Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and in both houses of Congress, have spoken. President Trump must condemn racism, and specifically, the white supremacists who made an outward display in Charlottesville, Virginia, just months ago.
This week, both the Senate and the House passed a bill that is written as follows: “Condemning the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place during events between August 11 and August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, recognizing the first responders who lost their lives while monitoring the events, offering deepest condolences to the families and friends of those individuals who were killed and deepest sympathies and support to those individuals who were injured in the attack, expressing support for the Charlottesville community, rejecting White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups, and urging the President and the President’s Cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.”
This bill is the most explicit action taken by Congress yet against the ambivalence displayed by President Trump. Trump, of course, blamed “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” rather than white supremacists explicitly, and added that there were “very fine people” among the supremacist protesters. It took him several days to reverse these statements, long after people felt such a move was genuine.
Several members of the business community, including members of Trump’s own economic advisory council, either spoke out against Trump or abandoned his council in protest. Trump responded by disbanding several of these councils, in what became one of the worst weeks of his presidency in terms of public relations.
The bill also compels Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate criminal activity that might have taken place in Charlottesville at the time.
A White House spokesperson did not return a request for comment on this new bill passed by Congress.