"Groups believe they have a friend in the White House"

The coup de grace was the ambivalence in the condemnation of the violence that was unleashed during the march of supremacists in Charlottesville
University of Virginia students, faculty and residents attend a candle light march across grounds in Charlottesville - Photo:Andrew Shurtleff/AP
19/08/2017
16:50
Víctor Sancho / Corresponsal
Washington
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Only in exceptional situations, the covers of The Economist (UK), The New Yorker and Time (United States), and Der Spiegel (Germany) agree not only on subject matters but also on iconography and message. This week was one of those times. All of them, in one way or another, characterized the American president, Donald Trump, with the extreme right and Nazism, with the national historical racism evidenced in the pointed hoods of Ku Klux Klan members.

Trump's amoral response to last week's events in Charlottesville showed that the rhetoric of white supremacy and hatred of the foreigner surrounding Trump's environment since the election campaign has not disappeared.

“President Trump just can’t bring himself to unequivocally condemn and repudiate white supremacy and its modern-day equivalent, the 'alt-right'”, Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), wrote in a column.

Hatred and racism have not existed in the United States since Donald Trump, of course. In its report "Ten Ways to Fight Hate," published this week, the SPLC recalls that hatred has been part of the country's history.

The coup de grace was the ambivalence in the condemnation of the violence that was unleashed during the march of supremacists in Charlottesville.

“I’m sure white supremacists remain reassured that they have a friend in the White House," Cohen said. He recalled that the president's "poison and contempt" had already hit the Mexicans, whom he called "murderers and rapists."

"He can not break the infamous alliance with the intolerant he has been cultivating," Cohen resigned, referring to the culture arising from ultra-right populism based on conspiracy theories and intolerant thinking that, as the SPLC explains in its many reports, has been the answer to an electoral base misplaced in the new global society.

The Charlottesville facts seem to have been a turning point, but they are not exactly the first case of violence and hatred in the United States. In the first three months after Trump's election victory, the SPLC collected 1,372 cases of hate speech throughout the country.

Anticipating the increase of these events, ProPublica launched the Documenting Hate project, a database of all news about violent acts derived from intolerance, racism and similar cases.

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