On Saturday, Donald Trump sent a message to his white nationalist base by not speaking out against them. On Tuesday, he made sure the world understood exactly what that message was by openly defending white nationalist terrorism:
“You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.
“What about the alt-left?” Trump replied.
“You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” he said. “Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”
America's budding Brownshirts have been given a presidential seal of approval.
While social media has been hard at working ruining the lives of the Nazis that marched without hiding their faces, the rest of the movement is already ready for more violence. With the President of the United States in their corner, now is the time, so the thinking goes, to take America back from the Jews, the Negros and the Latinos:
Former KKK leader David Duke, who is attending the protest, said today that the Charlottesville protests are an indication that “we are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Trump is already talking about pardoning Joe Arpaio, one of America's most notorious racists. How long before he starts pardoning Nazis that assault people he doesn't like (like reporters)? How long before he pardons Heather Heyer's killer under the pretext that he was "afraid for his life?" How long before Trump orders Jeff Sessions to send out a memo for prosecutors to go easy on Nazis arrested for assault?
There are a great many ways that Trump can enable white nationalists to "legally" take to the streets to terrorize America. Perhaps they'll be deputized to restore "law and order" in minority neighborhoods with excessive violence. Maybe they'll be appointed as federal "poll watchers" during every election and just happen to scare away voters in liberal districts. Or maybe they'll just agree to become Trump's personal militia. It would absolutely appeal to his ego to have a paramilitary force chanting his name that answers directly to him.
It sounds crazy. It sounds unbelievable. It sounds like bad fiction.
But just nine months ago, that's exactly what we would have said about the President of the United States going on television explicitly to defend Nazi terrorism in America.
On September 16th, thousands of Nazis will descend on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. to scream their hate. I'm going to be there screaming twice as loud to drown them out. Where will you be when the Nazis try to rise?
- This article kills fascists
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