Some are applauding First Daughter Ivanka Trump for acting presidential at a time when her father didn’t — or wouldn’t.
Virginia’s governor did it. The public, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and other prominent Republicans condemned the “pre-meditated” violence spurred by hate groups in Charlottesville, Virginia. And while President Trump stopped short of calling out fascists, racists, and white supremacists, his daughter Ivanka Trump explicitly did, according to a report by New York Daily News.
President Donald Trump is under fire not for what he said, but what he failed to do in a time of crisis during the Charlottesville protests that turned deadly over the weekend. For days, opponents with the “Unite the Right” gathering lit candles and marched in protest ahead of the planned removal of a Confederate statute.
Led in part by Richard Spencer, a noted white nationalist who coined the “alt-right” phrase and movement, several groups and armed militia, including the Ku Klux Klan, chanted in descent over the removal of a Gen. Robert E. Lee monument. Spencer is also known for speaking in favor of a return to segregation and the creation of a “safe place” (or “ethno-state”) for Caucasians.
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) August 13, 2017
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
“We will not be replaced from this park,” Spencer addressed the crowd at an earlier rally in Charlottesville on Saturday before the clashes between white supremacy groups and counter-protesters turned deadly.
“We will not be replaced from this world. Whites have a future. We have a future of power, of beauty, of expression,” he yelled to the crowd of supporters.
During a time when things “appeared friendly” and the clashes appeared to diminish, as one witness said, a driver “rammed a car into a crowd of counter demonstrators” sending bodies flying up in the air and to the pavement. Amateur footage showed a Dodge Charger “deliberately” plowing into the crowd at a “high rate of speed.”
Charlottesville authorities soon nabbed a suspect behind the carnage. Police arrested Ohio resident James Field and charged him with second-degree murder and a myriad of other offenses. A Virginia local, Heather D. Heyer, 32, was struck and killed by Fields’ car as she crossed the street.
A steady stream of leaders spoke out against the violence and “hateful” rhetoric from white supremacists, some of who allegedly brought guns and other improvised weapons to the rally and were “looking to start violence.”
No less than six GOP U.S. senators spoke out against the violence in Charlottesville. Other noted figures joined them in denouncing the racist posturing, anti-Semitic language, and hate-filled messages delivered in the name of free speech.
We reject the racism and violence of white nationalists like the ones acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in leadership must speak out.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) August 12, 2017
The violence in Charlottesville is domestic terrorism. Hatred, racism, and bigotry have no place in our country.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) August 13, 2017
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 12, 2017
— The Hill (@thehill) August 13, 2017
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
President Trump offered a “watered down” and “muted” message against the violence carried out by white nationalists and other groups spurring messages of hate and division.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides,” Trump said to television viewers from his vacation property in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
Trump immediately came under attack from multiple sides for reportedly not acting presidential in the manner of his predecessors who often leaned towards unambiguous language when addressing a high-profile incident. A number of aides and surrogates did damage control on Sunday, claiming that Trump said, “very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi, and all extremists groups.”
Critics were not convinced. Some referred to Ivanka Trump’s message on Twitter as the sort of language a commander in chief is expected to take when the Constitution and racial solidarity come under attack by extremist groups on the far right.
2:2 We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
Ivanka Trump has often been called the voice of reason, the “only adult in the room,” by critics and supporters alike. It’s unclear if her message resonates with critics and counter-protestors who clashed with neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the University of Virginia town.
Share your thoughts about Ivanka Trump’s message. Did the president do more harm than good with his earlier statements or was his “many sides” reference sufficient to drive his message to the masses?
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]