The last forty-eight hours in America have made the country come to grips with what some respect and fully understand is nothing more than the violent and racist history of hate and division in the United States. Because ignorance remains such a blissful place for those in denial to dwell, pretending that the events that unfolded in Charlottesville were mere happenstance, is far easier than acknowledging them as racism, bigotry, and domestic terrorism.
It was perhaps in the above spirit of complacency that Donald Trump so easily dismissed this tragic weekend in the ways that he did. Because attitude reflects leadership, as a result of Trump’s grossly inappropriate response to the white supremacist/neo-Nazi hate crimes, other white apologists were able to openly speak from their places of privilege and call this weekend’s events everything but what they really were.
Even some D.C. leaders who most would expect to openly condemn Trump’s remarks and make their own that fully acknowledge the depth of what all has taken place, have been silent and/or made safe comments. One such person who said just enough to say more than Trump, but not enough to totally set himself apart from Trump, is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
McCain, who just recently finally put people over his party as some Americans have been waiting for him to do for quite some time, released a statement about Charlottesville and unfortunately, he too failed to use the words domestic terrorists to describe the supremacists involved in this weekends events. McCain did, however, call out those involved by referring to them as “White supremacists and neo-Nazis,” terms Donald Trump initially refused to use and now that he is [sparingly] using them, seems to say with a bit of a disclaimer in his tone.
‘Nothing less is at stake on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, where a violent attack has taken at least one American life and injured many others in a confrontation between our better angels and our worst demons.’
The “founding fathers” didn’t steal America from the Natives and have slaves build the country because they wanted people with various shades of brown skin to be treated as their equals. That was never their intent; “all men” were never created equal in the eyes of people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington et al.
Like so many others, McCain showed that he just doesn’t get it, by calling on people who continue to be hurt by this country, to stand up for principles that were never outlined with them in mind:
‘As we mourn the tragedy that has occurred in Charlottesville, American patriots of all colors and creeds must come together to defy those who raise the flag of hatred and bigotry.’
Those elected to represent their constituents should have minds of their own and be equipped to address matters whether a proper example is set by the commander in chief or not. However, such doesn’t seem to be the case and instead, it appears that Trump’s lackluster approach to dealing with all that has taken place is truly set the tone for his fellow Republicans’ response.
John McCain’s full statement may be found here.
The dismissive Donald Trump speech that has been the model used for others to downplay this weekend’s events is below:
Featured Image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla/Staffth