Welcome to MSMS; Tragedy in Charlottesville

Welcome aboard, Class of 2019! Welcome back, Class of 2018! If you haven’t blogged here before, the ground rules follow. All posts must be respectful and must refrain from ad hominems; discuss ideas rather than each other. If you can link articles that inform your position, please do so. Only MSMS students are allowed to post.

We’ll discuss tough things from beginning to end. Up first: President Trump’s statement about the violence that erupted during alt-right protests in Virginia this weekend. Here’s the text:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

What is President Trump trying to say? What have so many people taken issue with the way he expressed himself? Is there a wiser course of action?

Update: President Trump spoke on the matter again yesterday. Here’s the New York Times report of his comments.

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20 Responses to Welcome to MSMS; Tragedy in Charlottesville

  1. Millie Perdue says:

    In the face of tragedy, it can be difficult to form opinions on who’s actions are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. However, in these difficult times, it is to be expected of a person whom we gave the title ‘leader’ to be able to deal with these situations appropriately. As stated in the article a White House spokesman explained, “The president was condemning hatred”, but from the questionable past of the president, some are quick to call him a hypocrite. I believe what President Trump meant to say was that both sides were at fault, but the fact still remains that one side was obviously more drastic in their actions than the other. As men, we want a simple, easy to understand answer, but the fact remains that life, opinions, and emotions are not simple. In my personal opinion, there were more delicate ways that President Trump could have addressed the issue, but I also believe that you can never make everyone happy.

  2. Gene Kloss says:

    Many people are upset because he did not blatantly condemn white supremacy. Some, like Nancy Peloski, believe that this showed some cowardice. Keith Boykin pointed out that it took President Trump less than an hour to respond to the CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals declaring he was leaving the American Manufacturing Council but it’s been several days and Trump still has yet to condemn “murdering white supremacists”.

    I see Donald Trump trying to be as civil as possible without upsetting anyone, regardless of who they are. He takes his stance as “everyone should get along” while he should more than likely be doing what everyone has requested and condemn white supremacy. I’m uncertain as to whether or not he believes that was an issue in this protest. Donald Trump’s words weren’t even taken seriously by Alt-Right leader Richard B. Spencer, who sees it as “kumbaya nonsense.”

    The way he spoke about this upset many people because he just points the blame to everyone instead of those that were responsible. If it weren’t for this, I believe everyone would be much happier about the current situation.

    A wiser course of action on the Trump Administration’s side would’ve been to condemn the hate groups rather than the people as a whole. Blaming a definitive entity rather than a nondescript whole shows that Trump has knowledge about what’s actually happening out in this country of ours. As for the people who were against Trump’s measures, there had to be a better way than five leaders leaving the American Manufacturing Council, which was set in place purely to inform the president about manufacturing. They could’ve discussed his actions and why they were displeased in a civil manner during their next meeting or via email rather than leave Trump in ignorance about how multiple large subsections of a massive industry works. In closing, I don’t believe the people in charge of our country handled this situation well at all.

    External Source:

  3. Tija Johnson says:

    Recently, President Donald Trump spoke out on an issue that has been pressing the hearts of many Americans. Although he acknowledged that the events taken place were horribly wrong and acknowledged those who lost their lives due to the foolishness of others, he decided to choose interesting words. The words “on many sides” could allude that he was placing blame onto both sides, causing some Americans not to resonate with him completely. To some people, the speech could be looked at as if he’s blaming the protesters and counter protesters. Many may feel that the counter protesters shouldn’t received blame because they too have the right to protest. The actions that led to multiple injuries and death, however, are unacceptable.
    I like that fact that he acknowledged wrong doings, acknowledged that this issue has not ceased, and that it needs to be stopped. I don’t like, however, that he isn’t saying what his plans to stop these issues are. The issue will not fix itself. I also feel he could’ve chosen a different choice of words and still go this point across.

  4. Kaelon McNeece says:

    When President Donald Trump released a statement regarding his opinion on the events in Charlottesville, he emphasized the point that both the left and right were responsible for the displays of violence, bigotry, and hatred at the rally. When given an opportunity to speak again on the topic a couple of days later, Trump reinforced the same idea by stating that the left, “came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right.” President Trump, with the use of a few poorly choiced words, partitioned the blame between both sides of the rally, the protesters and the counterprotesters. Trump clearly meant that both sides are responsible for the violence that occurred and, to an extent, he offers a fair point. It can be reasonably inferred that not all left-leaning protesters were peacefully protesting, but Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the downright murder of Heather Heyer, an innocent, left-wing counterprotester and the motives behind the two parties in his initial statement led to many openly criticizing Trump.

    Two days after the initial conference, President Trump rebuked white supremacist groups but still firmly debated his stance that both parties were equally responsible for the chaos in Charlottesville. At that point though, the damage had been done and Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the hatred-driven motives behind the nationalists and how the blood of an innocent lies upon the hands of that same group is forcing many to cut ties with Trump such as Ken Frazier and Doug McMillan of the American Manufacturing Council stepping down in protest.

    This situation was handled very poorly by the president. First and foremost, the president should’ve openly rebuked racism instead of repeatedly ignoring the subject. By viewing both sides of the rally in an equal light despite the inner motives of the two groups, President Trump missed an opportunity to try and unite the nation under the common goal of getting rid of a dying mindset. Instead, Trump only pushed the two sides further apart and did nothing to actually fix the problem at hand.

    External Sources:

  5. Jackie Ward says:

    President Donald Trump was quick to put blame on both sides. Some viewed this as him supporting the neo-nazis by not siding with one side. The protesters were there to protest the statue of Robert E Lee being taken down. Ultimately, this ended in a violent tragedy because of a few extremists. Many groups have this type of extremism within them, so this can be viewed as something that was going to happen, even if it were two different groups protesting something completely different. Everyone will never be happy with each others’ decisions as long as there is diversity, so these things will continue to occur.

  6. Jacob Lee says:

    Let’s face it, violence and hatred are just about as American as the 4th of July. Almost anytime something egregious happens the parties involved try to push the blame on one another as if they had nothing to do with it, but in fact, the cause rarely has one true source. This is what Donald Trump was trying to say. That those who blame have been, or are, to blame themselves. The fuss is coming from those who did not take a liking to his choice of words. It’s no secret that many view President Trump as an embodiment of hate, mostly due to the slanderous or hateful things he said about groups of people as well as specific people. While he is clearly not the cause for violence and hatred overall, it still irked people to see that he was, in a sense, saying he was not involved in violence or hatred at all. He could have easily chosen a group name, as he did in his later press conference, such as “alt-right.” This would have dissuaded opinions, if only a little, because then there is no central target. Furthermore, if one were to persecute a whole group for only a fraction of its members then you are no better than the violence and hatred that’s being argued about.

  7. Lane Hughes says:

    President Trump’s statement about the Charlottesville protest violence is comparable to that of a mother settling an argument between her children. In either situation, there’s no way to satisfy both sides without some sort of give and take in between. Now with the feud between the two groups in Charlottesville, each side is being fueled by the pressure from hundreds of people wanting their side to prevail. Because of this, neither side is going to back down or give in; instead, they’ve continued on to the point where violent demonstrations such as these have become commonplace. All of this is to say that President Trump couldn’t have said anything that made everyone happy. However, when it comes to people driving cars into other people, there is obviously a right and a wrong side. Therefore, it can be said that the President should have made a slightly more sided comment other than, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.” Maybe they do condemn all actions of that nature but this should have been a more specialized reply.

  8. Indu Nandula says:

    In a world where everyone’s views are different, it is improbable, nay impossible, to be able to satisfy the entire population. With that being said, President Donald Trump should have approached the issue in a more precise, detail oriented manner. On Monday, he condemned specific groups, such as the neo-Nazis: “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups.” However, proceeding him saying this, President Trump went on to say , “I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” What group was “bad”? What group was “very violent”? The president was trying to denounce the participants of the Charlottesville violence, but in doing so, was not as detail-oriented in pointing out the specifics of the happenings. In the eyes of the public, this can appear as a symbol of complacency and indifference. As mentioned before, it is not plausible to satisfy an entire group of people. Therefore, instead of just calling the groups “bad” and “very violent”, President Trump should have shared any plans he might have to help prevent this type of occurence from taking place again.

  9. Thu-Hash-Slangin-Poodler says:

    I will predicate my comment with the fact that I believe contemporary politics serves to isolate people, balkanized by this abstract notion of Conservative and Liberal. I say that to say, I believe Donald Trump’s “hostility from all sides” approach to Charlottesville was a way to reconcile bad blood between the left and right. I do not mean to suggest that Donald Trump has any profound grasp of the social-political status of the nation, because as a president I believe he is somewhat inept; however, I do believe his approach to Charlottesville was the right one. Obviously in this particular instance conservatives where more so in the wrong, and of course liberals will take full advantage of these circumstances to “weigh the balance in their favor” if you will, and conservatives are no better. This point and yell to get the other guy in trouble attitude assumed by most media lends me favor to the idea that politics today is no more than petulant squabbling between conflagrated children, and thus the reason those who take offense to the presidents comment do, is because they feel as if they have been chastised by the metaphorical “mother” for something they believe the other sibling did, while in fact all are in the wrong.

  10. Helen Peng says:

    As the leader of a country that is founded on the notion of equality and that “all men are created equal”, Pres. Donald Trump’s condemnation of “hatred, bigotry, and violence” is predictable, but whether he believes in what he says is another question. As he states there are wrong-doings on all sides of the spectrum, Trump is careful not to take sides, likely in order to stray away from mass opposition to either side. Trump, here, finds himself in a dilemma: To oppose white-sepremecy groups and loose supporters OR to take the white-supremecy side and discard fundamental American values. His neutral response was calculated, carefully reasoned, and purely political.

    While it can be reasonably inferred that both sides did contribute to violence, it is also obvious that there was a right and wrong side. The fact that Trump was not able to directly address and condemn white-supremacy groups and, instead, spreads the blame shows poor leadership and a lack of integrity in the American President. Furthermore, while Trump states that “hatred, bigotry, and violence” are condemned, he presents these issues as if they are a part of history and does not provide any solution or suggest any efforts to overcome this issue.

    While Trump did, on one hand, respond to this situation appropriately by condemning the obvious violence, his lack of persistence and dedication in condemning specifically the white supremacy groups is worrisome. While Trump’s neutrality can be viewed as avoiding upsetting anyone, as the President of the United States of America, he needs to have a firmer stance on issues as important as these- ones that threaten the equality and justice that the US was founded on.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I feel as if Trump was judged of his statement because he chose to not address a certain party as “in the wrong”, or he didn’t put all the blame on a particular party. In the eyes of some, they see that as unfair. But I think Trump went about it with the correct intentions: as a nation we know that some situations one party cannot be held fully accountable, even though their actions are considered the “MOST” wrong to the nation’s viewpoint. No matter how President Trump would have addressed the issue; he would’ve been attacked either way, not justifying his choice of words, but understanding where he was trying to come from. As a person in a higher position, of course, there are going to be some who highly disagree with him, and the fact that he was not trying to specifically blame someone. But, as a person of authority, it is not his opinion that should be voice, he is trying to take the majority’s opinion into consideration in the best way he sees fit. His choice of words could have a little been better in my eyes though.

  12. Kiera Monroe says:

    First, God bless to the life that was taken in this ordeal, the injured, and the mentally corrupted and violent civilians. As much as I do not like Pres. Donald Trump and his twisted ways, I must say, he stayed as neutral as possible; although, as the leader of this country, just doing nothing will not be suffice. Trump avoids choosing sides because he benefits from both and fears losing those benefits.
    Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room; I am black, so the misfortune that took place erects an indignant sensation. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!! There is not much I can say- I am disgusted and appalled at the citizens of Charlottesville.
    I could sit here and bash Pres. Trump; however, it would be purposeless. Come to think about it, if I was a more sensible version of Trump, I would not know what to do either. He has no experience in politics- only a business mindset. So when emotional events like these occur, Trump does what he only knows- BUSINESS!!!
    Consequently,America contradicts its own self, which is not an excuse for the misbehaviors of the country. It is the culture of disproving of something, protesting violently, and playing victim. Everyone, including myself, feels that their opinion outweighs the next person’s.As a whole, we ALL need have some self- evaluating to do.

  13. It seems that all this turmoil has been frequent since Trump has been in office. In his first year, he has taken more work vacation than former President Barack Obama. I really want him back in office because Trump neglects his responsibilities. He secretly works with Putin, and he picks certain people in his cabinet so they can lie and protect him. He does less than a mediocre job serving this country. Every day in office, he has deceived the American people. It is time for him to go. Everything Obama did good for this country he wants to tear it down. For example, Trumps wants to repeal Obamacare because he can not stand the fact that Obama came up with the plan, and it has his name on it. He simply came up with “Trumpcare” to erase Obama’s name off of it. He does not even grasp the slightest concept of what it is like to be President of the United States. He is just a dirty private business man who is arrogant and in denial with the fact that he unfit and incapable of being President. To be honest, Hillary Clinton would have done a better job than him. #Relinquish Trump ASAP

  14. I dislike politics says:

    I believe the reason that so many people disliked the way trump spoke about this topic is because of how nonchalant he was about it. He worded it pretty much as if to say people disagree people will be people. which is not true in this case. This is a act of pure hate which is not in human nature ,and it should be stopped. everyone has a right to a opinion ,but we do not have a right to be violent towards others because of are opinions. Anything past words is no longer an opinion it is assault. A violent act would never come to my mind no matter how much I hate or disagree with their opinions.

  15. Dev Jaiswal says:

    It seemed to me that President Trump was trying to say that white supremacy and racism are not important issues to talk about. The way he nonchalantly talks about the violence makes it seem like he does not think that the counter-protesters had any reasons to protest that day. I do not think President Donald Trump responded appropriately to the violence. People have taken issue with the way he expressed himself because his first comments on the Saturday of the attack seemed passive, like he was shoving the issue off the table as unimportant and interspersing his Charlottesville speech with commentary about job creation and fake news. During the press conference, he said that blame should be assigned to both parties. Many people do not agree with this. The counter protesters were standing up for a diverse vision of America. Many people do not think the counterprotesters should feel guilt for standing up for their beliefs and believe that nothing can justify the actions of the white supremacist who ran a vehicle into the counter-protester crowd.
    I think an appropriate response would have similar to what former President Barack Obama said in his tweet about the attack. Quoting Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” From singing “This land is your land, this land is my land” with my preschool class in front of the whole school to growing up listening to President Barack Obama’s eloquent messages of love and unity, I’ve known from a young age that the greatness of America lies in its promise to embrace people from all different backgrounds. Sometimes I doubt whether President Trump has a similar view of America as I do. He often throws around statements like “We will for the American people!” and “America First!” and “Americans are our priority,” but sometimes I have to wonder what he thinks it means to be an American. Does his definition of America include non-whites and non-Christians and brown Hindus like me?

  16. KC says:

    Donald Trump is initially trying to say that both sides are in the wrong in the protests. He says “…hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides, on many sides.”. He says “many sides” as a way to say that both sides were equally to blame in the violence. The blame should be placed on the Neo-Nazis who prompted the violence, and on the driver, James Alex Fields, who drove a car into the protestors and killed Heather D. Heyer.

  17. Alexz Carpenter says:

    President Trump is trying to say that both sides were to blame in this situation. This was a tragedy that should have never happened. It appalls me that the police let the situation get this far where someone actually died. Both of these groups should have never met because it was inevitable for something violent to happen because of how passionately they both express their beliefs.(also the extremists in both groups) Many people were upset with the way Trump responded because most people do not support the neo-Nazis, and for him to not completely take the other side against the neo-Nazis made people very angry. I do not think that Trump handled the situation badly. Both of the groups were each as likely to do something dangerous and whether it would have been from the neo-nazis or the counter protestors it would leave someone very hurt or worse dead, which happened. If another president would respond to this tragedy, I do not think it would be a much different response. There is no way that his response could have made everyone happy and content because everyone has different opinions. I believe Trump made the right decision in trying to not create more bad blood in the situation then there already was.

  18. Zion Hargro says:

    It seems to me that Trump was blaming both parties for the whole occurrence, including the death of Heather Heyer. This is a very unreasonable statement because if Tom was on a date with Ellie and Joe shot Tom, how is it Tom’s fault he got shot of he was on a date? Translation: how can you blame nonviolent people who were not provoking anyone intentionally for the hatred. anger, and violence inflicted upon them by another source? I think that Trump was initially trying not to step on anyone’s toes, and, for once, was trying to make American happy by waiting two days to denounce the racist groups so that he wouldn’t “make a quick statement”. Sadly, by doing so, he upset most America again by stating his bizarre and outrageous thoughts to a platform of angry, nonviolent Americans who would like to think he would use less poorly chose words to describe such a horrific event.

    External Sources: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/15/politics/donald-trump-charlottesville-lines/index.html

  19. Loveish Sarolia says:

    The tragedy in Charlottesville was a dark representation of the evil side of human nature. President Donald Trump responded in a way that provided no closure for the family members of the innocent that were killed. Trump stated “not all of these people were white supremacists.” In a way he was correct but at the same time, not all people who participated were innocent. In fact, they would not have participated if they supported equal racial representation. Even his aides highly suggested him to read a statement condemning the actions of Neo-Nazis, yet his stubbornness provided no closure for the families of the innocents that were killed. May instead of tweeting his frustrations at the media next time, Trump will condemn the actions of white supremacists and neo-nazis.

  20. August Andre says:

    President Trump is trying to condemn the actions taken place in Charlottesville by transferring the responsibility to both sides of the political spectrum so that he does not lose his supporters in the alt-right. Many people are upset with Trump and his use of words because one side was particularly violent and inhumane. This resulted in the death of a young woman and intolerable hate speach. Blame for these incidents was shifted to both parties instead of the violent alt-right protesters. Citizens of the U.S. believe Trump should not have included the peacful protesters in his criticism and aslo that he should have been stronger in condemning the actions of white supremacists. A smarter course of action would be to show intolerance for the violent behavior and by sharing condolences to the family of the young woman whose life was lost.

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