Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 15: US President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. Standing alongside him from L to R, Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney. He fielded questions from reporters about his comments on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and white supremacists. 

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JTA
Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists

There was a moment in his “neo-Nazi, neo-Shmazi” news conference where you might have found yourself thinking, maybe President Trump is right.

On the narrow question of who was responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, a prosecutor might note that punches were thrown by white supremacists and left-wing activists, neo-Nazis and members of the Antifa resistance.

“I think there’s blame on both sides,” is how Trump put it in his news conference Tuesday in New York.

It’s the right answer if this is the question: “Who threw punches in Charlottesville?” But it is the wrong answer to every other question raised by the awful events of the past three days. Such as, “What is expected of an American president when hundreds of people representing a stew of racist and anti-Semitic ideologies gather in a public park in an American city?” And, “What do we expect of the leader of our government when young men in 2017 wave Nazi flags and chant ‘Jews will not replace us’ while one of their number kills a counterprotester using his car as a weapon?”

And one more: “When given the choice between a mob that defends segregation, slavery and the ideology of genocide, and a crowd that stands opposed to these things, which side do you choose?”

Trump stunned his critics not because he was waiting (uncharacteristically, one might add) for all the “facts” to make a statement, as he said at the news conference, but because he ignored the essential fact: Neo-Nazis, Klansman and other far-right ghouls had called for a rally, under the banner of “Unite the Right,” in an attempt to resurrect ideas that the United States had declared — on the battlefield, in the courtroom and in the court of public opinion — morally bankrupt and grotesquely un-American.

And the president of those United States declared that while such people were bad, they were perhaps no worse than those who came to oppose them. In fact, he was careful to point out, “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” But if there were “very fine people” who showed up in Charlottesville to “quietly” protest the removal of a Confederate statue, as Trump put it, they knew exactly what they were getting into. You can’t show up at an orgy and say you’re there just for the snacks. As the satirical newspaper The Onion put it in a headline that barely seemed satirical, “Trump Blasts Critics Who Judge Neo-Nazi Groups By Most Extreme Members.”

Trump may occasionally and reluctantly disavow them, but figures on the lunatic fringe appreciated the bone that they had been thrown.

“Really proud of him,” the white supremacist Richard Spencer said in a tweet. “He bucked the narrative of Alt-Right violence, and made a statement that is fair and down to earth.”

“Donald Trump: He Was Fair to White Supremacists” is quite the epitaph.

On Saturday morning, after the torchlight vigil, after the speech by David Duke and the anti-Semitic chants and the killing of a 32-year-old woman, no one outside of the “alt-right” was looking for fairness. They were seeking moral clarity — and they didn’t get it from the White House.

Some very fine people, including some Jews, are not convinced. They think Trump got it about right in noting that “many sides” are responsible for what happened in Charlottesville. They think it was important to point out that there were “vicious, hate-filled extremists,” as one Jewish leader put it, on both sides — that is, the neo-Nazi side and the protesters’ side, the Klan’s side and the anti-fascist side.

It is as if the lesson of Jewish history is moderation in the face of hatred, restraint when confronted by those who would kill us.

In his 2003 book “Nazis in Newark,” the historian Warren Grover recalled how a loose group calling themselves the Minutemen organized in order to crush the pro-Hitler activity proliferating in their backyard.

“Throughout the 1930s, the Minutemen consistently and effectively opposed Nazi activities in Newark and Northern New Jersey,” Grover wrote. “The fighting force included criminals and boxers who used fists, clubs, and baseball bats to counter the Nazi threat. Often just a rumor that the Minutemen had been sighted was enough to deter Newark’s Nazis from holding events.”

Plenty of Jews who remember the Minutemen consider them heroes — and even revere the memory of the gangster Abner “Longy” Zwillman, who aided them. Maybe we live in more rarefied times. Maybe today we’d call the anti-Nazi gangs “thugs” and “terrorists.” Maybe there’s a difference between standing up to neo-Nazis and actual Nazis. And maybe, to our credit, we understand that nonviolent resistance is the most principled and effective response to hatred and intolerance.

But if the Minutemen lacked a certain gentility, two things they didn’t lack: moral clarity and the courage of their convictions.

Trump was asked Tuesday whether white supremacists and their counterprotesters belong “on the same moral plane.”

“I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane,” our president said.

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10 Responses to "Our president just asked us to be fair to white supremacists"

  1. Amelius  August 18, 2017 at 7:41 am

    “And one more: “When given the choice between a mob that defends segregation, slavery and the ideology of genocide, and a crowd that stands opposed to these things, which side do you choose?”

    Sorry, but this statement carries no weight at all, coming from the “Jewish Telegraphic Agency”. The Jewish state defends segregation, slavery and the ideology of genocide, more than any other nation on earth. While the JTA expresses concern over what they deem to be “anti-Semitic” remarks, the Jewish state bulldozes the home of another murdered Palestinian family.

    • Amelius  August 18, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Not to mention, all of the most influential proponents of segregation, slavery and the ideology of genocide in America, are Jews. Mind you, they hide behind marionette politicians, bought off with “political donations”, bribes and concessions. Wanna talk about segregation? History shows that most of the ships that brought Black slaves to America were owned by Jews, and then they turned around and organized both the NAACP and Black Panther party, to focus Black hatred towards White people. Slavery? It’s the Jewish owned and operated Federal Reserve that holds America in perpetual debt servitude. Genocide? It’s a verifiable fact that Jewish are the most influential in America, and that the Jewish state are the sole beneficiaries of the farsical “war on terror” that’s been going on for the last 16 years.

      So, what makes them better, or more acceptable than any other supremacist organization?

    • Amelius  August 18, 2017 at 7:48 am

      Correction: “it’s a verifiable fact that Jewish ‘lobbyists’ are the most influential in America,”

  2. joetv  August 17, 2017 at 10:39 am

    “I am the white void. I am the cold steel. I am the JOTD sword. With blade in hand I shall reap the sins of this world and cleanse it in the fires of destruction. I am The Drowsyman. The end has come!” – The book of JOTDistan

  3. joetv  August 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    The antisemite tag is worn out. For anyone who wants to look there’s enough evidence available which debunks the holocaust lie. From research, science, and admissions of error, the scheme has been denuded. And I will continue to discriminate when buying, make note I support BDS.

  4. Diesel Chadron  August 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    the more I think about it, I’m starting to really believe that these radical groups and even radical thought (with certain limitations) should be outlawed. we’ve already got the NSA’s database of all citizen communications for the past couple decades. all we need is a new law which would authorize pre-emptive arrests of any citizen who could be proven to hold beliefs or views outside that which is presented as fact or compassionate by the most prominent media companies. by doing this, we could certainly avoid any unnecessary death like the second-degree murder of that nice school girl committed over the weekend in Charlottesville.

    • Ian Greenhalgh, Managing Editor  August 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      So you want to implement a system of thought control that even the East German Stasi never reached at their worst. That would be a complete and utter disaster for society, you might as well just go the whole hog and implant thought controls chips in people’s heads to give them an electric shock everytime they have incorrect thoughts. Orwell had poignant words to say about such things.

    • Diesel Chadron  August 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      so sorry you missed my sarcasm.

  5. Poppadop  August 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    “It is as if the lesson of Jewish history is moderation in the face of hatred, restraint when confronted by those who would kill us.”

    Oh yeah, the real lesson is goading stupid Goyim into violence they don’t truly understand but from which an elite minority profits… I’m still not sure who from either side of this genuinely sees that.

  6. nawlins  August 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Really? Honest to god f****g nazis? No one else was there? What about the original group that just wanted to protest taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee, until the whole thing got hijacked by extremists. How about the last minute venue and barricade changes? How about the cops herding the non-violent protesters into the violent ones and then putting them through a gauntlet where the cameras were waiting, and then melting away? No? You don’t know anything about that, huh? Of course you do LANGLEY.

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