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Trump Finally Says 'Racism is Evil' Three Days After Charlottesville Protests

Donald Trump
AP/Evan Vucci

The president's statements come days after he placed the blame for violence on "many sides."

In a shocking turn of events, the president announced today that "racism is evil," adding that the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists are "criminals and thugs." We say "shocking" because, this is a man who built his campaign and presidency on the same kind of rhetoric that white supremacists love. This is a president that has filled the White House with a range of politicians who have a long history of being racist and xenophobic. This is a president who decided that, in the midst of deadly violence by Nazis in Charlottesville over the weekend, blame should be placed on "many sides" for the violence.

Related | This Twitter Account is Outing the Men Behind the Violence in Charlottesville

"Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to what we hold dear as Americans," Trump said in a surprise statement at the White House. The president's move today to disavow these hate groups is interesting because, like his November 2016 disavowal of the white nationalist movement, it didn't come naturally--both statements have come after intense criticism by other people.

In response to Saturday's comments about violence on "many sides," fellow Republicans rightfully tore his statement to shreds, with one Senator, Orrin Hatch of Utah, stating: "We should call evil by its name. My brother didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home."

The fact is, Trump has trouble denouncing these groups because they are his voter base. We need only look at his campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," to know what this president represents. America has only ever been great for white straight cis men, which explains why noted white supremacist David Duke has been a fervent supporter of the current administration. On Saturday, he even tied the president to the protests, saying, "We are determined to take this country back. We're gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That's why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he's going to take our country back."

Related | Virginia Governor Denounces White Supremacists as Trump Stays Silent

When you allow people with open ties to white nationalist organizations like Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, and Mike Anton to sit in the White House, you cannot expect the president to do the right thing when it comes to disavowing the racism that exists in our country.

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Chris Thomas