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16 Aug 2017

May versus Trump over racism

Is Donald Trump ever coming to the UK? The honour that Theresa May did to him when she invited him so soon for a state visit is to no avail until now and, as it looks like, Donald Trump will break the record this time.

Trump, who was elected US President in November 2016, said in the past months to the British prime minister Theresa May that he doesn’t want to visit the UK capital, unless he is certain that there are not going to be demonstrations against his face and the US. According to a report by The Guardian, Theresa May was surprised when she listened to this request, but officially Downing Street denied the existence of any such conversation.

President Trump’s visit to the UK, sometime in 2018, appears to have got less possible after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his reaction to the death of a civil rights protestor, named Heather Heyes, when a car rammed over a group of people that were demonstrating against alt-right groups that came to protect the statue of general Robert Lee from coming down. At first, Trump said that violence comes from many sides, failing to condemn actions by the white supremacists who clashed with peaceful protestors. Media footage showed members of the KKK, armed with batons and shields, attack as a police unit would, tens of peaceful protestors that came to shout against neo-Nazism and beliefs of hatred.

When Democrats and Republican senators attacked Donald Trump for his comments on the Charlottesville incident, it took him almost two days to make a statement, in which he called the driver responsible for Heyes’ death a disgrace for the nation, and added that there is no place for this kind of ideas in the US. The pressure didn’t stop there as various famous TV shows kept attacking on Trump, taking advantage of a former KKK leader’s comment, who said that they were the ones that elected Trump as a president and they just fulfill his promises.

Trump lost his patience today when a press conference in New York turned into a verbal “boxing” game between him and the media reporters. Trump said that he got late with his condemning statement because he wanted to know the facts of the case. President Trump said that he didn’t know that David Duke, the ex-leader of the KKK, was in Virginia. He continued his comments trying to protect his advisor Steve Bannon saying that he is a good guy and not a racist and reiterated that, in his opinion, media is exaggerating with their accusations against him.

Trump kept on trying to defend the alt-right groups and their actions in Virginia, telling the reporters that there are fine people in those groups and that not everyone is a white supremacist. He didn’t neglect to attack the “alt-left” groups, as he calls them, for being armed and causing problems with their actions in Charlottesville. Ending his rant, Trump said that George Washington was also a slave owner and asked if his statues should be taken down also.

Theresa May said in Portsmouth that neo-Nazis, who participated in the events in Charlottesville, should have been condemned. May added that there is not a moral equivalence between racists and those who protest against them. Many politicians in the UK expressed the opinion that president Trump is taking advice from his far-right advisors and urged May to cancel his visit to London as it is almost certain that there will be riots.