We all know President Trump is a man of many words—or should I say of many tweets? He's almost always squeezing his thoughts into those 140 characters when something upsets him, but he stayed eerily quiet during the protests and riots in Charlottesville, Va. this past weekend. The protests took an extremely tragic turn when Nazi sympathizer James Fields drove his car into a group of counter-protestors on Saturday. The 20-year-old is being held without bond for injuring 19 people and killing 32-year-old activist Heather Heyer, according to The New York Times.
Heyer was a beloved member of her community who died standing up for what she believed in. Her friend, Marissa Blair, witnessed her friend in her final moments: “Heather was such a sweet soul, and she did not deserve to die,” she said on Sunday. But Trump, the president of the United States, has yet to publicly mention her name, referring to her only as a "young woman" on Twitter.
According to CNN, Trump's only statement about the whole ordeal was, "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."
The phrase 'many sides' sparked controversy from all over, including a tweet from former-Vice President Joe Bidden.
There is only one side. #charlottesville
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 12, 2017
To make things worse, white supremacy groups and neo-Nazis were ecstatic about Trump's reaction to the riots, according to The Independent. The Daily Stormer, an American neo-Nazi site, applauded Trump's lack of words. "He refused to even mention anything to do with us. When reporters were screaming at him about White Nationalism he just walked out of the room," said editor Andrew Anglin.
A commenter on the post replied with "Trump comments were good. He didn't attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us." This isn't the message that our president should be sending.
Trump's failure to correctly react to a situation comes shortly after he promised "fire and fury" in the face of North Korea's threat to bomb Guam. But after an outpouring of anger in response to his weak statement, he made a stronger statement Monday morning, according to The New York Times. "Racism is evil," he said. "And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."