I don’t normally parse another person’s apology. If I’m the victim of wrongdoing and the perpetrator says he’s sorry, I won’t typically pick it apart, examining it word for word before deciding whether all the bases have been covered. During normal times, an apology is an apology, and 99 times out of a hundred, I’ll accept it.
But President Donald J. Trump’s statement this weekend about the violence in Charlottesville, Va., was so woefully inadequate that my jaw literally dropped when I heard it. In labeling the violence as coming “from many sides,” Trump dodged his responsibility as the president of ALL Americans, failing to specifically condemn the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, the alt-right and other extreme right-wing hate groups.
And why should Trump apologize? After all, he wasn’t in Virginia, he was golfing in New Jersey.
Because Trump’s entire campaign for the presidency was a hate-based enterprise that made racism fashionable in America. Nazis and Klansmen no longer hide behind hoods and masks, they’ve been emboldened by a POTUS they now refer to as GEOTUS — God Emperor of the United States.
That Trump rode a white wave of racism into the White House is undeniable. He started with his outrageous birther campaign against President Barack Obama, doubled down by calling Mexicans “rapists,” then brought the infamy to full bloom with his Muslim ban and continuing crackdown on voting rights.
In sum, it’s outrageous, and it cannot stand.
We at The Shinbone Star call on President Donald Trump to do the following:
- Fire Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka from their West Wing positions immediately. All have alt-right, Breitbart and/or actual Nazi connections and do not belong in the White House.
- Publicly amend your Charlottesville statement to include specifically the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and many other alt-right hate groups that populate your vaunted “base” of support.
- Label the vehicular assault that resulted in death and injury as an act of domestic terrorism, and urge the Justice Department to investigate it and prosecute those involved, along with all other acts of violence in Charlottesville.
- Openly support movements to remove from public display all Confederate icons — including flags, banners and statues — that glorify this nation’s shameful past with regard to slavery and discrimination, and call for laws making it a crime to display certain symbols of hate, much as Germany has outlawed display of the swastika.
- Apologize in specific terms for your racist political campaign, policies, and continued attacks against people of color, and adherents of religions other than Christianity.
This weekend’s images from Charlottesville are shameful, but more shameful still is the image of the Enabler in Chief who sits in the Oval Office.
The suggestions outlined above would no doubt be difficult for you politically, Mr. Trump, but here’s one more that may be easier, and which we’d actually prefer: Resign.