In the August 15th Issue of the News-Gazette, our congressional representative Rodney Davis is quoted as saying: “What happened in Charlottesville is no more President Trump’s fault than what happened to me two months ago when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot at me.”
Mr. Davis, Bernie Sanders did not extol violence the way that Trump did when he urged his supporters to beat up protesters at his election rallies. Trump offered to pay their legal fees. Nor did Sanders urge police officers to use gratuitous violence against arrestees the way Trump has. Nor has Sanders disseminated images of himself punching CNN.
Sanders has never promoted racism or anti-Semitism. Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists, said that that he would build a wall to keep them out, and claimed that he could not receive justice from a judge because the judge was Latino. Trump has tried to ban Muslims from entering the United States and falsely asserted that he saw Muslims cheering in NY when the twin towers were hit in 9/11. He has brought into the White House such Muslim-haters as Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Stephen Miller, Julie Kirchner, and Sebastian Gorka. Bannon was also head of Breitbart News, to which he has just returned, that gives voice to spewers of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and anti-Muslim views.
Trump himself was an early denier of the U.S. birth of Barack Obama, our only African American president. He also was quick to call for the reinstitution of the death penalty in New York, to be used against black youths who had been wrongly convicted of rape. His real estate firm also discriminated against black people. In his absurd claim that three million people (the number of his popular vote loss to Clinton) voted against him illegitimately and his appointment of a presidential commission to search for massive voter fraud nationally, he feeds the attempt by Republicans to disenfranchise minority voters, a way of trying to solidify white dominant power and fundamentally undermining our democratic system.
Through all of the above, and his verbal false equivalencies, similar to your own false equivalency Mr. Davis, Trump has indeed empowered racists, Nazis, fascists, and anti-Semites in our body politic. Shame on you sir!