At a news conference in February, Mr. Trump said “No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism, the least racist person.” However, his response to the tragic and deplorable events that took place on Friday, August 11, when violent clashes broke out between white supremacists and anti-fascist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, was disappointing, to say the least.
He was presented with the opportunity to condemn the evil that Nazism is, however, he first waited, then relativized, saying that the white nationalists who protested in Charlottesville are “some very fine people on both sides”, expressing sympathy for those who protested against the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Also, what sides are we talking about? The Nazi groups that marched in Charlottesville cannot be considered a side. They were imitating Nazi rituals by carrying torches and performing the call and response of “Trump! Hail”, which reminds us of “Hitler! Hail”. When shouting “Blood and soil” they’re repeating a Nazi slogan which encourages races to murder races without mercy, for land. Reportedly, Trump feels no remorse in regard to his comments. This idea was reinforced by his then political advisor Stephen K. Bannon, who excitedly declared the news conference a “defining moment” in Trump’s presidency. And it was a defining moment! He proved once again how he can’t shake those feelings for “blood and soil” racists who see him as their ally.
Among those present at the rally, was former KKK leader David Duke, where he was recorded saying that they were “determined to take (our) country back”. “We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” he said. “That’s what we believe in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump.” John Oliver commented that “David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump, which is weird because Nazis are a lot like cats: If they like you, it’s probably because you’re feeding them,”
Trump is becoming more and more isolated as time goes by, not only politically, but also personally. But, he still has his base. And he will cling to them with everything that he has, even if there are Nazis and white supremacists among them.
Featured image via The New York Times.