President Donald Trump had a chance to explicitly denounce white supremacy and racism on Saturday after violence broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, leaving three dead ― one 32-year-old woman, who was struck by a car, and two state troopers, whose helicopter crashed outside the city while they were responding to the situation ― and at least 35 others injured.
But instead of specifically criticizing members of the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacists or the neo-Nazis who brought torches and bats to the rally, Trump blamed the unrest on “many sides.”
In fact, Trump commented on the fighting in Charlottesville several times on Saturday ― on Twitter and in front of the press ― but none of his remarks named the violence for what it was: a fight over white supremacy.
So people did it for him.
"White supremacists are bad & wrong."
There. Just copy & paste this, @POTUS. That's all we need from you right.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 12, 2017
Just say the words: "Radical White Supremacist Terrorism"
— Borzou Daragahi ?? (@borzou) August 12, 2017
Say "Nazis" Donny. Say "white supremacy." Say and condemn those things. https://t.co/J6e6mLOY4V
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 12, 2017
Celebrities, citizens and politicians from both sides of the aisle slammed Trump for failing to condemn the obvious and dropping the ball on moral leadership.
Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism. https://t.co/PaPNiPPAoW
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) August 12, 2017
Did Trump really say that he condemns the violence on "many sides"? The white folks with tiki torches brought the violence, own it.
— deray mckesson (@deray) August 12, 2017
✓Threatened nuclear war.
✓Thanked Putin for expelling US diplomats.
✓"Many sides" after neo-Nazi murder.
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 12, 2017
Trump can't even say neo-Nazis are bad without both-sidesing it and he can't even do THAT without bragging about himself
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) August 12, 2017
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 12, 2017
While Trump failed to publicly decry violent racists on Saturday, other conservative political figures said exactly what the president would not.
The white supremacists and their bigotry do not represent our great country. All Americans should condemn this vile hatred. #Charlottesville
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) August 12, 2017
"White supremacy" crap is worst kind of racism-it's EVIL and perversion of God's truth to ever think our Creator values some above others.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 12, 2017
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
I urge the Department of Justice to immediately investigate and prosecute this grotesque act of domestic terrorism. pic.twitter.com/AwJLsfUEHl
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) August 13, 2017