Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What happens if the white supremacists groups get a clear message from the president that he does not support them?

Asked by JLeslie (57733points) August 14th, 2017 from iPhone

I feel President Trump should make it clear he does not support, agree with, or endorse groups like the KKK and neoNazis.

However, I am wondering what the reaction would be from David Duke and his followers if Trump became really very clear.

What do you think? Would the KKK act up less? Would they cause more violence in the immediate future? No change?

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65 Answers

flutherother's avatar

The president is supposed to speak for us all in support of human decency and the values of a democratic society. That is important and that Trump finds it so difficult is a measure of his unsuitability for the role he fills. How supremacists react is up to them but it is obvious such groups are greatly encouraged by the tacit support of the White House.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I don’t think it would have any affect on them at all. Some would even think he was just catering to the press, but secretly supports them. There are a lot of delusional, out of touch people in that crowd. They live in a different world, an isolated world of their own making. Leaders like Duke would use an attack by the president to play up their “heroic” anti-establishmentism among their own. The Bunker Mentality works for them, gives them a feeling of solidarity.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not much. They won’t want to believe it; they’ll say he was forced to do it and that he is secretly supporting the NeoNazis.

Sneki2's avatar

That David guy has already left some tweets that show he’s not afraid of Trump’s opinion at all. It was in the line of “It’s the white Americans that elected you, so don’t act high an mighty”.
They are confident enough. Trump’s disagreeing doesn’t affect them at all.

May all the gods be in your help, US. This is all very worrisome.

marinelife's avatar

That’s why they won’t get a clear message from Trump. They elected him. He needs them.

DominicY's avatar

I’m disappointed that Trump hasn’t given more of a clear condemnation (for all his blustering about saying the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”), but I doubt it will have much effect. The neo-Nazis are already “out of the woodwork” and if anything, an official condemnation will just make them more defiant.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

The president is supposed to speak for us all in support of human decency and the values of a democratic society.

Says who? Nobody voted for Trump expecting that. They voted for him BECAUSE he insults women and minorities and advocated authoritarianism and xenophobia.

Jaxk's avatar

Personally, I’m sick and tired of all these protests. All of them. Someone organizes a protest and of course, someone else feels obligated to organize a counter protest. The crazies breakout their clubs, masks, and molotov cocktails and show up in a rage. Now everyone gets worked up because Trump won’t say who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. They’re all bad guys.

We’ve done this before. In the 50s it was the communists. We black balled them hated them and anyone caught attending a communist meeting was ostracized from society. Let it go. Protesting is all about getting attention. without the counter protest nobody would have noticed this protest. You may not like it (I certainly don’t) but everyone has a right to protest as long as they stay within the limits of the law. Hate the ‘hate groups’ and hate anyone that doesn’t stand against them. Hell they’re all hate groups.

si3tech's avatar

I believe Trump has made it clear hat he will not stand for violence from any side. There is a difference, IMHO between nationalist and supremacist.

DominicY's avatar

And what does that matter? I’m sure people of both labels were there. We know the KKK were there, if they are not supremacist, I don’t know who are.

@Jaxk The right to protest includes the right to protest the protesters.

Jaxk's avatar

@DominicY – Yes it does ‘Within the Limits of the Law’. Either side that violates those limits should be denounced. It is the actions that should be. and have been denounced. It’s hard to say they’re both wrong but these are the good guys, because they’re not.

si3tech's avatar

@Jaxk I too am sick and tired of all the protests. IMHO this and all the rest are the same dance as we observed in Ferguson MO! Protestors are hired, come from other states/areas and do what they were hired to do. An offshoot of “occupy wall street”. Civil disobedience taken to the highest level!

josie's avatar

Trump did not cause people to “act up”.

This happens when people with strange ideas are suppressed, so they go underground, where their ideas fester and become more bizarre.

It is OK to ignore such people, but it is dangerous to drive them into hiding which is what political correctness does and what has been going on in the US and other places for much of my young life.

You think you have made them go away, but they were only hiding. When they finally come out, they are worse.

DominicY's avatar

@Jaxk And I think it’s fine to condemn the violence that occurred on both sides while also taking a moral stance against white supremacy. It’s not saying that one side is “good”, but it’s fair to say that one side is worse (that’s my personal opinion of course).

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @Espiritus_Corvus I don’t think it would matter in the least. Just because someone, an individual or a government doesn’t “approve” of particular faction means nothing to a warped extremist mind. They can still be charged with hate crimes but that’s about the only consequence.

JLeslie's avatar

I just saw Trump on TV condemning the KKK. I don’t remember if he specifically named other groups too.

si3tech's avatar

@JLeslie He specifically called out the white supremacists!

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jaxk The problem with that line of reasoning is that if adhered to we would still have segregated lunch counters in ⅓ of the country.

tinyfaery's avatar

Never mind.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Trump can say whatever. His policies still support what white supremacists want…

Jeruba's avatar

Other presidents denied them support. Did it help?

We still need our leaders to condemn what’s wrong, but I wouldn’t put much faith in Trump’s use of his powers for any good but his own, or in fanatics to respect it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, he’s supported them all this time. Why would they believe him just because he said differently? They know, as well as we do, that words of condemnation are not his words. They’re words written by a 4th grader who is smarter than him.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I just saw Trump on TV condemning the KKK

It’s not sincere if he says it only after two days of criticism for his previous statement.

He made his real feelings clear the first time.

JLeslie's avatar

^^The first time he said he was against violence on all sides.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“Many sides”, meaning Nazis are no worse than people who oppose Nazis.

He made himself clear.

Coloma's avatar

^ Sorta like baby rapers aren’t any worse than those that oppose them? Mmmkay, whatever.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay “We” have been wanting Trump to condemn violence since before he won the presidency. I’m not going to get upset that he said all sides, because there has been some crazy shit behavior and threats and lighting fires by some groups, what many would call far lefties, and some have used the term anarchists. That shit is unacceptable period. Remember the whole Ann Coulter on campus thing, and some demonstrations on college campuses? That was unacceptable.

I’m not saying I’m ok with how Trump has handled himself or what he has been doing or who he has been hiring, but if he calls for no violence on all sides, I’m going to take those words and say the president is asking for no violence. I wish the media would promote that very idea. No violence.

I think Trump cannot say anything right. He can’t win even if he completely morphed into the perfect president.

I will also say again that the liberal media really has no idea how they sound to the Republicans. Not that liberals should shut down or stop talking to appease the right, I do not mean that at all, but their inability to understand the other point of view is a detriment to trying to communicate with the “other side.”

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@JLeslie One side says crush the Jews and blacks and women and other minorities. And you say let’s meet them halfway.

It’s 1933 and you’re begging to give the brownshirts a chance to be tolerant.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Bullshit.

Today in Durham, NC protestors toppled down a confederate statue. Someone could have been hurt! I want those statutes removed as much as you do. I don’t want heavy statues pulled down in the middle of rowdy protestors. What if white supremists were rowdy and pulled down a statue of Martin Luther King? Would you only care about who the statue was? Or, would you also care about these protestors being out of control? Taking risks of something going very wrong and someone getting hurt.

Not to mention, even if the statue should come down, it’s still part of history. Maybe it should go in a museum?

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

How terrible people toppled a statue celebrating slavery!!

Which side are you on? Make your choice. Don’t be a coward.The “both sides are bad!” nonsense has long been the cry of the complacent conservative.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m not asking for Nazis to be tolerant, fuck the white supremacists. They are scary shit to me, and I really find it stunning we tolerate them in any way in America.

I’m saying that the side that I support, believe in, and identify with, I want them to demonstrate safely, within the law, and not endanger people. I distance myself from people who seem to agree with my point of view on issues, but then behave wildly and endanger people.

I’m on the side of America! Civilized, industrialized, first world, diverse, people are created equal, give me your tired your poor, separation of church and state, freedom of speech, right to assemble, America.

JLeslie's avatar

I just heard on Anderson Cooper an eye witness saying that earlier in the day before this horrible car incident where the woman was killed and others hurt, that fights had been breaking out more than once in that same vicinity. Seriously? That is not ok. I have no idea how and who and why, but that is not ok.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

That was so awful when the United States and Allies defeated Germany in 1945.

Such terrible violence.

Both sides were bad and the answer is always in the middle. We must treat all opinions as equal.

Coloma's avatar

Removing Confederate statues doesn’t change history and I agree with @JLeslie
Violent, potentially dangerous behavior is not the answer and they should be placed in museums as they are a part of history just like the holocaust. Nobody’s tearing down Auschwitz.

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay You are being horrible at this point. I’m Jewish for Christ’s sake. You’re borderline offensive. To insinuate I somehow support the brownshirts/Nazis/supremists really is awful.

Coloma's avatar

Bottom line, two wrongs never make a right, never have, never will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“I’m Jewish got Christ’s sake… :) wait…what? :)

Some people just love violence even if they’re on the “right” side. They see an excuse to be violent and they take it.
I agree with @JLeslie.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@JLeslie Nazis and Klansmen held a rally to celebrate slavery and killed at least one person and injured a couple of dozen.

You are bending over backwards to say both sides are bad. Your devotion to the imaginary middle ground is shameful.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. She is saying that violence on one side does not excuse violence on the other side.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Well now that the President has been literally FORCED to upbraid racists and nazis does anyone here think him sincere in the effort? The troubling thing about how this is all shaking out, is Trump in the middle. I really don’t believe that Trump is a racist. But his indifference to racism is rather striking. And considering the gorilla of ambition riding his back, it is incredible that he lacks the basic sense to understand that the appearance of indifference on the topic is a BIG no no. Our President is no thinker, but you gotta wonder just what it is that rolls through that big pumpkin head.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I’m sure he felt a conflict of interest. As Duke said, and even Trump knows, these racists are who put him in office. When Trump was running, he was asked several times about such support. He circumvented the question each time. He cannot alienate his base. Only when his arm is twisted. Now his base will twist his other arm. What then? I guess time/twitter will tell…

JLeslie's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay Just to clarify, as I have said before, violence in self defense, and in war, is completely different than CREATING violence or danger at what should be a peaceful protest exercising the American right to freedom of assembly.

During all the talk about gun control the last few years here on fluther, and I hate having guns everywhere, it’s me who has said many times, that the second amendment is their to be armed against the government. If some of the Jews in Nazi Germany had gunned down some Nazis when they came into their villages, I would have been a ok with that. Me, when the collective mostly leans towards wanting no guns or as close to it. I grew up with being told it can happen anywhere, that if it can happen in Germany it can happen anywhere. I believe it. I am not as paranoid as some people are about Trump, but believe me I’m watching.

You really are wrong on this about me on this Q. As other Jellies have said, and I appreciate their support, I’m not supporting Trump or the supremists, I’m just talking about violence overall, no one should be getting hurt or dying at a demonstration. It’s horrible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think this is what @JLeslie is referring to. They may be doing it for the “right” reasons, and not actually hurting other humans, but anyone who has that kind of rage in their personality is capable of almost anything.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Exactly, lots of walking raging, grievances just looking for a cause. What better way to find an outlet for your personal fucked-upness than to join ranks with some crazy extremist group.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Be they left or right.

Coloma's avatar

^ Yep. I don’t do militant extremist anything.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Here’s your answer. Trump made his fake denouncement.

They know he’s still on their side.

Business Insider Aug 14, 2017 - Alt-right leader Richard Spencer told reporters from his “office” on Monday that he doesn’t think President Donald Trump condemned his movement when he denounced neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacists.

“His statement today was more kumbaya nonsense,” said Spencer, who attended and was slated to speak at the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. “Only a dumb person would take those lines seriously.”

Soubresaut's avatar

News reports now say that he’s apparently trying to backtrack, trying to go back to blaming all sides. This is beyond stupid. White supremacy groups are ugly, hateful, have a history of violence they lived up to in Charlottesville, and virtually every other politician in power both understands and vocalizes this. Why does this one politician’s antics have to take up so much of the public bandwidth?

MrGrimm888's avatar

^His administration is a dumpster fire. You can look away, but you’ll still smell it…

tinyfaery's avatar

Continued support of Trump makes you complicit to all future alt-right/nazi/kkk violence. Period. That, and you are a garbage human.

JLeslie's avatar

I think @Espiritus_Corvus had the best answer. Everyone basically interprets his statements how they want.

@Soubresalt I wouldn’t say he backtracked, but he did double down on his statement about both sides. He also said again that he condemns the white supremists. He said the white supremacists had a permit while the other people protesting didn’t.

Someone brought up the statue and the park renaming, and he said some horrible people were in the crowd who were against taking the statue down, but some people weren’t horrible, just didn’t agree with taking it down or renaming the park. There was some back and forth and Trump pointed out Washington had slaves, should we rename everything named after him? He named another president also who had slaves, I can’t remember.

Our American history is shit in so many ways.

To the Q in general: There is no question in my mind the left wing media is being stupid, playing into the hands of the right. I’m so sick of it. Being ok with violence, vandalism, and gang like behavior on the left is hypocrisy in action. Condemning far left wingers for acting up is not equal to supporting Trump. Jesus! Reminds me of that saying, “if you’re not with us your against us. Very Bush-esque.

@tinyfaery Who are you talking to?

Coloma's avatar

@tinyfaery I’m not a Trump fan at all, but…calling Trump supporters garbage humans is not any different than any other kind of hate. Just more hate mongering.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^No.Some are just garbage…. You aren’t born a Trump supporter. You choose to be…

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Nazis are in the street chanting “The Jews Won’t Replace Us” and “Blood and Soil” and ramming a car into helpless people. And look at the hand-wringing about the terrible liberals calling them names and daring to doubt poor Mr. Trump’s sincerity.

Unbelievable.

JLeslie's avatar

Calling who names? WTF? no one is upset about calling the neoNazis what they are. They are racist, disgusting, and they should have no place in America. Everyone who has a voice should speak out against them. Walking the streets with torches, chanting, I really hate giving them space to make their displays. Any sort of disorderly conduct or violence I want them arrested.

The person driving the car should be put in jail. He is a murderer.

I wonder if the white supremacists groups would have shown up if Obama was still president? What do you think? Or, Clinton, Bush, pick whichever president you want.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Read the comment right after yours about name calling.

Also, note Trump said today “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us.” Trump called the Nazis and the Klan ”us”.

Anybody here spouting the “both sides are bad” line is parroting Trump’s views. You in fact have chosen a side, and it’s the shameful one.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, I chose the side of not approving of violence.

The media could take Trump’s words and tell David Duke and his followers that Trump explicitly said violence is never ok, and that Trump explicitly said he doesn’t approve of the White Supremicists. Why not show that clip over and over again so it demonstrates Trump is against them. Even if Trump is lying, the media can turn the clip into the message. The message we want out there that the racists are not welcome. Why not seize the moment of Trump denouncing them?

“Us” can easily mean republicans. You are just looking at this one incident, but there is a whole history that is there.

There are so many ways to twist it.

All I’m talking about is the violence and risk to people. I don’t care who is doing it, it’s not ok.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

“Us” can easily mean republicans.

No, it can’t. You’re a dedicated apologist for Trump and his support for the white supremacists. You’re hopeless.

JLeslie's avatar

Listen to everything Michael Moore has said for the last year and a half.

tinyfaery's avatar

I wasn’t addressing anyone I was making a statement.

flutherother's avatar

David Duke has responded by saying this on 15 August “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa”
Duke has also taken to referring to the media as “fake news” in line withTrump’s example.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Exactly what Espiritus_Corvus said. Duke took the piece he could to further his message.

Soubresaut's avatar

@JLeslie… I know what he said. It just makes me tired. People have been calling on him to denounce the support of groups like the KKK form the beginning of his presidential campaign, and yet he has only publicly spoken against them once, 48 hours after someone died in Charlottesville at the hands of a white nationalist ideologue and the national pressure was too intense for him to ignore… And even after doing that, he doesn’t seem willing to do so again. The closest he got yesterday was to say, “I have condemned neo-Nazis,” a reference to that one time, as if it’s a check-off box and now we should leave him alone about it. I know he’s not known for elegant or careful wording, but the phrasing yesterday seemed deliberate because it fits with his previously demonstrated reluctance to speak out against those groups.

To be clear, I detest violence from any side in protests, if for no other reason than one act of violence taints the entire movement at least a little bit. (Of course, because violence means people are getting hurt, a movement’s “image” really is the least important reason.)

I have a hard time seeing Trump’s focus on the chaotic fallout of Charlottesville as anything but a dodge. (Yet another reason I detest violence in protests; it distracts from the issues at hand.) I think Trump’s leaning on that point because he knows he doesn’t have to really address white supremacists/nationalists, or the ways in which he has enabled them (wittingly or not) to latch onto his name to give themselves a false legitimacy, if he can just say “both sides were in the wrong.” He’s not stepping up to the responsibilities of a president. He’s not trying to diffuse the tension. He’s not trying to offer the nation a better path. He’s not leading. (And none of this requires condoning violence on one side.) He’s just making sure the blame gets spread around, especially if he can make sure it hits groups he doesn’t like.

I guess what I’m really missing in the aftermath of all of this are Presidents who know how to rhetorically move a situation forwards, move it towards a solution… Isn’t that what Presidents throughout our history have done, albeit some better than others? Obama’s tweet is case in point, and its record-breaking number of likes seems to indicate that the country understands the value of that kind of rhetoric, even if our current President doesn’t. And so, I’m just tired.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Human beings can be violent. We are, after all, simply animals. It takes a higher reasoning to combat that tendency in ourselves.

DID the anti-racists start the riot, though? Did they throw the first punch?

JLeslie's avatar

@Soubresaut I can go with tired. I agree with wishing Trump didn’t have a history of not putting the David Duke’s in their place, which basically should be a statement that there is no place for them in America. I think that’s a big problem too.

@Dutchess_III I’m not clear on it. I get the impression they did at least some of the time. The reporting I saw did say they did cause problems. To me that means at least sometimes they started outbursts of violent exchanges, but I don’t know for sure.

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