The Rise of Hate in America

President reluctant to condemn hate groups

Bram Mansbach

America, as a country is more divided than ever. We are at all-time high tension with North Korea and are on a day-to-day flirting with nuclear war. Our relations with other countries seem to be falling apart as our government is pushing an America-first agenda. These foreign issues now are being challenged for air time with a new threat, domestic hate groups.

Recently, these groups have begun to voice their opinions to the public. From protests in Charlottesville, Va. to counter protests at confederate monuments across the country, America is really showing a greater divide. This has been seen by the nation through the almost now routine headline about a new clash between groups. It was not until recently though that these neo-nazis and white supremacist groups have really shown their followings and pride in their hateful messages.

The Charlottesville protest started on Aug. 11 when a large group of white-nationalists lit their torches and marched toward the University of Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue. Along their marches, these groups would voice their beliefs through an assortment of chants: “White lives matter.” “The Jews will not replace us.” They would even make monkey noises when approached by counter protesters, and eventually fights broke out.

The protest and counter protest continued for the next few days causing chaos throughout the city. This tension and chaos eventually led a 20-year-old James Alex Fields on Aug. 12 to drive a car at high speeds through a large crowd of counter protesters. This monstrous act left Heather D. Heyer dead and 19 others seriously injured. Videos immediately emerged from the scene showing these disturbing images.

While the country was in turmoil, President Donald Trump remained silent, not officially condemning these acts in a speech he gave two days after the Charlottesville protests. He was scrutinized very hard in the media even after this speech for his late comment. This was mostly because Trump was given many opportunities at a bill signing a day after the protest.

All seemed like it could not get any worse until the next day when Trump spoke again — this time blaming both sides, but saying there were “good people” in both groups. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” said the president. “Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

Hate in America seems to be peaking again now that our own president is simply not taking action against these malicious groups. This is not the first time Trump has been associated with hate groups. On the election campaign, David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, had offered support and voters for Trump. Instead of rejecting this offer, Trump, who mentioned Duke many times on the campaign trail before, blatantly lied insisting he did not know who David Duke was.

It might not be fair to say Trump shares an agenda with these white supremacist, but it is getting more and more suspicious of where his true loyalty lies when he has had the chance to clear his name on multiple occasions. It is very concerning that our still new president is possibly associating himself with the wrong crowd of supporters growing a larger frustration for the rest of the American people.

Trump’s actions pertaining to this event is what seems to be drawing out these hate groups in America, only further dividing the nation. No matter what one may believe in, the leader of the United States of America should use his position to call out these awful acts and more openly scold these hate groups, and it is apparent that this responsibility to our new leader may be a bit overwhelming.