The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia on 11-12 August 2017 illustrate to us just how tense the racial divide in the American homeland had become. White supremacists such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and Neo-Nazis held a protest rally regarding the removal of the statue of a Confederate general in the University of Virginia campus where they were with stiff resistance from counter-protest groups like the BLM and Antifa. The rally was called “Unite the Right” and the protestors were chanting fascist slogans and were armed with various kinds of weapons and protective gear. The police on duty could not really do much initially even after a state of emergency was declared as the Unite the Right protestors had a “permit” according to President Trump.
The protest rally soon descended into violence the next day when a white supremacist rammed his vehicle into a crowd of counter protestors and caused multiple fatalities. This in itself was an act of terrorism but it was not labeled as such by the concerned authorities and the mainstream media as they usually do when similar attacks occur in European cities by Islamist radicals. And as it was known President Trump did not outright condemn these right wing hate groups but rather blamed both sides for the violence. And even when he did his words rang hollow by his subsequent statements and demeanour.
The question that now arises is how did America reach such a tipping point? It would not be enough or fair to just blame President Trump’s statements and affiliations. This racial tension has existed in America for a long time and African-Americans and other ethnic groups like Hispanics have always had it hard when it came to law and order. Groups like the KKK and Neo-Nazis have survived because of the message of hate they send and how they are being made to suffer in their own homeland at the hands of so called “inferior races” like African-Americans. It’s not people like Trump who give these groups power but rather the other way around. The US Department of Homeland Security designates homegrown right wing extremism as an even bigger threat than Islamist terror groups. And with the rise of right wing propaganda like those professed by InfoWars host Alex Jones and Breitbart founder Steve Bannon who until recently was Trump’s chief strategist these groups found a new home calling.