DemDaily: In the Wake of Charlottesville

August 16, 2017

Neo-Nazis:"White Lives Matter" (Pic:NYT)

In Charlottesville, Virginia, a "Unite the Right" rally protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Civil War's Confederate army, turned into a full-blown riot.

Torch-wielding white supremacists violently clashed with police and counter-protestors, ending when one drove his car into the crowd.

In the end, 32 year-old counter-protestor Heather Heyer was killed, over 30 people were injured, and two responding state troopers were killed when their helicopter crashed.

Saturday afternoon President Trump addressed the nation, condemning the "egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides."

The president's remarks, which failed to call out the white nationalists and neo-Nazi groups by name, were met with a firestorm of criticism from both parties.

The White House released a statement saying the President "condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white supremacists" and extremist groups.

Hundreds of Solidarity events condemning the violence and racism took place nationwide.

The first of nine members of Trump's American Manufacturing Council quit over his equivable response to Charlottesville.

President Trump held a press conference, saying "Racism is evil," this time adding "those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups."

Former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke praised Trump

President Trump backtracked on Monday's statement, reiterating his earlier claim that anti-fascist protesters shared equal blame. "What about the alt-left who came charging at the alt-right?" he said angrily.

"You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides."

Five US Joint Chiefs, who traditionally never comment publicly on political events, issued individual public condemnations of the "racism, extremism and hatred."  Others were more direct.

If allowed to continue along this senseless path, Mr. Trump will do lasting harm to American society and to our standing in the world.  By his words and his actions, Mr. Trump is putting our national security and our collective futures at grave risk." - John Brennan, Former CIA Director
 Services were held this morning for slain counter-protestor Heather Heyer. In an emotionally wrenching speech before 1,200 mourners, Heather's mother, Susan Bro, said:
"They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what, you just magnified her.  We are going to have our differences, we are going to be angry with each other, but let's channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear. Let's channel that difference, that anger, into righteous action...I'd rather have my child, but by golly if I have to give her up, let's make it count."-- Susan Bro

Let's make it count.

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: New York Times, ABC, Business Insider, CNN, The Guardian

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