Earlier this morning, David Duke arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia, which has become ground zero for a white nationalist march and anti-Nazi counterprotests.
Prior to the jarring violence that overtook the rally, though, Duke was on camera and gave a quote that really, really, really needs to be soundly rejected by President Donald Trump.
— Mykal McEldowney (@mykalmphoto) August 12, 2017
DUKE: This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said we’re going to take our country back, and that’s what we’re going to do.
It was no secret that white nationalists/alt-right activists took many of Donald Trump’s campaign speeches as dog whistles for a bright white future for America, and it was a major error for Trump to largely refuse to acknowledge folks like Duke (he renounced Duke himself once after being pushed by the media to do so, but he continued to ignore other racist movements that loudly supported his campaign).
There is no place in our political system or in our society as a whole for people like Duke, and a very loud proclamation renouncing Duke’s coments and the white nationalists in Charlottesville is something that needs to be done immediately by the President.
While Trump has renounced hate in general, he has not specifically called out the movement that began this rally as the guilty party. Much like calling Islamic terrorism out for what it is, the words “white nationalism” and “alt-right” have to be said when renouncing the evil that took over Charlottesville today.