[Ed. – They have met the enemy, and it is them.]
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides, President Trump commented August 12 after bloody and lethal violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. “On many sides.”
He got a public tongue-lashing for his words. That’s because Trump has lost the moral authority to lay into thugs of all types. But the rest of us can do better.
The problem many Americans had with Trump’s weasel words was that Heather Heyer was dead, and many other people injured, in Charlottesville, allegedly at the hands of James Alex Fields, Jr., a neo-Nazi who drove his car into a crowd in an act of political terrorism. And Fields was in Charlottesville to attend a rally featuring a dollar-store version of a Leni Riefenstahl torch-lit parade, chants of “Jews will not replace us,” and racist speakers like Richard Spencer, who openly support Trump. A little specificity in placing blame would seem to be in order, but was prominent by its absence in Trump’s comments.
“One has to take sides,” Shuja Haider wrote at Jacobin, echoing other voices on the left. “There is a side that asserts our common humanity and fights fascism, racism, and hate. It was represented in Charlottesville by the leftist groups who took to the streets to confront the far right. The other side is the one that took innocent lives on those same streets.”