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11th Aug 2018

Donald Trump condemns racism on anniversary of violent Charlottesville alt-right rally

Dave Hanratty

Donald Trump Charlottesville alt-right 2018

Only took him a year.

US President Donald Trump has moved to condemn “all types of racism and acts of violence” one year on from the alt-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead.

The ‘Unite the Right’ rally resulted in violent clashes between people from the left and right of the political equation, which led to one of Trump’s more heavily-criticised reactions when he failed to identify and directly censure the alt-right movement.

Hundreds of neo-Nazi sympathisers, including men armed with rifles, gathered to protest the removal of statues of Confederate leaders.

Participants wielded torches, chanted white nationalist slogans and eventually engaged in fighting with anti-fascist counter-protestors.

One woman, 32-year-old Heather Hayer, was killed and 19 people injured when a van drove into a crowd in Charlottesville on 12 August 2017.

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

For critics, the use of ‘many sides’ amounted to a both an inaccurate sweeping generalisation and something of a free pass for the alt-right.

One year later, Trump and his PR team have tried for a different approach.

Taking, as ever, to Twitter, the 45th President of the United States referred to last year’s incidents as “senseless death and division” and urged the entire nation to come together as one.

“I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence,” Trump added, before declaring, “Peace to ALL Americans!”

Another far right rally is scheduled to take place this Sunday in close proximity to the White House.

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