I’ve been out running errands for most of today, and come back to see a horrifying glimpse of America, 2017:
A planned protest in Virginia by white nationalists was abandoned on Saturday after a spate of violence prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency and law enforcement officers to clear the area.
The demonstration, which both organizers and critics had said was the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent years, turned violent almost immediately and left at least one person dead and a number of people injured. “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Mayor Mike Signer, said on social media.
In comments from Bedminster, N.J., President Trump condemned the violence and called for the swift restoration of order. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he said.
The turmoil began with a march Friday night and escalated Saturday morning as hundreds of white nationalists gathered. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets and carrying shields, they converged on a statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park and began chanting phrases like “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.”
Later, someone deliberately drove a muscle car into a group of people demonstrating against the white nationalists. One person is dead from that deliberate act of terrorism, one that copies what Muslim radicals in Europe have done.
Trump’s response to the racist rally has been — how to put this? — underwhelming. No, I’m sorry, it’s not “underwhelming”. It’s disgusting. And given that professional racist David Duke invoked Trump’s name favorably at Friday night’s rally, Trump has every reason in the world to condemn this rally and its attendees in no uncertain terms. But he didn’t do it.
We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
David French has this right:
Trump is very, very specific when he wants to condemn someone – ask the Khans, Judge Curiel, Comey, his AG – his vagueness has a purpose.
— David French (@DavidAFrench) August 12, 2017
Trump walks out as reporters ask if he wants to denounce support of white nationalists, call car attack terrorism
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) August 12, 2017
We need a strong, morally decisive leader at a moment like this. Instead, we have Donald Trump.
This is the easiest Sister Souljah moment in the history of Sister Souljah moments. A gift. And Trump won’t take it. pic.twitter.com/WmROXngn4A
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) August 12, 2017
The Catholic bishop of Richmond did not cover himself in glory either with his equivocation:
“In the last 24 hours, hatred and violence have been on display in the City of Charlottesville. I earnestly pray for peace. I invoke the prayer of St. Francis who prayed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.” I pray that those men and women on both sides can talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully. The love of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against hatred. Only the light of Christ can quench the torches of hatred and violence. Let us pray for peace.”
“Both sides talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully”? Bishop, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but we are talking about neo-Nazis! Look, sir:
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) August 12, 2017
— Andy Campbell (@AndyBCampbell) August 12, 2017
— Christopher Mathias (@letsgomathias) August 12, 2017
I am entirely — entirely, emphatically — on the side of the Southern Baptist pastor Russell Moore here:
I am grieved to the core to think that this is the United States of America I am watching on live television right now.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) August 12, 2017
“Blood and soil” = the idolatry of the flesh fueled by the dark spirit of the age. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against such.
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) August 12, 2017
The so-called Alt-Right white supremacist ideologies are anti-Christ and satanic to the core. We should say so. #SBC17
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) June 14, 2017
Yes, we can and should talk about how left-wing racism and antifa violence are feeding this right-wing racism and violence. But that can come later. Today, all that needs to be said is: these white thugs who desecrated Charlottesville today are evil, and must be condemned and resisted by all decent people. And also, by the American president.
UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports, based on people running the license plate number of the car that plowed into the crowd, is that the driver may be a high school kid with a big anti-Trump profile on social media. If true, he plowed into a crowd of his own side. Why?