EDITORIAL: Donald Trump, America’s bigot in chief

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President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday. | Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Children, cover your ears.

Decent people, speak out.

Fellow Americans, do you share our sense of shame?

Just when we thought President Donald Trump could embarrass our nation no worse, after he declined for two full days to denounce the white supremacists who brought deadly violence to Charlottesville, Virginia — and after doing so only with pouting reluctance, reading from a script — he revealed his true self again on Tuesday, and it was ugly.

EDITORIAL

Did Trump finally go off the rails? More accurately, we would say, he ran hard down the same dark track he’s been chasing all along.

Good Americans, who understand and cherish the multicultural diversity that has always been our nation’s strength and soul, were appalled on Saturday when Trump declined to call out the alt-right fascists for the violence in Charlottesville, instead placing blame on “many sides.” As if haters and those who stand against haters are one in the same.

But on Tuesday, if we had any doubt where Trump’s true sentiments lie, he was right back at it.

He insisted again there was “blame on both sides.” He criticized “alt-left” groups, by which he apparently meant those who take the crazy view that racism must be resisted, as “very, very violent.” He offered comforting words — so thoughtful of him — to those who showed up with their Nazi flags, racist chants, fascist haircuts and Klan-like torches.

“Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” Trump said. “Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.”

Maybe not. Probably not. Many of them were just happy to stand with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. What’s so wrong with joining forces with haters to keep a statue of a man on a horse from being torn down?

Tell that to Heather Heyer. She’s the 32-year-old woman who was mowed down and killed by a car allegedly driven by one of those Nazi fanboys. Tell her how hate has its charms when you’re rallying around the memory of a Civil War general, Robert E. Lee, who fought for the right of white people to own black people.

Ms. Heyer might have taken a different view.

President Trump said there is blame on “many sides.” He said there is “blame on both sides.” His dog whistling takes your breath away.

But, above all, Trump is to blame. He’s been welcoming haters out of their holes and into the sunlight since before he even ran for office.

He was so slow to denounce David Duke, the former Klan leader.

He was so reluctant to disavow the support of Richard Spencer, the alt-right racist or neo-Nazi or white nationalist. Whatever you call these people, it’s all the same.

He was so thrilled when his supporters at rallies pounded on protesters. He shouted, “I’d like to punch him in the face.”

Trump was so eager to spread the rumor Barack Obama was not a legal American. He is determined to slam the door on desperate refugees who, God forbid, are Muslims. He so wants to build that stupid “wall.”

The haters who marched in Charlottesville carried photos of Trump.

A better president — a better man — would have cried at the sight.

This is how Donald Trump will go down in American history, as our bigot in chief.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com.

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