Trump Says Heather Heyer Is no Better than a Neo-Nazi.

by Pitt Griffin on August 19, 2017 · 0 comments

in Racism, Trump presidency

Another week in the Trump presidency winds down – and like most of the previous ones, it is well called the ‘his worst week’ yet. Trump is a man celebrated for his faults – so steeped in wickedness and disregard for humanity that it takes great endurance to wade through his failings and pick his worst. But let’s proffer callousness as a candidate for the title.

On Tuesday, from the gilded lobby of a gaudy tower, he shook off the bonds of decency and disparaged anti-bigotry protesters as occupying the same moral low-ground as neo-nazis. He found rectitude in the ranks of white supremacists and saw ‘fine people’ among torch-bearing fascists.

And just in case he couldn’t elevate the deplorables to acceptability he attempted to paint those who stood up to hate as equally culpable – and just as brutishly mindless. In his reckoning, he was making some thoughtful point about the tides of history and cultural sensitivity. But all he did was regurgitate the same specious arguments the far-right has always used to justify its abhorrent incivility.

It didn’t occur to him that in his false equivalency he reduced Heather Heyer – the woman killed in Charlottesville – to a type. She stood up to bigotry, but Trump painted her as just another violent nihilist. She was the victim of terrorism – murdered by the indiscriminate actions of a homicidal loser. But Trump couldn’t see her as a person.

Let Ms. Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, speak: “I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. Heyer with the K.K.K. and the white supremacists.” Adding, on reflection of Trump’s attempts at condolence, “You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying ‘I’m sorry’. I’m not forgiving for that.”

Trump’s administration reflected his thoughtless incompetence – calling Ms. Bro during her daughter’s funeral to schedule a telephone conversation with Trump. Such disdain for other people’s feelings boggles the mind.  

Asked what she would say to the President, Susan Bro offered Trump a practical and profound piece of advice, “Think before you speak”. It is advice he will not take. He cannot see people. He can only see saps and suckers – victims and losers. His only calculation is: Are you of use to him? And Heather Heyer was of no use to him. Or at least of less use than the bigots.

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