I am appalled that the KKK and the white supremacy movement are in any way legal and becoming increasingly legitimized in the United States of America.
I am even more appalled that the president of the United States, Donald Trump, did not immediately call out the white supremacy movement directly for its violent and hateful racist rhetoric in the wake of the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12. The fact that he finally did so 48 hours later, after intense pressure from the public and members of his own party, does little to calm my concerns.
Former KKK leader David Duke said of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville VA on Aug. 12: “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he’s going to take our country back.”
One would have thought that Donald Trump would have immediately and forcefully repudiated this statement by Duke. He did not — not even 48 hours later. One of the possible reasons for his silence is that to do so would have angered his base. It’s unfortunate that such conjecture is entirely plausible.
Silence is consent. By his failure to call out the white supremacist movement directly and immediately in the wake of this rally and the death of peaceful protester Heather Heyer, Trump has given the movement’s hateful racist tenets the equivalent of the presidential seal of approval. This will surely encourage more of the behavior like we saw in Charlottesville.
Trump is either a racist or, at the very least, someone who finds it politically advantageous to consort with same. A third possibility is that he finds it difficult to say anything negative about people who praise him. Concerning the latter, is that really a trait we want in our nation’s leader?