Donald Trump just can’t seem to make up his mind about white supremacists. In another example of how difficult it is to truly understand what’s going on inside the U.S. president’s head, Trump reiterated that both sides were responsible for the violence that transpired during last August’s Charlottesville rally in Virginia. He then proceeded to sign a congressional resolution condemning the Charlottesville violence.
Trump spoke with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the lone African-American Republican in the Senate, on Wednesday. The talk supposedly centered on letting Trump get a full grasp of what white supremacists mean to the United States and its history.
Intriguingly, after their conversation, Trump again defended his initial comments and reiterated that both the white supremacists and the group protesting against them were to blame for the violence that took the life Heather Heyer and injured dozens of others.
When asked about the meeting with Scott, Trump said, “I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on their side also and essentially that’s what I said.”
His latest comment mirrored what he said before that there “were very fine people on both sides” and that he condemned violence “on many sides.”
WH releases photo of Trump meeting w/ Sen Tim Scott, saying in statement: "President Trump remains committed to positive race relations…" pic.twitter.com/lXpITsTmaV
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 13, 2017
Scott, like countless others, wasn’t pleased with Trump after making his controversial comments regarding the Charlottesville violence. Scott, who requested the meeting with Trump, had harsh words for Trump last August.
“It’s going to be very difficult for this president to lead if, in fact, his moral authority remains compromised.”
The senator apparently lectured Trump on the violent history of white supremacists in the country, particularly their treatment of African Americans and other races. The talk only lasted for half an hour, but Scott seemed optimistic.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and to expect the president’s rhetoric to change based on one 30-minute conversation is unrealistic,” Scott said. “Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but the KKK has been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries.”
— CNN (@CNN) September 14, 2017
Ironically, Trump signed a resolution condemning the violent Charlottesville protest hours after reiterating that both sides made mistakes. The congressional resolution, which Trump signed on Thursday, also called for the administration to condemn white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and other hate groups.
The bipartisan joint resolution also called for the Trump administration to recognize Heyer’s death, look into possible criminal charges against the Charlottesville organizers and participants, and to consider the violent rally as a “domestic terrorist attack.”
President Trump: "As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose hatred, bigotry, and racism in all forms" pic.twitter.com/AiZ2ItkjNJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 15, 2017
Congress made sure Trump was forced to make a stand regarding the white supremacists by structuring the resolution as a joint one. Once the resolution was received by Trump, he had 10 days to make a decision before it is vetoed.
Surprisingly, Trump didn’t need 10 days. More surprisingly, Trump, who’s been criticized for his racist actions and was even called a white supremacist and a bigot by an ESPN host, signed the resolution.
“As Americans, we condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville and oppose bigotry, and racism in all forms. No matter the color of our skin or our ethnic heritage, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”
Trump’s statement above somewhat contradicts his actions since being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. Since becoming president, Trump has tried to suppress the rights of immigrants in the country. He’s been talking about building a wall that will keep Mexicans away. Trump has also put an end to the DACA program, which gave young children of undocumented immigrants the right to stay in the country and find work.
The self-proclaimed “least racist person that you have ever met” has a long list of moments that proves otherwise. He even has racism in his family history. His father, Donald Trump Sr., was arrested in 1927 during a protest of the Ku Klux Klan.
Channeling Tim Scott’s optimism, Trump has an opportunity to put the issue of racism behind him and prove that he is for each and every American. However, Trump needs to realize that his actions against immigrants and lack of action against white supremacists can be construed as racist.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]