Time to remember that ‘we are the change we seek.’ America can move forward even as this president marches us backwards.
Donald Trump does not generally do calm and balanced. He’s more of a fire and fury kind of guy. So it was a bit bracing to see him commenting Saturday in such a soothing, even-handed way, on the violence in Charlottesville, Va. He denounced “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long, long time. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time.” He went on to call for mutual affection among Americans and to point out that children should be allowed to play outside without fear.
Not that the goings-on in Virginia had anything to do with random violence against children. This particular violence arose from the intentionally provocative actions of an array of hate groups. It culminated with a driver speeding into a crowd of counter-protesters and killing a young woman. In one of many videos that surfaced in the aftermath, a shocked bystander mutters, “Holy sh** That Nazi just drove into people.” Two state troopers died when a helicopter patrolling the area crashed.
The so-called Unite the Right rally drew some of the nation’s most vocal racists — from newer movements, such as the alt right, and from such senescent groups as the Ku Klux Klan. David Duke, the former KKK leader who ran a competitive race for governor of Louisiana in 1991, told reporters the event was “a turning point” for America: “We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”