It's no secret that this current administration is a bit controversial. But now, people are furious about Trump's latest comments on Charlottesville, and they're completely right to be up in arms about it all. When news of the disaster in Charlottesville, Virginia began to break, politicians everywhere took to Twitter or individual news conferences to issue statements condoning white supremacy and racism. Even well-known, conservative Republicans called out the actions of the Klu Klux Klan and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville over the weekend. But President Trump took his time. In fact, Trump waited two whole days before finally making a statement on whose to blame for the violence.
His initial statement was widely criticized across the media for not explicitly calling out the white supremacists gathered at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. After a car reportedly rammed into a group of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring more than 30 others, Sen. Ted Cruz called on the Department of Justice to investigate the attack as domestic terrorism. Cruz even issued a statement saying: "The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil."
But the President of the United States? He called out violence "on many sides," and left it at that. And Tuesday, he actually defended those statements.
After a reporter asked Trump why he waited so long to make a statement about Charlottesville, Trump replied, stating that "the statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement." Of course, he couldn't stop there. After being asked if he thought the attack in Charlottesville was perpetuated by a member of the "alt-right" — a term adopted by white supremacists or neo-Nazis to describe their beliefs — Trump said, according to CNBC:
OK. What about the alt-left that came charging at [unintelligible] — excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right. Do they have any semblance of guilt?
Let me ask you this. What about the fact they came charging — that they came charging, with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. So, you know, as far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day-
I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it, and you have- You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now. You had a group, you had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.
So, in short, Trump still refused to place the blame of the Charlottesville violence, and again blamed "both sides" for what happened. To clarify, what happened is that a white supremacist attended a "Unite the Right" rally, and reportedly rammed his car into a group of peaceful protestors, killing an innocent woman, who was later identified as Heather Heyer, according to The New York Times.
Investigators are still working to uncover whether the car attack was premeditated, but reports have already uncovered that he "long sympathized with Nazi views and had stood with a group of white supremacists hours before Saturday’s bloody crash," according to The Washington Post.
So, yes. People are completely right to be angry at Trump's complacent comments regarding Charlottesville.
At the end of the day, the events in Charlottesville wouldn't have taken place if white supremacists or neo-Nazis hadn't organized their rally. True, they were exercising their First Amendment rights, but that doesn't mean they aren't to blame. In this specific instance, the "alt-left" has nothing to do with the violence in Charlottesville — and Trump needs to acknowledge that.