You Can Wipe Your Ass With That Confederate Flag
Watch him. Watch what he does. At this point, Trump has outed himself as a full-on racist "enabler", at the very least. We can't look inside someone's heart and know their deepest motivations. But we can observe their actions, and we can observe the company they keep.
On Monday, Trump retweeted a message from Jack Posobiec, who is currently helping organize multiple alt-right rallies similar to the one in Charlottesvile, across the US. Posobiec has previously praised and affiliated with Richard Spencer, one of the most high-profile white supremacists in the country.
Whatever opinions Trump wishes to express, it's telling that he continues to choose methods such as this. Retweeting messages from self-described alt-righters and white supremacists is a big fat message in itself. You have to close your eyes not to see it.
Back in May, Trump froze funding of grants to fight violent extremism and hate groups within the US, "pushing to downplay the threat of white extremism by erasing neo-Nazis and white supremacists from the US government's counter-extemism program." This was one of Trump's earliest moves as president. And we're seeing the effects. The racists are hugely encouraged; Charlottesville was the largest white supremacist gathering in our nation in over a decade.
On Wednesday, Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, forwarded an email he'd received from conspiracy theorist Jerome Almon. Dowd passed along the email to the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the Washington Times, and a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security. The message he was passing along "echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda," "equated the South's [civil war era] rebellion to that of the American Revolution," and said there is "literally no difference [between] General Lee and George Washington."
In his press conference Tuesday, Trump said there were "some very fine people" among the white supremacist marchers in Charlottesville. He also said the counter protesters "didn't have a permit."
Which is a lie, as a matter of factual record. The counter protesters had permits for McGuffey Park and Justice Park, where their demonstrations were expected to be held. The white supremacists had one permit for an event in Emancipation Park. Scuffles developed throughout the city, and eventually the conflict shifted to Emancipation Park, which is a public park, and in Charlottesville "people do not need a permit to enter a public park, even when another event is scheduled to take place there."
The white supremacists also marched onto UVA campus, where other clashes with counter protesters took place. Permits are not required for marches or entry on UVA campus territory.
But UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan condemned the "intimidating and abhorrent behavior displayed by the alt-right protesters."
Also, Charlottesville Police Chief Al S. Thomas Jr. said the white supremacists "went back on a plan that would have kept them separated from the counter protesters."
Trump can lie about this all he wants, but no one in their right mind believes that a group waving swastikas and Confederate flags, screaming every vile slur in the book, chanting "Heil Trump", heavily armed and openly hateful, is going to show up anywhere, anytime, to "gather peacefully."
Keeping track of the lies told by our Hate-Monger in Chief is exhausting. Even two or three days' worth is a task. He's relentless, unprincipled, emotionally immature and completely unfit to serve. Put together the pieces of the puzzle, and it's plainly visible that he's openly promoting the agenda of white supremacy and raw hatred in our country.
I can't watch him every day. It makes you feel dirty and depressed. But between all of us, we can keep an eye open, and we can speak out, and we can try to oppose his demented agenda in whatever ways suit us individually.
For me, eventually I'll have to get back to music. The first song I wanta break out is one I wrote back in the early 2000s called "Ponce de Leon Avenue." It starts like this:
You can wipe your ass with that Confederate flag That's about all it's good for now If you wave that rag in a good man's face A good man might have to burn it down...
Anyway...that's the best I've got. Let's keep watching Trump and calling him out for his nonsense.