The meaning of Charlottesville in the era of Trump
August 18, 2017
One could argue that Tuesday's unhinged Trump press conference outside of Trump Tower, in which he refused to condemn white nationalists and instead blamed 'both sides', has done us all a favor: we can all now stop pretending that this President will ever rise to the occasion. The occasion, of course, being the small matter of this man having been elected the President of a country that fought Nazis in WW2, and has color-blind values enshrined in its constitution, even if not always followed in practice.
The question for the rest of us is, how should we deal with the new reality. Here are some steps that citizens and elected officials are taking.
Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal has introduced a resolution asking for the white supremacists to be removed from the White House: Steven Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Stephen Miller. Action: Please call your representative to ask them to support it.
We can also encourage Congress to do the right thing. Action: Call Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs at (844) 241-1141 to ask them to hold hearings on white supremacist groups and domestic terror. Action: Call/fax the House Oversight committee to look into why there are white supremacists in the white house: Phone: (202) 225-5074 Fax: (202) 225-3974.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is attempting to coordinate and highlight letters to editors of newspapers from people like you, asking that Confederate monuments be removed. Here they show a map showing more than 1500 such monuments across the country. Action: Please write to your local newspapers and then fill out the SPLC form on their website.
Solidarity Cville, one of the activist organizers of the counter-protest that occurred during the Alt-right march in Charlottesville, has posted a set of actions you can take to support them. Highlighting a couple here: Action: Please donate to the victims of violence during the march.
There is an upcoming court case that disputes the ability of the City Council to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Charlottesville: the next hearing is on August 30th.
Action: Please call the office of the judge Richard Moore (434–970–3766) urging him to dismiss the case; you can also email court officials in Chartlottesville, details:
- Clerk of Court’s: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chief Deputy Clerk of Court: email@example.com
- Written mail Subject Line: Re: Payne et al v. City of Charlottesville (Case #CL-17–175): Hon. Judge Richard Moore, Charlottesville Circuit Court, 315 E. High Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
LifeAfterHate is an organization that works to reform NeoNazis. Action: In order to support their work, you can donate directly at their website.
Finally, a number of Republicans in Congress have made statements condemning President Trump's false moral equivalence between white supremacists and the counter-protesters who showed up to resist them. But, many---most---have not. Writer Marisa Kabas has made an online spreadsheet tracking those who have and have not. If any of them are your representatives, (Action:) please call them to thank them if they have made such statements, and asking where they stand if they have not.
While many Republicans have issued statements condemning racial hatred, that is easy to do; what is difficult is calling out their President by name. One who has is the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. Leaving you with a quote from his Facebook post this morning:
"Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville."