From the serious outburst of violence this weekend in Charlottesville it appears that traditional white supremacy remains entrenched in some American states as an eternal scourge, despite legislative advances and social development in the country. And even though the paraphernalia – Confederate flags, a reminder of the generals who lost the War of Secession (1861-1865), and the torches of the Ku Klux Klan – can be seen as a simple anachronism, almost like folklore, it is worth emphasizing, so as not to be mistaken, the vitality shown by the different branches of these extremist groups (Nazi, anti-Semitic, ultranationalist, nostalgic American South) in the United States of the 21st century.
Some of the supremacists’ ringleaders have no hesitation relating their barbaric actions to the thoughts expressed in a broad sweep by President Donald Trump during his election campaign. In fact, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke stated that the demonstrators were “going to fulfill Trump’s promises to take back our country again.” That is to say, a link has been established between the disgraceful actions of the fascists in these violent groups and the political program of the current president. If the White House does not rush to disassociate itself from such a link, we will be facing a sign of a serious crisis in the democratic system.
The president’s reaction has not been very encouraging. His words looked for a certain equidistance between the aggressors and the groups that went out to the street to protest. However, unable to conceal his true ideological background, Trump could not unambiguously condemn those who provoked the incidents in response to a measure that may be debatable (the withdrawal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee because of his ideas about slavery) but a measure that was enacted legally.
At the heart of the Charlottesville riots is the issue of reviewing history, which the United States should address with the open mind that made the country great, not with the wrath of the Nazis who despise blacks and Jews.
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