10 Thoughts on the White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville

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The disturbing scenes from Charlottesville, Va., as a white nationalist rally erupted into violence sparked outrage and shock around the country. The events quickly raised a couple of thorny questions: First, do groups that hold racist views deserve free-speech protection? What if exercising that free speech incites a riot? And after a man drove his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one and injuring almost two dozen, the question arose: Should that act be considered domestic terrorism? American politicians, pundits and others offered a wide range of views in the wake of the civil unrest in Charlottesville.

Violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., was widely condemned.


10. “Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy. #Charlottesville”

— Former President Bill Clinton, via Twitter


9. “White supremacy” crap is worst kind of racism — it’s EVIL and perversion of God’s truth to ever think our Creator values some above others.”

— Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in a tweet


8. “Proud of @realDonaldTrump statement condemning violence in Charlottesville. Very Presidential. Didn’t take sides like Obama in Ferguson riot.”

— Milwaukee County (Wis.) Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., via Twitter


7. “This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in, that’s why we voted for Donald Trump. Because he said he’s going to take our country back. That’s what we gotta do.”

— Former KKK leader David Duke, in an interview Saturday with Mykal McEldowney of the Indianapolis Star. Duke later added in a tweet, “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”


6. “Very important for people to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”

— Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who also tweeted, “Nothing patriotic about #Nazis, the #KKK or #WhiteSupremacists. It’s the direct opposite of what #America seeks to be. #Charlotesville”


5. “No, Mr. President. This is a provocative effort by Neo-Nazis to foment racism and hatred and create violence. Call it out for what it is.”

— 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who like many others felt President Donald Trump’s comments on the situation should have specifically mentioned white supremacists.


4. “The idea of white supremacy is deeply repugnant. Racism by anyone against any race is pernicious. But even those spouting such despicable views must have their First Amendment right to publicly assemble and speak their minds. That means it is the job of police to protect even the rights of white nationalists.”

— Conservative pundit Paul Jacob, in a commentary on TownHall.com.


3. “It’s sad what’s going on in Charlottesville. Is this the direction our country is heading? Make America Great Again huh?! He said that.”

— NBA star LeBron James, via a tweet.


2. “If ISIS rammed a car into a crowd this would be labeled quickly & logically. Charlottesville — call it what it is, domestic terrorism.”

— Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, via Twitter


1. “The violence and deaths in Charlottesville strike at the heart of American law and justice. When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated.”

— U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

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