than the juxtaposition of summer of love rhetoric with that “law and order” trope. Trump is trying – clumsily– to have it both ways.
That brings us to the biggest problems with Trump’s rhetoric today.
First, Trump’s facile categorization of the Klan and their fellow travelers as “criminals and thugs” was weak and mealymouthed. These groups are terrorists organizations, intent on inflicting harm of any and all kinds available against blacks, Jews, Muslims, and anything not 100% “white.”
Second, the meeting with Wray and Sessions produced nothing but the same old same old: investigations have commenced, the guilty will be charged and prosecuted. That may be a good start, but it is not enough. This would have been the time to announce an investigation of radical domestic terrorism of all kinds, NRA and Daily Stormer be damned.
Third, today’s words do nothing to contravene one word Trump said as a candidate – or, for that matter, during the disastrous first half-year of his presidency. Trump’s selection of several ultra-right racists and outright neo-Nazis to his cabinet – Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka, Julie Kirchner, and Kris Kobach – is prima facie evidence that he is not unwelcome to racism and extremism.
And that means that we cannot believe one word he said today about “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” – even though he may lose many of the cretinous, deplorable racists in his base with those words.
Trump has not one shred of credibility left.