The creator of one of the most prolific neo-Nazi websites praised Trump for not specifically blaming neo-Nazis and white supremacists, saying “he loves us”.
It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville as law enforcement confronted the largest public gathering of white supremacists in decades.
The Charlottesville police department had responded to 250 calls Saturday and emergency workers treated 36 injured people, including several who were hurt in the vehicle attack, Thomas said.
“I didn’t know David Duke was there”, Trump said, before arguing he was slow to react to the racists at the march because he wanted to get all the facts.
Speaking to reporters at Trump Tower in New York City, Trump denounced the “alt-left” protesters who he said “came charging” at a group of white supremacist rally goers.
The far-right demonstrators included neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members, and clashed violently with counter-protesters.
Authorities say 32-year-old Heather Heyer died after a 20-year-old OH man plowed a auto through a group of people. He said that the Department of Justice had opened a civil rights investigation into the vehicle attack.
Two Virginia State Police officers also died when their helicopter, which was dispatched to the area, crashed just outside of Charlottesville. One woman lost her life and several others were injured when tensions escalated between white nationalists and counterprotesters.
Trump’s initial statement about the protests said there was hate “on many sides”, which prompted critics and opponents to dismiss his statement as not being strong enough in condemning the extremist groups that initiated the protest. “I thought what took place was a awful moment for the country, but there are two sides to a story”, the President said at Trump Tower in Manhattan, as cited by NBC News.
At the August 12 Unite the Right rally, they faced the opposite complaint: That they stood and watched assaults take place. I don’t remember noticing the Lee statue when I lived in Charlottesville.
Historical symbols clearly matter, but I wonder whether their removal should be anti-racists’ primary goal.
Says O’Donnell, “Police really do feel any action you take, you’re subjected to much less criticism for not acting than acting”. Jeff Schoep, head of the National Socialist Movement, has said the white nationalist groups are trying to transform a recent groundswell of online support into real-world activism. The group, founded by California-based Nathan Damigo, also has tried to grow its ranks with campus visits.
“I will give credit where credit is due, but I will say that was too little, too late”, he told CNN.
Asked about reports that police stood by as white supremacists, many of whom carried shields and clubs, attacked protesters, Thomas said officers were not initially dressed to intervene and “had to quickly transition” into “protective gear”.
“Blaming “both sides” for #Charlottesville?! No”. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either.
“The media showed up”, says Gorcenski.
Matt Korbon, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, told the Associated Press several hundred counter-protesters were marching when “suddenly there was just this tire screeching sound”. I called Charlottesville home for five years and once walked the street where a neo-Nazi terrorist from OH mowed down 10 pedestrians, killing one. If you want to march and let vile things roll off your tongue, fine. Soon the Dodge driver slams the vehicle in reverse, going back up the street at a high rate of speed, dragging its front bumper. “You could have a melee inside of that park where a thousand people were jammed there”.
Like-minded bigots – whether simply ignorant or inherently evil – now feel emboldened to publicly express the same, with language and gestures meant to intimidate. “But we’ll see what happens to him”, Trump said.
Hardly the high mark of rhetoric, Trump went on to boast about the economy – without once mentioning the reason for the rally or the auto accident.
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, a Democrat, slammed Trump’s stance toward hate groups, saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he hopes Trump “looks himself in the mirror and thinks very deeply about who he consorted with”.
“The police actually allowed us to square off against each other”, Newsome said.