The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!
There it is. Right there is Donald J. Trump’s statement condemning racism in the United States.
OK. What do we make of this? Is the statement going to be the president’s final word on the subject? It came, of course, via Twitter. He flashed it out there from his vacation home in New Jersey.
I so want to believe this is enough. I want to feel assured that Donald Trump won’t ever utter another insensitive statement, such as ridiculing foes who happen to be African-American by denigrating their intelligence. To black Americans, that represents the “mother of all dog whistles,” given that racists too often question the intelligence of African-Americans.
There, of course, is so much more the president can say about racism. He can fill in many blanks, telling us how we should deal with hate groups, those who commit hate crimes, those who afflict victims solely because of their race.
Moreover, he could say these things on live television. He could speak to us from the Oval Office. He could look us in the eye, enabling us to judge the sincerity by watching how he spells out he intends to “condemn all types of racism.”
This weekend we’re going to commemorate the year since the Charlottesville, Va., riot that killed a young counter protester. Klansmen, Nazis and other white supremacists marched to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
He spoke of “very fine people … on both sides” of that tragic disturbance.
Just maybe the president could find it within himself to acknowledge that he made a grievous error by lifting the hate groups to the same moral standing of those who protested against them.
That would tell me a great deal more about his commitment to battling racism than a sterile tweet.