‘Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet’
Protests turned violent on Saturday, when a ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saw white supremacist groups and counter-protestors clash.
In a series of horrific events, the governor declared a state of emergency and soon after, a car ploughed into a group of counter-protesters in downtown Charlottesville in a reportedly deliberate attack that left one dead and 19 injured.
Former US president Barack Obama took to Twitter to comment on the hate, quoting Nelson Mandela. ‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,’ he tweeted. ‘People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.’
Donald Trump however was criticised for his response – or lack there of.
That’s right – while news of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship problems and Kate Middleton’s nude sunbathing scandal have the President tweeting like there’s no tomorrow, Saturday’s horrific events didn’t seem to warrant an emergency comment.
One person who brought this to public attention was author J.K. Rowling, never missing an opportunity to call out Donald Trump.
‘Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet,’ she posted to her 11.6 million followers, raking in half a million likes.
Ivanka Trump was quick to respond to the events in Charlottesville, tweeting ‘There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis. We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED.’
Donald Trump on the other hand only released a statement later that day (and after a few Twitter jibes at his silence), failing to call out those responsible, tweeting ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.’
It was only on Monday – two days after the horrific event (and after a lot of pressure) – that Donald Trump explicitly called out the racist nature of Saturday’s events.
‘Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name 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,’ he announced in a statement at the White House. ‘To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.’