Tearing down statues won't heal America

Opinion
Trump’s Nod To Neo Nazis Cannot Stand
J.J. Goldberg

"When the President won't stand with you for more than 12 hours against Nazis, this cuts deep", said CNN commentator Van Jones.

"Do they have any semblance of guilt?"

Trump said while he condemned the neo-Nazi elements of the protest, some protesters were there for acceptable purposes.

Trump's critics pounced, accusing him of comparing neo-Nazi and white supremacists to anti-fascist counter-protesters. Trump asked. "You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?" What about the fact they came charging - that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? "Do they have any problem?" he asked. Is it George Washington next? He employed a reductio ad absurdam, asking whether statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be the next to come under fire.

Trump did not deny that there were "bad people" in the alt-right group but said that there were some protesters who were not white nationalists or neo-nazis that were protesting. I wonder is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?

He responded to a reporter's question about "alt-right" violence by condemning the KKK and white nationalism, but also noting that numerous left-wing protesters engaged in similar levels of violence.

Tuesday morning, on Trump's favorite show, "Fox & Friends", guest and rumored new Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked, "How long before they show up at Monticello, where I spent three years in law school at Charlottesville in Virginia?"

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"This week it's Robert E. Lee". I noticed that Stonewall Jackson's coming down.

Trump appeared incredulous at the prospect of removing the statues, and implied that removing Confederate statues was akin to removing monuments for Washington and Jefferson, both men who championed the cause of liberty for the USA against the British while they also owned slaves. So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? "Now are we going to take down his statue?" Because he was a major slave-owner. "Now are we going to take down his statue?" It's fine. You're changing history.

"The press has treated them absolutely unfairly", he said of those folks that support the monuments staying where they are. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats.

"I haven't seen anything that insane since Tyson bit Holyfield @realDonaldTrump", tweeted late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

Mr Trump had received bipartisan criticism over the weekend for not directly denouncing the actions of neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan who descended on Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The other group didn't have a permit.

"You look at both sides, I think there is blame on both sides".

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