Dangerous sign emerging in America

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 19 Aug 2017, 19:48:06

Dangerous sign emerging in America

Mohammad Amjad Hossain
It has become crystal clear now that White supremacists or White nationalist and Nazi terrorists, who supported candidature of President Donald Trump, have raised their ugly heads. This has been reflected in civil riot in Charlottesville in Virginia on August 12. Clashes took place between White supremacists and Nazi terrorist with their confederate battle flags, swastikas and anti-Semitic banners in one side, and local citizens of all denominators, including Black, on the other. White supremacists were demonstrating against the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, who commanded confederate army of North Virginia against the Union forces during the American civil war. 

Gen. Lee's statue was established in Charlottesville in 1924. Local council of Charlottesville unanimously decided to remove the statue in February of this year. 

Local police could not stop riots in Charlottesville and Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe declared state of emergency and called the White supremacist demonstrators "to go home and shame on you. You are not patriots. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth." State troopers were called in. 

A car, driven by James Alex of Ohio, ploughed into the crowd of counter-protesters killing a woman and injuring 19 others. Two state troopers were killed when a helicopter they were flying in as part of a large-scale patrolling crashed into a wooded area outside of Charlottesville. 

 David Duke, a former leader of Ku Klux Klan, declared that the scene in Charlottesville was a 'turning-point' for a movement that aims to fulfil the promises of President Donald Trump. He had earlier endorsed Trump's candidacy for presidency. 

Having seen the outcry from around the country President Trump at a brief meeting with news media near his golf club in New Jersey where he was vacationing, said "we condemn in strongest possible terms this gregarious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on both sides." This statement has invited criticism from all sane quarters, including Trump's own party, the Republican party. Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz came out with severe criticism against the President for not denouncing the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups for vandalism. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said that Trump's words were dividing Americans, not healing them. 

Two former Republican Presidents, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush condemned racial bigotry, anti-Semitisms and hatred in all its forms.

Immediate past President Barack Obama condemned racism in a tweet and said, quoting Nelson Mandela, that no one is born hating another person because of his colour, of his skin or his background or his religion. 

President Trump, on the other hand, said at a press conference on August 15 that "we condemn in the strongest possible terms this gregarious display of hatred, bigotry and violence" but refused to identify either white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups.  Meanwhile, Trump's main business council of top corporate leaders disbanded on August 16 following President's controversial remarks regarding Charlottesville riot. 

Lawmakers of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives have a plan to censure the President.  Baltimore city of Maryland removed four confederate monuments on 16 August 16. 

The situation is likely to go from bad to worse if the white supremacist groups are not handled carefully. These groups have sought permission from University of Florida, Texas A& M University to address students, and hold a rally at a monument dedicated to General Lee at Richmond, capital of Virginia. It is felt that stringent laws need to be enacted to stop hatred in any form for the security of the people, irrespective of race, colour and religion. 

The writer is a retired diplomat. 


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