The Hidden Meaning of Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks

By Elaine Godfrey

In the Trump presidency, pundits spend days debating the surprising—and often confusing—things Trump says in interviews and tweets. But often, the biggest questions are about what the president leaves unsaid.

After a day of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, President Trump addressed the nation from his home in Bedminster, New Jersey: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”

The white nationalists who gathered in Charlottesville and the protesters who turned out to challenge them blamed each other. But who, exactly, was Trump blaming?

Saturday’s protests began as a group of white nationalists and white supremacists gathered for a “Unite the Right” rally to protest the city’s decision to remove a state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a local park. Shortly before Trump’s remarks, a car plowed through a group of counter protesters, killing at least one person and injuring 19 others.

The president did not directly address the car attack—or specifically reference the white-nationalist rally that preceded it. Responding to an NBC reporter’s follow-up questions, a White House spokesman reiterated the president’s statement, emphasizing that “there was violence between protestors and counter protestors today.”

Trump’s “many sides” statement suggests that there is blame to go around for the day’s violence—that the counter protesters are as much to blame for hatred and bigotry as the “Unite the Right” attendees, whose speakers included former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and self-identified white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Regardless of whether Trump’s characterization is fair, it fails to acknowledge the partisan backdrop against which tensions bubbled over in Charlottesville. Even so, many Republicans and Democrats alike seem to hold only one side responsible for the day’s events—the white supremacists …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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