Britain and Germany have strongly condemned the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left a 32-year-old woman dead and at least 25 people injured. The protests, which broke out in response to the plans to move a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a local park, attracted hundreds of white supremacists and members of neo-Nazi groups.
Donald Trump responded by criticizing violence “on many sides” without specifically condemning white supremacists and after two days of criticism, he further defended in his remarks some of the protesters by asking whether the removal of Confederate statues would prompt the erasure of monuments to slaveholders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, described the scene at the Unite the Right march as “absolutely repulsive”, with “outrageous racism, anti-Semitism and hate in its most despicable form on display.” “This is completely contrary to what the chancellor and German government work for,” Mr. Seibert said, describing the march as “repugnant”. He said Germany stood “in solidarity with those who stand peacefully against such aggressive extreme-right opinions”.
When Theresa May’s spokesman was asked about Donald Trump’s words, he commented that the words were “a matter for him”, but added that “we are very clear … We condemn racism, hatred and violence. We condemn the far right.” President Trump was also criticized by some members of the Republican Party including as Senator Lindsey Graham, President’s frequent critic, who warned that his rhetoric is “dividing Americans”. In the statement he gave to CNN he said: “Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville. Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them”.