Aftermath – Death and Injuries, Trump Slow to Speak

Charlottesville Aftermath, Death and Injuries, Trump Slow to Speak

Some photos are iconic. In Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis and other hate groups came together for a rally called “Unite the Right,” that image is of a grey Dodge Challenger crashing into a crowd of counter-protesters. In the center of the photo, empty shoes lie on the pavement, so do at least two people. Flying through the air, frozen in time with the click of the shutter, is a cellular phone and several human beings. At the fringes of the photo, signs declare “Love” and “Black Lives Matter.” This is the brute argument against such ideals.


Behind the wheel of that car was 20-year-old James Alex Fields. Dead was Heather Heyer, a woman whose passion was to be a voice for those who were not being heard. Injured were nineteen others. An article on the White Supremacist website The Daily Stormer—the name is an homage to the Hitler-era anti-Semitic tabloid Der Stürmer—labeled Heyer “a fat, childless, 32-year-old slut” who was a “drain in society.” This hate speech led Internet registrar GoDaddy to withdraw from hosting the site. As of the writing of this article, is unreachable.

Following the initial outbreak of violence in Charlottesville with protesters and counter-protesters clashing in the streets, President Donald J. Trump tweeted a message of unity (see White Supremacists Carrying Tiki Torches Riot in Charlottesville). However, as tensions escalated, he was slow to condemn the hate groups and, instead, spread the blame to include those countering the racist messages. On Saturday, August 12, 2017, the president said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides—on many sides.” Conversely, former U. S. President Barack Obama tweeted the words of late South African President Nelson Mandela, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” Obama’s tweet became one of the most popular of all time. After nearly two days of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, Trump finally condemned white supremacists and other racists, saying, “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.” Nevertheless, for a president who is almost always quick to speak his mind, the delay in this case is unacceptable.