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Hate-filled spite over Virginia will worsen matters
The Charlottesville incidents in Virginia show that racism in the United States is alive and kicking well. And the worst part is that the country’s top chief executive refused to condemn white supremacists who conducted a violent rally in the city over the weekend.

Trump has disbanded two key business advisory councils after CEOs quit them over his response to the protests.

Violent clashes broke out between white nationalists, who descended on the town to rally against the city’s plans to remove a statue of the Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee, and others who arrived to protest the racist act.

Hundreds threw punches, hurled water bottles and unleashed chemical sprays on each other.

Then the unthinkable happened: a car ploughed into the rally on Saturday afternoon, spiralling the tension. One woman was killed and scores were hurt.

Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and flayed President Donald Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign last year.

The statue’s removal is part of a broader city effort to change the way Charlottesville’s history of race is told in public spaces.

Three days after the clashes, President Donald Trump condemned members of the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “repugnant.” He vowed that his administration would crack down on those who perpetrate “racist violence.” But Trump has blatantly avoided directly condemning them.

Trump seems to be unusually cagey when it comes to handling racial tension.

Indeed, it was striking that one of the few signs of support for Trump after his comments on Saturday came from the white supremacist website Daily Stormer.

Trump denies that he’s racist. However, going by past actions, his racist bias is all too evident.

Early in his career as a developer, Trump fought charges of prejudice against blacks seeking to rent apartments at his family-owned complexes. He then floated the ridiculous suggestion that the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, was not born in the United States. As a candidate, he proposed temporarily banning Muslims from the United States. He retweeted a post from accounts that appeared to have ties to white nationalist groups.

Trump apparently sees a political advantage in courting the support of the far right.

Signer said on Sunday that Trump made a choice during his campaign to “go right to the gutter, to play on our worst prejudices.”

The head of the country should be above any kind of racial bias. But Trump is an entirely different kettle of fish. Pride and prejudice are his trump cards.

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