Okay, so I’m still getting back in the swing of posting again. So thank you all for bearing with me!
As I’m sure many of you have heard, late Friday night, a group of white nationalists, or according to some, supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, yelling chants implying white oppression. According to Rev. Seth Wispelwey in an article from the New York Times, “People are angry, they’re scared, they’re hurt, they’re confused.” As per the same article, the march started in part because this group of white nationalists were opposed to a plan to take down a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
These people’s fear are well founded too, in a report by the Huffington Post, three people have died and 35 people have been injured following the rally due in part to a helicopter crash. Others were injured when a car plowed into an anti-racist group while they clashed with the white supremacist activists, some of whom were armed while others were not. Given that there have been injuries and death on both sides—the white nationalists as well as anti-racists—many are upset and have spoken out against the incident.
In fact, Virginia governor Terry McAuliff declared a state of emergency yesterday afternoon, Attorney Jeff Sessions declared an investigation into the violence, and Trump has made a speech that prompted a lot of backlash from many.
He blamed both sides—again, the nationalists and the anti-racists—for the violence, saying that we must respect each other, and hopefully love each other. He began by discouraging the bigotry that prompted the protests and violence. Many celebrities as well as political figures have called him out on his statement, implying a level of inconsistency between this speech and his previous statements. Furthermore, many have scolded him for blaming both sides—Colorado Senator Corey Gardner tweeting “Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These are white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.” Others scolded him for only paying attention to the Charlottesville, and completely neglecting the Mosque bombing in Minnesota that occurred just over a week ago.
I’m not going to share my personal opinions on his statements, but I will say that I find it refreshing to see this many people, especially those who have power such as politicians, calling Trump out on his inconsistencies. We cannot only condemn terrorism that has been acted upon us by others; it is important to recognize domestic terrorism. We, unfortunately, have a history of acts of violence against our own people. So to hear our commander in chief, our international representative, our national role model (to an extent) ignore domestic terrorism is disgraceful, but to see so many writers, performers, politicians, etc. call him out with such rigor is a welcome change to people seeming complacent or merely shocked his statements.