Trump on Char­lottesville: “Racism is Evil” – Calls White Su­prem­a­cists “Crim­i­nals & Thugs”

POTUS Blames “Both Sides” for Vi­o­lence – Praises “Fine Peo­ple on Both Sides”

The Jewish Voice - - FRONT PAGE - By: Fern Sid­man

Pres­i­dent Trump on Tues­day de­fended his re­ac­tion to White su­prem­a­cist pro­tes­tors and counter pro­tes­tors at the Char­lottesville demon­stra­tion by say­ing, "I think there's blame on both sides" and there were "very fine peo­ple on both sides".

"What about the alt-left that came charg­ing at, as you say, the alt-right, do they have any sem­blance of guilt?" Trump asked jour­nal­ists at Trump Tower in New York City.

"You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent," he said.

The pres­i­dent also de­clared that the protest, which was against the re­moval of a statue of a Civil War Con­fed­er­ate gen­eral, in­cluded peace­ful pro­test­ers who were un­af­fil­i­ated with the neo-Nazis and white su­prem­a­cists who were filmed clash­ing vi­o­lently with counter-pro­test­ers.

"I looked the night be­fore, if you look, there were peo­ple protest­ing very qui­etly the tak­ing down of the statue of Robert E. Lee," Trump said, prompt­ing shouted ques­tions from re­porters.

He also ap­peared to ques­tion the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of re­mov­ing stat­ues li­on­iz­ing Con­fed­er­ate fig­ures, not­ing that Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton and Thomas Jef­fer­son owned slaves and ask­ing whether stat­ues of Wash­ing­ton would also be re­moved.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s first visit to his op­u­lent triplex pent­house on Mon­day night at his epony­mously named lux­ury sky­scraper in Man­hat­tan was re­plete with the kind of con­tro­versy that has marked his young pres­i­dency. This was the first time since Jan­uary that Trump had set foot in his long time digs as he uti­lized the op­por­tu­nity to sched­ule meet­ings in New York while the White house is be­ing ren­o­vated.

Trump ar­rived home to the sight of thou­sands of ran­corous demon­stra­tors who were stri­dently protest­ing against him for what they per­ceive as his re­luc­tance to con­demn the racist mes­sages of the alt-right and other White su­prem­a­cist groups. These groups which in­clude the Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan were in the mael­strom of the violent ri­ots that have cap­tured the at­ten­tion of the na­tion and the world. The rue­ful aftermath of the hate filled ri­ots left one woman dead and dozens wounded in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia on Satur­day. A con­tin­gent of Trump sup­port­ers also gath­ered in front of his home with their own dis­tinct mes­sages of sup­port.

More than 1,000 demon­stra­tors were in pens po­lice erected across the street from Trump Tower by early Mon­day evening, hours be­fore his ex­pected ar­rival. An in­flat­able car­i­ca­ture of Trump rose above pedes­tri­ans on a nearby block. On Twit­ter, a photo sur­faced of pro­test­ers who made it past se­cu­rity press­ing signs against a win­dow in the sky­scraper, ac­cord­ing to a USA To­day re­port.

Po­lice sta­tioned sand-filled sanitation trucks as bar­ri­ers around the tower and lay­ers of metal po­lice bar­ri­cades around the main en­trance.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port posted on the Gothamist web­site, Eric Wil­son, 30, was car­ry­ing a sign that said "Re­sist White­ness," which he ex­plained was a

Trump ar­rived home to the sight of thou­sands of ran­corous demon­stra­tors who were stri­dently protest­ing against him for what they per­ceive as his re­luc­tance to con­demn the racist mes­sages of the alt-right and other White su­prem­a­cist groups

chal­lenge for white peo­ple like him­self to "con­front that as white peo­ple, how has this iden­tity been used to…make money at the ex­pense of other peo­ple, even when we don’t mean to."

"There’s a kind of ev­ery­day vi­o­lence in white­ness that goes be­yond white supremacy," he added.

Wil­son's friend, Zach Pace, said he was at the protest to "show sol­i­dar­ity with all our cit­i­zens. I'm here to tell Pres­i­dent Trump right out­side his prop­erty that we don’t re­spect him, we don’t re­spect his val­ues, and that we don’t want him rep­re­sent­ing us.

Also re­ported by the Gothamist web site, Heshy Friedman, a 57-year-old Ortho­dox Jew from Flat­bush, was part of the counter protest, hold­ing a sign that said "Google Ortho­dox Jews Voted For Trump / We Will Again In 2020."

Friedman, a con­sul­tant, said he was un­per­turbed by the sight of neo-Nazis in Char­lottesville. "The col­lege cam­puses are be­ing in­fil­trated by Muslim rad­i­cals, which is due to Obama bring­ing in hun­dreds of thou­sands of them," Friedman said. "If there's any­one whose bring­ing pro­tec­tion, it's Trump. It's one of the main rea­sons the Ortho­dox Jewish com­mu­nity voted for Trump."

USA To­day also re­ported that in Wash­ing­ton, Metro D.C. Po­lice said demon­stra­tors were march­ing from Lafayette Park across from the White House up Penn­syl­va­nia Av­enue to­ward Trump In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel and the Capi­tol build­ing. In Durham, N.C., pro­test­ers met near a Con­fed­er­ate mon­u­ment down­town, then top­pled the statue, ac­cord­ing to WNCN-TV.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called the deadly vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville "un­ac­cept­able" via Twit­ter Mon­day night and said "there is a bet­ter way to re­move these monuments,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port in USA To­day.

For nearly two hours ear­lier Mon­day, pro­test­ers in Nashville urged Ten­nessee's lead­ers to fi­nally take ac­tion and re­move a bust of Con­fed­er­ate sol­dier and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bed­ford For­rest from the state Capi­tol in Nashville.

They sang songs such as This Lit­tle Light of Mine and voiced their frus­tra­tions in chants¬ — “White si­lence is vi­o­lence,” “Which side are you on?” and “Tear it down.”

Ul­ti­mately, they made their way from the For­rest bust be­tween the House and Se­nate cham­bers to Ten­nessee Gov. Bill Haslam's of­fice, de­mand­ing an an­swer from him on the is­sue.

In Min­neapo­lis, hun­dreds marched the streets in Min­neapo­lis' Cedar-Riverside neigh­bor­hood and a Nazi was burned in ef­figy. The march started at 5 p.m. out­side the Min­nesota GOP head­quar­ters and pro­test­ers even­tu­ally headed down­town, block­ing some roads and light rail tracks as they went, po­lice said.

In Naples, Fla., more than 150 peo­ple at­tended an anti-hate vigil Mon­day night at the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Con­gre­ga­tion of Greater Naples in re­sponse to the vi­o­lence over the week­end in Vir­ginia.

"We are ap­palled by the dis­play of hate and big­otry in Char­lottesville," said Jef­frey Feld, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Jewish Fed­er­a­tion of Col­lier County. "We are hor­ri­fied and sick­ened by the mes­sages that were spewed. But we must stand to­gether as peo­ple who be­lieve in the good of mankind."

The Los An­ge­les Times re­ported that on Sun­day hun­dreds of pro­test­ers marched peace­fully through down­town Los An­ge­les to de­nounce the white na­tion­al­ist vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville, Va., and to ex­co­ri­ate Pres­i­dent Trump.

The demon­stra­tors ral­lied on the steps of City Hall with speeches con­demn­ing racism and xeno­pho­bia, then marched through the streets of down­town, chant­ing: “No Trump, no KKK, no fas­cist USA,” “No hate, no fear, im­mi­grants are wel­come here,” “Black lives mat­ter,” and other slo­gans.

The far-right groups held the rally to protest plans by Char­lottesville to tear down a statue of Gen­eral Robert E. Lee. Lee was the leader of the Con­fed­er­ate forces that fought against fed­eral forces in the Civil War from 1861 un­til 1865. The war was es­sen­tially about slav­ery in the South. Stat­ues of Lee and other Con­fed­er­ate gen­er­als have be­come the cen­ter of demon­stra­tions in sev­eral cities across the na­tion.

Bow­ing to over­whelm­ing pres­sure, Trump’s com­ments in Wash­ing­ton on Mon­day af­ter­noon fol­lowed in­tense crit­i­cism from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum for fail­ing for two days to ex­plic­itly use the words white su­prem­a­cists and neo-Nazis in con­demn­ing the vi­o­lence.

Af­ter re­mark­ing about the up­surge in the econ­omy and the op­ti­mistic job growth fig­ures, Trump de­clared that “racism is evil” and swiftly de­nounced the White su­prem­a­cist move­ment and their his­toric credo of vo­cif­er­ous ha­tred to­wards mi­nori­ties, gays and Jews.

For the first time since the vi­o­lence, Trump men­tioned by name neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and white su­prem­a­cists as “crim­i­nals and thugs ... that are re­pug­nant to ev­ery­thing we hold dear as Amer­i­cans.” He vowed that any­one who com­mit­ted “racist vi­o­lence” in Char­lottesville would be held ac­count­able, and said what hap­pened in the city was an “egre­gious dis­play of ha­tred, big­otry and vi­o­lence.”

“It should not take two days and a na­tional tragedy for the pres­i­dent to take ac­tion and dis­avow white su­prem­a­cists,” said Kris­ten Clarke with the non-profit Lawyer’s Com­mit­tee for Civil Rights Un­der Law. “When it comes to the safety and the se­cu­rity of our com­mu­ni­ties, too many of which now feel tar­geted by hate-fu­eled pro­tes­tors, two days is too late.”

Late Mon­day, Trump lashed out at the media for its cov­er­age of the last two days.

“Made ad­di­tional re­marks on Char­lottesville and re­al­ize once again that the Fake News Media will never be sat­is­fied ... truly bad peo­ple!” the pres­i­dent wrote on Twit­ter.

Jew­sish Lead­ers

World Jewish Congress Pres­i­dent Ron­ald S. Lauder on Satur­day harshly con­demned the violent Neo-Nazi demon­stra­tions in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia.

“The World Jewish Congress un­equiv­o­cally con­demns the in­con­ceiv­able vi­o­lence ex­hib­ited at the neo-Nazi demon­stra­tion to­day in Char­lottesville. Our prayers are with the vic­tims of this vi­o­lence and their fam­i­lies.

“It is ut­terly dis­tress­ing and re­pug­nant that such ha­tred and big­otry still run ram­pant in parts of this coun­try. There is no place in our demo­cratic so­ci­ety for such vi­o­lence and in­tol­er­ance. We must be vig­i­lant and united in our op­po­si­tion to such ab­hor­rence.

“We com­mend the Char­lottesville au­thor­i­ties and lo­cal govern­ment for their quick ac­tion in quelling these protests and restor­ing calm, and sin­cerely hope

that this will serve as a de­ter­rent for fu­ture demon­stra­tions of vi­o­lence."

"We are ap­palled by wan­ton dis­plays of vi­o­lence and ha­tred that erupted in Char­lottesville on Satur­day," said Rabbi Elazar Muskin, pres­i­dent of the Rab­bini­cal Coun­cil of Amer­ica. "We pray for the in­jured and ex­press our con­do­lences to the fam­i­lies of those who were killed. We join our voices with all those who em­brace the best of our coun­try's val­ues of re­spect, tol­er­ance and de­cency."

In a state­ment re­leased to the media, the Jewish Coun­cil for Pub­lic Af­fairs (JCPA) said they con­demn the violent, racist, anti-Semitic, and hate filled “Unite the Right” rally by white na­tion­al­ist groups in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia on Satur­day.

“In mo­ments like these, it’s crit­i­cal that our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers speak in a clear voice op­pos­ing ha­tred." stated JCPA Board Chair Ch­eryl Fish­bein. “What our lead­ers do and say sets the pa­ram­e­ters for the rest of the so­ci­ety."

“There is no com­par­i­son be­tween the pro­tes­tors, who brought hate and vi­o­lence to the streets of one of the sym­bolic birth places of Amer­i­can democ­racy, and the counter pro­tes­tors” said David Bern­stein, JCPA’s Pres­i­dent and CEO. "The Rally was one of the largest show­ings from a hate group in decades. We stand with peo­ple of good will from all walks of life who are speak­ing out against hate. We must drive it back into the un­der­ground and to the mar­gins of so­ci­ety.”

“This mur­der­ous at­tack, re­sem­bles car ram­ming in Is­rael and Europe per­pe­trated by ter­ror­ists as­so­ci­ated with ISIS and Ha­mas. It should be treated as a de­lib­er­ate act of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism", Said Rab­bis Marvin Hier and Abra­ham Cooper, Dean and Founder and As­so­ciate Dean and Di­rec­tor of Global So­cial Ac­tion for the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter, a lead­ing Jewish Hu­man Rights or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“The death and vi­o­lence that fol­lowed Fri­day night’s torch­light march at Univer­sity of Vir­ginia, rem­i­nis­cent of KKK ral­lies where chants of the slo­gan ‘Blood and Soil’ used by marchers at mass Nazi ral­lies in Nurem­berg and else­where in Ger­many dur­ing the 1930s and 1940s, were spouted by ex­trem­ists”, Cen­ter of­fi­cials added.

"Amer­i­cans have the right to de­bate civilly the re­moval of a statue, the sta­tus of a flag or re­nam­ing of a park, with­out turn­ing to vi­o­lence and worse. We call upon all Amer­i­can lead­ers, what­ever their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions, led by Pres­i­dent Trump, to specif­i­cally con­demn the ex­treme alt- right and white na­tion­al­ists who sow seeds of hate, dis­trust and vi­o­lence. They and all other ex­trem­ists, left or right, have no place in the main­stream of our na­tion,” Cen­ter of­fi­cials con­cluded.

In a state­ment sent to the media, The Rab­bini­cal Al­liance of Amer­ica/IGUD said that its 950 mem­ber rab­bis con­demn and re­pu­di­ate any and all hate groups. “We strongly be­lieve that there is no place for ha­tred and vi­o­lence in our so­ci­ety. The in­tim­i­da­tion and neg­a­tive at­mos­phere that was cre­ated by this demon­stra­tion is anath­ema to the spirit of these blessed Unites States of Amer­ica,” said RAA Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik of Staten Is­land.

He added that, “the RAA ex­tends sup­port and back­ing to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and to the ad­min­is­tra­tion for their re­marks re­pu­di­at­ing the hate and vi­o­lence both on Satur­day and Mon­day in con­dem­na­tion of these hate groups. We be­lieve that all Amer­i­cans have a great friend and pro­tec­tor of hu­man rights in our Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump. “

Busi­ness lead­ers re­spond

Also Mon­day, three mem­bers of the Amer­i­can Man­u­fac­tur­ing Coun­cil, the pres­i­dent’s ad­vi­sory board of chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cers, re­signed over the pres­i­dent’s re­ac­tion to the vi­o­lence.

Ken­neth Fra­zier, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Merck Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, said the pres­i­dent ini­tially did not “clearly re­ject ex­pres­sions of ha­tred, big­otry and group supremacy, which run counter to the Amer­i­can ideal that all peo­ple are cre­ated equal.” Trump, in a Twit­ter re­sponse, said that since Fra­zier had quit the man­u­fac­tur­ing coun­cil, he would now “have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!”

Un­der Ar­mour CEO Kevin Plank tweeted that he is quit­ting the coun­cil be­cause he would rather unite peo­ple and pro­mote di­ver­sity through the power of sports, not pol­i­tics.

In­tel CEO Brian Krzanich said he was re­sign­ing to highlight the “se­ri­ous harm our di­vided po­lit­i­cal cli­mate is caus­ing to crit­i­cal is­sues.”

“I re­signed be­cause I want to make progress, while many in Wash­ing­ton seem more con­cerned with at­tack­ing any­one who dis­agrees with them,” Krzanich said. “We should honor — not at­tack — those who have stood up for equal­ity and other cher­ished Amer­i­can val­ues.”

Trump, how­ever did pay trib­ute to the three peo­ple who died Satur­day, in­clud­ing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old para­le­gal who had gone to the rally to protest against the white na­tion­al­ists. She was killed when she was hit by a speed­ing car driven by sus­pect James Alex Fields, Jr 20, into a group of counter pro­test­ers. He has been charged with se­cond de­gree mur­der along with other crim­i­nal counts.

A Char­lottesville judge re­fused to grant him bond dur­ing his first court ap­pear­ance Mon­day.

Vic­tim's mother speaks out

Heyer’s mother, Su­san Bro, thanked Trump for de­nounc­ing “vi­o­lence and ha­tred,” and vowed to con­tinue her daugh­ter’s ac­tivism against big­otry. “That’s what Amer­ica is about, that’s what made Amer­ica great to be­gin with. We are a melt­ing pot of ev­ery­body com­ing to­gether and work­ing as one,” Bro said.

Two Vir­ginia state po­lice troop­ers who had been mon­i­tor­ing the protest from the air were also killed when their he­li­copter crashed.

Trump spoke af­ter two of his top law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions and FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray, briefed him on the fed­eral probe. The Jus­tice Depart­ment has opened a civil rights in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Satur­day’s vi­o­lence.

Ses­sions told ABC News, “You can be sure we will charge and ad­vance the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to­wards the most se­ri­ous charges that can be brought, be­cause this is an un­equiv­o­cally un­ac­cept­able and evil at­tack that can­not be ac­cepted in Amer­ica.”

Char­lottesville Po­lice Chief Al Thomas said the far right groups broke their agree­ment with po­lice and en­tered a city park from dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions in­stead of a sin­gle en­try point.

Neo Nazis, KKK and as­sorted white su­prem­a­cists ex­changed blows with the counter pro­tes­tors at a demon­stra­tion in Char­lottesville last Satur­day.

The vi­o­lence that en­sued left 32-year old Heather Heyer dead and dozens se­ri­ously wounded. James Alex Fields, Jr, 20, of Ohio has been charged with mur­der

On Mon­day, for the first time since the vi­o­lence in Char­lottesville, Trump men­tioned by name neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and white su­prem­a­cists as “crim­i­nals and thugs ... that are re­pug­nant to ev­ery­thing we hold dear as Amer­i­cans.” He vowed that any­one who com­mit­ted “racist vi­o­lence” in Char­lottesville would be held ac­count­able, and said what hap­pened in the city was an “egre­gious dis­play of ha­tred, big­otry and vi­o­lence.”

Sus­pect in Char­lottesville, Va. car-ram­ming iden­ti­fied as 20-yearold James Alex Fields, Jr. of Ohio. Those who knew him said he had a fas­ci­na­tion with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi move­ment.

Demon­stra­tors across US protest racism, Trump af­ter Char­lottesville vi­o­lence

World Jewish Congress Pres­i­dent Ron­ald S. Lauder harshly con­demned the violent Neo-Nazi demon­stra­tions in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia.

Heather Heyer was a 32-yearold para­le­gal who had gone to the rally to protest against the white na­tion­al­ists. She was killed when she was hit by a speed­ing car driven by sus­pect James Alex Fields, Jr 20, into a group of counter pro­test­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.