The following is an editorial from the Mankato Free Press.
President Donald Trump said he wanted facts before making a statement about the white supremacist Charlottesville riot that left one dead.
But so far, Trump has not considered the relevant facts.
Trump blamed “many sides” for the violence on Saturday, Aug. 12. He changed his statement Monday and laid blame on the white surpremacists. Tuesday, he went back to his statement of Saturday, claiming counterprotestors were just as guilty as the white nationalists, neo-Nazis and the KKK.
As a result, Trump’s credibility continues to crumble with his own party, his military generals and his own staff.
Trump’s focus on facts of who threw the first punch shows his lack of understanding of the larger situation. In a protest, both sides will “throw the first punch” depending on where you are. The New York Times has reported counterprotesters were seen attacking the white supremacists. But there was also clear video of white surpremacists doing the same.
After nearly a week of analysis there are very few facts that suggest, as Trump did, there were “nice people” involved in the protest on the white supremacist side. Even Breitbart News, the conservative news site that Steve Bannon proudly championed as the site that gave voice to the white nationalist movement, could not come up with one “fact” that innocent, nice protesters were involved on the white nationalist side.
The facts the president should pay attention to are more serious.
The LA Times analyzed the flags and symbols carried by the neo-Nazis, fascist, and alt-right groups based on their historical significance.
There’s nothing fake about this analysis as it details the symbols long etched in historical records. Trump failed to consider these relevant facts.
The neo-Nazis, white supremacists and alt-right protestors carried torches, Tiki torches, through the streets of Charlottesville Friday night. These torches were symbolic of what Nazis in Germany used in a prelude to World War II, and of course, they were used by the Ku Klux Klan.
Their only purpose is to incite fear and rekindle images of a white-powered America. Any child, white or black, seeing those torches and those angry men take over their park, would be terrified. That’s a fact Trump doesn’t seem to want to consider.
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer has called the torches mystical and a way to “keep the parasites at bay.”
The alt-right, Nazi and white supremacists shouted anti-semitic chants during the march. They carried flags that not only had swastikas, but several other symbols that represent violence and oppression through history.
These are not white guys asking for a hearing before the Affirmative Action Committee at the University of Virginia.
Their leaders are on record, on their own websites in many cases, proselytizing that whites be given their rights above all others in America.
They used flags with depictions of the fasces, an ancient roman ax and a symbol of authority in fascist Italy, which is used in the logo of the group Vanguard America. The group’s manifesto says “America is to be a nation exclusively for the White American peoples.”
Vanguard America took top billing in the Charlottesville riot when James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio drove his car into the crowd and killed a counter protester. He was photographed carrying one of their shields, though the group denied he was a member.
Neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups carried flags with the symbol of the Othala rune, a symbol from a pre-roman alphabet that was used by the Nazis and Hitler’s SS and others who support white supremacy.
The symbol of the black sun was also displayed by the neo-Nazis, an ancient symbol top Nazi Heinrich Himmler had engraved on the floor of the SS headquarters of the Third Reich.
Documentary maker C.J. Hunt, working for GQ magazine, relates this account of the white supremacist protest on Friday night.
“I saw them beat a man bloody at the base of the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson statue, a wave of matching white polos and splintering tiki torches crashing down on their enemy. I watched them cheer through it all.”
Those are some of the facts, Mr. President.
Republished with permission.
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