Dem Lawmaker: Trump Only Condemned Nazis After 3 Days Of Crushing Pressure

President Trump should have been quicker in denouncing bigotry following Saturday’s deadly racist violence at a public event in Charlottesville, Va., according to a Democratic congressman.

“All it took was 3 days of crushing public pressure for @realDonald Trump to finally muster the courage to condemn nazism & racism,” Rep. Tim Ryan tweeted Monday. The Hill reported that James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, plowed a vehicle into a group of people who were protesting against fascism at a city park. A 32-year-old woman died and about 34 others suffered injuries, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Virginia Medical Center. Police officers apprehended the suspect, who had been photographed with neo-Nazis earlier at the rally.

Trump initially suggested that “many sides” were responsible for the incident. On Monday, after a number of Republicans as well as Democrats blasted the comment, the president told his Twitter followers: “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 that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans.”

The New York Times described the clash between white supremacists and the protesters “one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South.” The newspaper noted that racist nationalists had gathered to speak out against a decision by Charlottesville officials to take down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led Confederate forces in the Civil War.

When anti-bigotry protesters showed up at the rally, threats began to fly between the two groups. That led to shoving and fighting. The state’s governor proclaimed a state of emergency, and members of the National Guard helped police bring order to the scene. Authorities said the brawling resulted mostly in only minor abrasions. However, after officers and troops had removed everyone from the park, Fields allegedly steered his sports car into the marching anti-bigotry protesters. At least two of the victims were hurled into the air due to the vehicle’s impact.

Col. Martin Kumer, superintendent of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail, told reporters Saturday night that Fields was in custody. He is facing one second-degree murder charge, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death. “It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” local podcast host Robert Armengol told the Times. “After that, it was pandemonium. The car hit reverse and sped, and everybody who was up the street in my direction started running.”

The right-wing organizations that sponsored the rally called the event “Unite the Right.” They boasted that the gathering featured the biggest turnout of white nationalists in recent years. The Ku Klux Klan, David Duke and Richard Spencer were among those in attendance. According to the Times, the rise of Donald Trump has inspired many racists to become more politically active. Duke, a former imperial wizard of the Klan, said he and his allies were “going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump (to) take our country back.”

Source: The Hill
Photo: YouTube, Twitter

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