Responding to the ugly white-supremacist demonstrations that turned violent in Charlottesville, Donald Trump offered no denunciation of his alt-right base but tweeted that “we are ALL AMERICANS FIRST.”
No—the folks resorting to violence aren’t really Americans first. Consider this instructive metaphor:
Both sides came prepared for violence, wearing protective helmets, masks and carrying flags. When violence broke out, many of the flags were stripped from the wood handles and the handles were used as clubs [Bryan McKenzie, “White Nationalist Rally Turns Fatal,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, 2017.08.12].
When you tear your flag from its pole and start bludgeoning your neighbors, you’re no longer fighting for your country; you’re just fighting.
The above image from an ACLU of Virginia live video shows pastors and allies gathered yesterday morning in Charlottesville to protest the alt-right thugs. Across the sidewalk from them you can see the alt-right thugs. The pastors bring their robes and prayers; the Nazis bring guns.
Commentary from South Dakota political leaders:
The hate and bigotry occurring in #Charlottesville is disgusting and unnacceptable to the American people. America is better than this.
— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) August 12, 2017
Governor Dennis Daugaard has retweeted Senator Thune’s statement. Senator Mike Rounds and Representative Kristi Noem have not yet tweeted on Charlottesville.
Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Marty Jackley calls out white supremacists:
The hurt and destruction at the white supremacy rally is saddening. There is no place in our society for such hatred.
— Marty Jackley (@martyjackley) August 12, 2017
It is a sad day for America. Please pray for the families who have lost loved ones in Charlottesville and for the dozens who have been hurt.
— Marty Jackley (@martyjackley) August 13, 2017
The demonstrations by white supremacists in VA have no place in the U.S. & are an attack on our democracy and an affront to humanity. https://t.co/xPvSK31ceJ
— SD Democratic Party (@SoDakDems) August 12, 2017
The SDGOP has offered no comparable statement.
Senator Stace Nelson speaks some sense…
Note to racists: The @GOP was founded to free our fellow man from slavery & oppose their oppression. You are NOT welcome in my GOP!
— Stace Nelson (@SenStaceNelson) August 12, 2017
…but he also is working hard to spread Dinesh D’Souza’s incredible white-is-black Newspeak to blame all evil on Democrats:
Who invented white nationalism? The Democrats. And black nationalism? Ditto. So don’t try & blame this on the GOP #Charlottesville
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 12, 2017
Good grief. I turn to my friend Kal Lis to wash that bad taste out of my mouth:
— Kal Lis (@Kal_ritle) August 12, 2017
Indivisible Rapid City is Standing in Solidarity with Charlottesville (with the good guys, the real Americans, not the Nazis) this afternoon at 3:00 Mountain at 515 West Boulevard, around Halley Park. Flags, patriotism, and peace are welcome; Nazis are not.
At the 4:00 timestamp, the actor playing a Hungarian immigrant says, “In this country, we have no other people. We are American people.” Then at 15:35, “We must never let ourselves be divided by race or color or religion, because in this country, we all belong to minority groups.” That’s an excellent 70-year-old response to the modern Nazis chanting “Blood and soil!” and “You won’t replace us/Jew won’t replace us!” Now if only we had a President of the United States who could speak of our national unity and our rejection of divisive white supremacist rhetoric and tactics as if he meant it.