August 11-12, 2017: “Unite the Right” rally, Charlottesville, Virginia

1,500 white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis
(in polo shirts and pressed khakis, in camo and military accessories
in KKK glory suits, unmasked) flood UVa’s campus, Lee Park, roam
streets they’ve charted the most Black residents, lift torches, assault rifles

stars and bars, arms in salute, chanting You will not replace us
Jew will not replace us Blood and soil                 To counter-protesters
I hope a n___ rapes you (UVa the school where students heralded
a recent Valentine’s by plastering fliers printed TJ <3 Sally)
Witness: Counter-protesters were occupying Lee Park
some alt-right people, too. Skirmishes started breaking
out and state police in riot gear clearing everyone
The alt-right people chanting Heil Trump!’

I was ten feet away when the car came. Had joined
a group from Downtown Mall—anti-fascists, Black Lives
Matter folks—marching by Friendship Court
We saw other counter-protesters down Second Street

We all were cheering together clapping and chanting
No one else around. No standoff. We were peaceful
I was with five people, locals, on this one-lane road
I still don’t know how a car got down there

I heard shouts and this sound like hitting traffic cones
This hollow, horrible sound. And I saw bodies fly up
We were all running. Someone told me a person was dead
People were wailing. Wailing in a way I’ve never heard

It was horrible. It was horrible. It was horrible


August 12 speech, while signing extension of Veterans Health Bill, in New Jersey

Trump: We condemn in the strongest terms this display
of hatred bigotry violence on many sides. On many sides
It’s been going on for a long time. Not Donald Trump
Long long time. What is vital now is a swift restoration

of law and order and the protection of innocent lives
No child should ever be afraid to go outside and play
or be with their parents and have a good time
I just got off the phone with the governor of Virginia

and we agreed that we must come together as Americans
with true affection. Our country is doing well. Unemployment
so low. Companies pouring into our country, coming back
We’re renegotiating trade deals. Great for the American worker

So when I watch Charlottesville, it’s sad. I want to salute
the great work of the state and local police in Virginia
law enforcement, incredible people. Federal authorities
also providing tremendous support to the governor

he thanked me for that. Above all else we must remember
no matter our color creed political party we love
our country god flag we’re proud of our country
we’re proud of who we are. We want to get

the situation straightened in Charlottesville
My administration is restoring sacred bonds
of loyalty between this nation and its citizens
We must cherish our history together


Statement released on August 12 by U.S. Attorney General:

We stand united behind the President
in condemning violence and any message
of hate and intolerance. This violence
contrary to American values


August 15, press conference, Trump Tower

Q: Was it terrorism?
President: Now, here’s the thing
Q: (Inaudible) many sides
President: Excuse me. Excuse me. Take it nice and easy
Before I make a statement, I need the facts. I don’t rush
Making the statement when I made it was excellent. In fact
the young woman, her mother, wrote me through Twitter
the nicest things. I appreciated that. Her mother thanked me

Q: Was it terrorism?
President: I’ve created over a million jobs since I’m President
The country is booming. The stock market setting records
We have the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had
in the history of our country. We’re doing record business
We have the highest levels of enthusiasm

Q: Nazis were there. David Duke was there
President: I didn’t know David Duke was there. I wanted to see
facts. And the facts were very well stated. In fact, everybody
said “His statement was beautiful”

Q: Was this terrorism?
President: I think the driver of the car is a disgrace. You can
call it terrorism. You can call it murder. Call it whatever
you want. Is it murder? Is it terrorism? Legal semantics

Q: Senator McCain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks
President: Define alt-right to me. You define it. What about the alt-left
that came charging? Do they have any semblance of guilt?

Q: Sir, you’re not putting protestors on the same level as neo-Nazis
President: I watched much more closely than you people
You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group
on the other side very violent. The other side came charging
without a permit, and they were very, very violent

Q: As bad as Nazis?
President: Excuse me, not all were neo-Nazis. Not all white supremacists
People wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee
I noticed Stonewall Jackson is coming down. George Washington
next week? Thomas Jefferson the week after?

Q: How concerned are you about race relations in America?
President: They’ve gotten better or the same. They’ve been frayed
for a long time. Ask President Obama. We’re spending
a lot of money on the inner cities. We’re fixing inner cities
We’re doing far more than anybody has done to inner cities

Q: Mr. President, are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left
and white supremacists on the same moral plane?
President: Excuse me, excuse me. You had people in that group there
to protest the taking down of a very, very important statue
and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee
to another name                 [Emancipation]

Q: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same
President: George Washington was a slave owner
How about Jefferson? You like him?
Q: Love

President: Good. We going to take down the statue?
Major slave owner. You’re changing history
Changing culture. There are two sides to a story
There are two sides to the country

Q: Mr. President, have you spoken to the family
of the victim of the car attack?
President: No, I’ll be reaching out
Q: When?
President: the mother’s statement was something I really appreciated
Under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache
putting out that statement to me was something. I won’t forget it

Q: Will you go to Charlottesville?
President: I own a house in Charlottesville. Does anyone know I own
a house in Charlottesville?

Q: Is it a winery?
President: It is


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White Jaw: Copyright © 2017 by Laurel Bastian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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