As shocked White House advisers looked on, President Donald Trump exposed the bigotry that we all thought was beneath the surface. We hoped that it wasn’t real, that it was just to keep the right wing happy, but there is a difference between the right wing of the Republican Party and the leftovers from the infamous brown shirts of the Hitler era. Frankly, I couldn’t believe the fire in his voice, the hate in his face, the grimace of fury, Trump almost coming completely unhinged. Now we know for sure where his sympathies are.
White Supremacists are different. They just don’t hate like the normal haters, and there are plenty of them. If they could, they would wipe African Americans, Latinos, Jews, Catholics and Muslims off the face of the earth. I’ve seen hatred up close, watching it unfold against the Civil Rights movement in the sixties. That, in itself, was pretty bad, but this is different. These are individuals and groups who were celebrating Trump’s racially tinged birther movement years after he started it. After all, Trump spent a fortune trying to sell a lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and therefore was not a legitimate President of the United States.
It takes a lot to shock me anymore about Trump’s behavior as a human being. But I have to tell you I was shocked that he made his preferences so transparent. And yet I wonder. For every White Supremacist, there are people that we pass every day, who hold dear their hatred against people “not like them.” But here is the genuine problem we have facing us. Once hatred begins it always spreads from one group to another. The David Dukes of the world and the alt-right advocates hate everybody, except people like them. But is everyone perfect? And what scares the supremacists? Do they really feel supreme, and better than others. Is it about color, or anger against the system? I mean, why waste your energy hating when you can try to love and care. And for every one of the haters, there are thousands, millions of Americans who spend their days caring and loving.
The bad news is that Donald Trump has enabled the violence by ignoring it. Now he has, whether he understands or not, made it acceptable by using the biggest bully pulpit in the world to infer that extremism like the kind we saw in Virginia, was equal on both sides of the divide.
The good news? Americans are better than that. We know it. John McCain knows it. General Kelly , the Chief of Staff, who bowed his head during Trump’s outburst, knows it. Republicans and Democrats and independents know it. We’ve been waiting since November to see signs that President Trump would moderate, be practical, appear to be caring. Now we know it is simply not going to happen.
That’s why it was such a sad day in America.