America suffered through a difficult weekend. In Charlottesville, Va., after “alt-right” neo-nazis and left-wing “antifa” protesters had been clashing violently for hours, an alleged neo-nazi committed an ISIS-style terrorist attack by ramming his vehicle into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring dozens.
President Trump made a statement on Saturday, condemning violence “on all sides,” but came under fire for not specifically addressing neo-nazis or white supremacists by name. Today, Trump reiterated his remarks from Saturday and made it clear that violent ideologies have no place in America:
Thank you. I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform. We are re-negotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker, and it’s about time. Our economy is now strong. The stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a sixteen year low, and businesses are more optimistic than ever before. Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them. We have already created over one million jobs since I took office.
We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone. I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.
As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America. And as I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag. And we are all made by the same Almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence.
We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans. Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its names are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.
Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed. Her death fills us with grief and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love. We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth, and their country. Troopers Jay Cullen and Berke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and every member of American law enforcement. These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.
In times such as these, America has always shown its true character, responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice. As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts and to express the love and joy in their souls. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you very much.
A lot has been said about the violence and strife that took place in Charlottesville this weekend. But with this speech, President Trump encapsulated what the vast majority of us felt: that bigotry and racial hatred has no place in America. Let’s hope that this strong condemnation from both sides of the aisle will move our country forward together in opposition to hatred and against the temptation to engage in political violence.