The white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend began and ended with the kind of racial violence that should be impossible for people of the United States and any organizations based on or supportive of the basic principles of human rights, justice, and equality to tolerate.
Starting with a torchlight march replete with chants of “White Lives Matter,” “You will not replace us,” “Jews will not replace us,” and open Nazi iconography, it progressed through the next day when a young man horrifically launched his car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter counterprotesters, killing one young woman and injuring many others.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that monitors and exposes hate groups, states on its website, “White Lives Matter, a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, is a neo-Nazi group that is growing into a movement as more and more white supremacist groups take up its slogans and tactics.”
Following the violence, which did not end there, President Trump issued a statement so equivocal it stood out as clear refusal to condemn openly and violently racist ideologies. It attributed the “hatred, bigotry and violence” to “many sides” instead of making the point that white supremacy has no place in American society.