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Trump invites us all to consider the “many sides” of racist, deadly violence

(Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump showed a rare burst of philosophical equanimity today, inviting Americans everywhere to consider both sides of the problems currently plaguing our country. Liberals and conservatives. Racists and non-racists. People standing in the street, and those who choose to accelerate into them in their car, killing at least one.

Trump—who was supposed to just be signing a Veteran Affairs bill today—opened a press conference this afternoon with comments on the violence currently happening in Charlottesville, Virginia, after a white supremacist rally was declared illegal by local police. The most notable incident so far—captured from multiple angles in video circulating on Twitter—shows a driver intentionally plowing his car into a crowd of pedestrians. The city’s mayor, Mike Singer, has stated that at least one person was killed in the attack.

Still, Trump reminded us, that’s no reason to go pointing fingers at any specific groups or Nazi-aligned ideologies. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence,” the president vagued, before adding, pointedly, “On many sides.” (Trump declined to name said sides, although we have to assume that “car windshield” and “person being slammed into car windshield with lethal force” were among his equal condemnations.) Trump then pivoted into a message of peace, love, understanding, and absolutely not calling any groups that might have supported him during the election out by name, asking Americans everywhere to “cherish their history” as well as our future, before moving on to brag some more about how good his job numbers currently are.

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