US bishops condemn white supremacist rally

What happened?

A woman was killed and at least 19 people injured when a car rammed into counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. The original “Unite the Right” march was provoked by the city’s plan to remove a statue of a Confederate general. Armed brawls broke out between the two groups.

President Donald Trump said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

What the media are saying

Donald Trump’s refusal to specifically denounce white nationalists drew criticism from both the liberal and conservative press. National Review described his statement as “half-hearted”. Trump criticised Hillary Clinton for failing to name Islamist terror as a threat to national security, the magazine noted; now it is he who is “vague and equivocal”. It is awkward, the editorial said, “because the cracked and malevolent young men raging about ‘white genocide’ are his people, whether he wants them or not”. His refusal to denounce them is seen as a “tacit indulgence, as the closest thing to a public embrace that realpolitik will allow”.

The TV comic John Oliver said: “There aren’t many instances in modern American politics where you think ‘That guy really should have mentioned the Nazis’, but this is one of them.”

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