Trump's complicity and silence on the white supremacist terrorism in Charlottesville over the weekend has again turned him into an international embarrassment and disgrace.
Donald Trump’s silence on the Nazis and white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been deafening.
It should not be controversial or difficult to condemn people who wave the Nazi flag and approvingly quote Hitler. Others who are not known for their vocal opposition to white supremacy have done it. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was deemed too racist in 1986 to be a federal judge and is using the Department of Justice to attack affirmative action, said the “evil attack” was indeed an act of “domestic terrorism”. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — who resisted the removal of the Confederate flag from the statehouse building in 2015, saying it “is part of who we are” — said Trump should be more “explicit” and denounce these groups.
Trump, meanwhile, has refused to denounce the white supremacists and Nazis, instead saying “many sides” are to blame.
Now Germany has weighed in as well.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters Monday that Saturday’s march was “absolutely repulsive — naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display.”
He further added, “Such images and chants are disgusting wherever they may be and they are diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government.”
Seibert also described the fatal attack by alleged murderer James Alex Fields, Jr., as “evil,” and said Merkel stands “with those who peacefully oppose such aggressive, far-right views.”
That is far more than the president of the United States has said — about the hateful march, the chants and signs, or the tragic death at the hands of someone described as having an obsession with Hitler.
Trump has never hesitated to use graphic and offensive language when attacking those he doesn’t like. At a campaign rally in Ohio last month, he called immigrants “animals” and gleefully bragged about his administration’s crackdown on “bloodthirsty criminal gangs.”
“We’re not doing it in a politically correct fashion,” he said.
It would seem Trump is reserving his politically correct criticism for the white supremacists who believe he is one of them — and has given them his tacit approval of their ideology and actions.
While others in Trump’s administration are trying desperately to insist that Trump has condemned these white supremacists and Nazis, that is simply not true. Trump has yet to call out these groups by name, and during his one brief address to the nation — which was part of a signing ceremony in which he bragged about the economy — he said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
That was hardly a condemnation of the white supremacists acting in Trump’s name. If anything, it was a not-so-subtle indication that he sympathizes with them.
Given Trump’s record of racist rhetoric, his inclusion of white supremacists in his administration, his protection of Nazi sympathizer Seb Gorka, and his suggestion that those who stand up to white supremacy are somehow to blame — not to mention the blatantly anti-Semitic imagery he gladly shared and defended during the campaign — it is hard not to conclude that Trump himself is a Nazi sympathizer.
There is no indication that Trump intends to say anything more about it. The White House issued an anonymous statement trying to spin Trump’s words, but Trump himself has moved on to other topics: tweeting about “Obstructionist Democrats” and attacking the black CEO of Merck who resigned from Trump’s advisory council in protest of Trump’s silence.
If Trump does say anything more — and it looks now as if he won’t — it will be far too little and far too late. The disgrace Trump has brought upon himself and this country cannot be undone. And it seems he has no interest in even trying.