Violence is rocking Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, where thousands of far right activists have gathered to protest what they feel is the erosion of “white culture.”
The thrust of the far right demonstrations is Nazi, with plenty of Nazi imagery on display throughout the demonstrating crowds, and with those demonstrating espousing views against immigration and in favor of a radical nationalism that are taken directly from the Nazi playbook. The demonstrators picked Charlottesville as a site for their protests on the occasion of the city moving to remove a number of status honoring Confederate war icons.
At least three people have died in the violence thus far. One anti-Nazi counterprotester was hit by a car, while two police officers died after the police helicopter they were in monitoring the violence crashed.
The violence has been building up since Friday, and the president finally responded to it on Saturday afternoon with a statement that did not condemn the white nationalists whose gatherings are at the core of the violence currently unfolding. Instead, he simply called for “all Americans” to “come together as one.” In remarks to reporters, he later added that responsibility for the violence rests with “many sides.”
At least two GOP Senators are among those to have immediately lashed out at the tameness of the president’s statements when it comes to condemning the thousands of white nationalists who have gathered in Virginia.
Utah’s Senator Orrin Hatch wrote on Twitter:
‘[T]heir ideas are fueled by hate, & have no place in civil society. We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.’
We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) August 12, 2017
Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner added a message on Twitter reading:
‘Mr. President — we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.’
Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 12, 2017
Trump will, of course, no doubt pay little to no attention to these Senators’ remarks. He has, as many have pointed out, elevated known white nationalists like Steve Bannon to high positions within his administration.
Nevertheless, we will continue to remind the president and all who will listen that this is not normal.
Check out Twitter’s thoughts about the Senators’ comments below.
Featured Image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images