The US is built on equality

St. Cloud Times

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Who would have thought that 241 years later, Americans would still be fighting over these words?

Even more unfathomable: Who would have thought the words and behavior of the president of the United States in 2017 would show he does not side with our Founding Fathers?

Yet that was a reality confirmed when hate groups praised the president’s reactions to their armed-turned-deadly demonstration Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Don’t kid yourself. These marchers were not rallying to save a statue. They were amassing to show their intention to dominate and destroy people of races and religions different from their own.

Witness those openly carrying firearms, while their defenders widely claim the counter protesters were the only ones prepared for battle.

Witness those standing outside a synagogue hurling deadly insults and giving Nazi salutes.

Witness those carrying Confederate and swastika flags, again chanting about death and domination.

And witness one believer’s decision to turn a car into a deadly weapon, fortunate to have killed “only” one.

None of that is about a statue. It’s all about bigotry and intolerance.

Yet President Donald Trump has failed to draw a bright line between these groups and counter-protesters. Instead, he’s doubled down on blaming both sides. He also incredulously claimed there are “fine, fine people” on both sides, and repeated the falsehood that counter-protesters had no permits.

As The Washington Post noted, by Thursday “Trump on two occasions said counter-protesters lacked a permit to demonstrate in Charlottesville. But they did have permits for rallies on Saturday — and they did not need one to go into or gather near Emancipation Park, where white nationalists scheduled their rally. No permits were needed to march on the U-Va. campus on Friday night.”

In fact, noting and calling out misleading and wrong statements like Trump’s are a big step rank-and-file Americans can take to help combat the hate these groups are trying to spread.

Americans should demand their elected officials stand strong in defiance of anyone who preaches hate, violence and supremacy over others. A few tweets won’t cut it — social media doesn’t constitute a policy statement.

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