We as a nation must ask how we arrived at such a dark historical moment in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia — one of the cradles of democracy. It was a convergence of events that had occurred in the last couple of years which led to this moment.
The election in which the candidate with the second most votes became the president played the most prominent role. The outdated electoral college was created for one reason: To give the slave holding states a larger voice in the election of the president, as slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person. It gave the slave states more representatives in the House of Representatives and therefore more votes in the artificially created electoral college.
Donald Trump attended by mostly white voters. Many interpreted his campaign of “Make America Great Again” as returning to a time before civil rights. He lost the vote of minority groups by a large margin. In fact, he lost the vote of all Americans by nearly 3 million votes. Which gave us a government controlled by the minority of voters, which never works.
Hate groups felt emboldened because they felt they had a White House that was with them.
The appointment of an attorney general with some racist background, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from Alabama, was more than a dog whistle.
Bringing in Steve Bannon from Breitbart News as chief advisor to the president was taken as a clear signal by hate groups that their time was now.
We need to ask ourselves what would motivate number of hate groups like the neo-Nazis, KKK and alt-right to unite together for a rally in Charlottesville?
We know the expressed reason was to protest the removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park there. To many this was a legitimate cause to protest and an easy one to rally people behind.
The question of why now and what would embolden them to come as well armed as some military units, possibly better armed than the police, needs an answer.
They came with body armor, shields, helmets, bats and guns, ready to fight.
The simple answer is they felt that this was their time.
Arming themselves so well comes from the myth that the 2nd Amendment was created so people could take up arms to overthrow the government.
Which is totally false. The 2nd Amendment was created solely for one purpose — so draftees would have access to buy and bring a musket when called to serve in the militia or slave patrols.
The first statement by the president on Saturday, in which he did not condemn hate groups by name was praised by leaders of hate groups. It took a ground swell of condemnation by politicians and media to force the president to call out the hate groups by name in a prepared statement written by staff on Monday. It all fell apart Tuesday when he expressed his real views at an impromptu press conference in which he placed equal blame on both sides.
David Duke tweeted: “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.” There is no question that the hate groups voted for Donald Trump in overwhelming numbers. History presents presidents with moments to show leadership. Charlottesville was that moment for Trump — and he failed.