When the president attributed blame for Charlottesville to “many sides,” he demonstrated an alarming moral emptiness and intellectual vacuity.
We need presidential resolve and encouragement at such a moment of national crisis.
Much has been said about this overnight, including a retributory Tweet from the “Grand Wizard” himself, David Duke. Among all the critiques, this one is perhaps the most gut wrenching.
Duke attacks the President for his ambiguity, for being an ingrate to the White Nationalists “taking back America” in Charlottesville, for his failure to take their side and for failing to condemn instead the counter-demonstrators who opposed their efforts to “preserve” White History, White Culture and White Identity.
And it was not just about color, these white boys flew and wore both Confederate and Nazi symbols, spewed anti-Semitism, pulled down rainbow flags and rejected every individual and collective quality of a diverse, pluralistic society.
This is White Darkness indeed. It expects to be unleashed from “political correctness” and “in control” with the license and leadership of a bouffant-blond, Aryan-looking White President.
These defenders of White History are the “spiritual” and intellectual descendants of the white American immigrants who, among other things, robbed the indigenous peoples of their land, killed them off with guns and disease, stole Africans from their homes, pressed them into the holds of ships to be transported like animals from Africa, and precipitated the death of millions in a civil war fought over the abominable practice of slavery. They evoke the Nazi crimes of World War II, defend the Holocaust and justify other nationalist horrors of the modern era.
Yes, Mr. President, please do look in your mirror. These people voted for you, echoed your words this weekend and proudly wore your absurd MAGA hats while they hissed their hate and wreaked their havoc. You have enabled them and by your example and, by your silence, you have left them unshackled.
I hope these White Americans represent just a small number of the white Americans who voted for you. But every white American who did, should also look in the mirror, especially the mirror of history.