Update August 17, 2017 -- President Trump has backed off his words from Monday in an angry speech to reporters yesteraday, where he claimed counterprotesters were "very violent" and that there were "good people" on both sides. His appeasement and excusing of those in a march with Nazi flags prominently displayed has appalled many, prompting resignation of numerous CEOs off his business advisory panel which Trump dissolved as more and more quit in protest over his racial views. Watch video on CNN.
By Miriam Raftery
Rally organizer tells HBO Vice reporter on video, "A lot more people are going to die."
August 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Donald Trump on Monday issued a strong statement denouncing groups by name that participated in the Charlottesville, Virginia gathering of radical racist hate organizations, at which a Nazi sympathizer plowed a vehicle into a crowd of protesters, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.
the president's announced came two days after the attack – and following a barrage of criticism including leaders in both parties who faulted Trump for not specifically denouncing white supremacism earlier.
"Racism is evil -- and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," Trump said Monday."Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America," he added. View the President’s full statement: http://www.10news.com/news/national/trump-expected-to-condemn-hate-group... .
On Saturday the president had issued a vague statement condemning hate “on all sides” that drew stinging criticism from leaders in both political parties, but praise from the Daily Stormer, the neo-Nazi white supremacist website, which called Trump’s earlier remarks “good,” noting that he “refused to answer a question about White nationalists supporting him” and that when asked to condemn them, the President “just walked out of the room.”
But the president’s stronger response Monday is viewed as too little, too late and hypocritical by some given that Trump previously ordered Homeland Security to defund $10 million in Obama-era programs that aimed to combat and deradicalize white supremacist and neo-Nazi hate groups. Funding was halted to eight separate organizations working to counter white extremist hate groups at a time when racially motivated assaults and attacks targeting religious places of worship are on the rise.
Trump has also pointedly refused to recognize these as terrorist organizations and repeatedly refused to denounce as terrorism numerous attacks on mosques, synagogues, and black churches during his tenure in office. Trump was not raised in an atmosphere of racial tolerance; his father, Fred Trump, was once arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally.
“It’s a disgrace that Trump is cutting out Countering Violent Extremism funds for white supremacists and neo-Nazis. We know that the domestic terror threat from them is as great as it from Islamic radicals. It’s a very serious situation,” concludes Heidi Beirich, director of the intelligence project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Hill reports.
Meanwhile across the nation, vigils were held to show solidarity with the victims in Virginia. Thousands turned out in San Diego, and in El Cajon, about 70 people participated.
“We’ve seen this before, in the 20s in Italy and in the 30s in Germany,” Monty Kroopkin said at the El Cajon gathering, the San Diego union-Tribune reports. Kroopkins called extremists in Charlottesville fascists and neo-Nazis. He said he hoped the nighttime vigil would show that “There’s more of us than there are of them.”
HBO Vice embedded a reporter among the white Supremacists in Charlottesville. The network's video showed the organizer stating, "We'll fucking kill these people if we have to," shortly before this disturbing video shows the car violently ramming into the crowd. The driver, a neo-Nazi sympathizer, has been arrested for murder. After the killing, the rally organizer claimed he felt it was "justified," called counter protesters "animals" and predicted that "a lot more people are going to die."
Warning; video contains graphic language and violence: https://youtu.be/P54sP0Nlngg