It took more than 48 hours and intense public pressure for President Donald Trump to finally denounced the white supremacist groups whose rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend sparked deadly violence.
But his Monday proclamation that “racism is evil” means little coming from a man who largely has not backed away from the racism upon which he built both his campaign and his real estate business.
Not only did Trump’s condemnation pale in comparison to those from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, celebrities and even the maker of the tiki torches used at the rally, but it also came after he blamed “many sides” for the violent protest.
White supremacist organizations have been effusive in their praise of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and now his presidency. They view him as their champion and at the very least a fellow traveler in sharing their hateful ideology.
Trump’s defenders would say that such “guilt by association” is unfair and no public figure can be held responsible for all his supporters or endorsements. At least in this instance, however, he is.
White supremacists and other hate groups have been emboldened by Donald Trump for good reason. Trump has done the following:
1. Banned Muslims from entering the United States.
2. Vowed to build a wall on the Mexican border and deny “illegal immigrants” access to social services and other assistance.
3. Refused to allow blacks and other people of color to lease property in his buildings.
4. Placed white-nationalist sympathizers such as Bannon and Miller in senior White House roles.
5. Nominated for attorney general Sen. Jeff Sessions, a man who has repeatedly shown his disdain for African-Americans and actively worked to suppress their voting rights.
6. Threatened to declare martial law in black and brown communities such as Chicago.
7. He attacked Muslim Gold Star parents.
8. He claimed a judge was biased because “he’s a Mexican”
9. The Justice Department sued his company ― twice ― for not renting to black people.
10. He refused to disavow the white supremacists who advocated for him, including KKK leader David Duke.
11. He questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
12. He trashed Native Americans, too.
13. He encouraged and condoned the beating of a Black protester, telling supporters he’d pay “their legal fees.”
14. He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino man “passionate.”
15. He stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-Semitic image created by white supremacists
The president of the United States has many responsibilities and obligations. His formal obligations include serving as the chief executive, commander in chief of the armed forces, chief law enforcement officer, and chief diplomat. The president’s informal responsibilities include being the protector of economic prosperity, head of state, national cheerleader and the country’s moral leader.
Trump has now added an additional job title and responsibility: He is the white nationalist in chief of the United States of America. So when looking for the person responsible for the violence perpetrated by white supremacists, look no further than Donald Trump. Unfortunately, his affinity for overtly racist policies and beliefs is not in and of itself an impeachable offense. And even if it was, Republicans will never move a finger to impeach him.
America’s only hope is that voters use the power of the ballot and remove the entire Republican party from power in the 2018 midterms election. Only then Trump can be held accountable.