Donald Trump has continued to express sympathy toward white supremacists. A bipartisan group of senators are trying to push him to stand up for equality.
Donald Trump has made it clear he does not want to fight white supremacy, but a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a resolution to force him to do it anyway.
The resolution was put together and introduced by Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). It is being supported by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The language of the bill specifically calls on Trump to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy.” It also asks Trump to use “all resources” available to him to address “the growing prevalence” of hate groups in America.
After the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump dragged his feet in responding to the tragic incident, then said “both sides” of the protest were to blame for the death of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd. Trump also described some of the white supremacists protesting the removal of a Confederate statue as “very fine people.”
In addition to pushing Trump to stop backing hatemongers, the Senate resolution recognizes Heyer’s death and describes the event as a “domestic terror attack.” The bill also acknowledges the heroism of the two Virginia State Police troopers who were killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protests.
Despite ample evidence to the contrary, Trump has continued to insist that he responded appropriately to the attack, and denies that he has expressed sympathy for white supremacists.
Trump’s blind eye toward right-wing, racist terror isn’t just rhetorical. It shows up in his policy decisions as well.
His administration cut funding for efforts to de-radicalize neo-Nazis, slashing $400,000 from the program, that was a part of the Obama administration’s Countering Violent Extremism initiative. Life After Hate, founded by former extremists, works to get members of white power gangs to “disengage and lead a more positive life.”
Trump has given these hateful organizations a green light from the highest office in the land, in a way so blatant and so offensive to American values that even some within Trump’s own party are trying to get him to stop.