As we approach the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which a man drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year0old Heather Heyer, President Trump sent out a tweet condemning “all types of racism and acts of violence.”
The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2018
While some have already slammed Trump for his latest tweet, claiming it’s deliberately vague, others have offered their support. As of publication, the message has been retweeted over 23,000 times, and received more than 91,000 “likes.”
In the days following the August 12, 2017 Charlottesville rally, President Trump struggled to adequately condemn the white nationalists and neo-nazis. The president’s initial response, that there was “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” was savagely criticized by many in the media.
The following Monday, a full two days after the rally, the president took a much harder line, stating in part: “Racism is evil and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups.”
Trump also tweeted his condolences to Heyer’s family:
Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 12, 2017
The following day, the president pulled back a bit, saying: “Not all those people were neo-Nazis, believe me, not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch … you had people who were very fine people on both sides … you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”
He added that there were “people protesting very quietly, the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.”