In the wake of violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump was widely rebuked for not explicitly condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Critics said his uneven response emboldened racists.
In this week’s episode of Reveal, we dug deeper into how the Trump administration is shaping the nation’s deep-seated racial issues. We talked with people spread across the political spectrum, including white nationalist Richard Spencer and former intelligence official Daryl Johnson, as we investigated the resurgence of white supremacist groups.
We also wanted to hear from our listeners about how Charlottesville may have affected your thoughts about race, the way we treat history and free speech in America today. So we opened up our phone lines and asked for your personal statements on Charlottesville, in light of Trump’s comments.
We’ve received messages from people across the United States expressing a variety of viewpoints, reflecting the complexity of the national reaction to Charlottesville.
Some respondents said they support Trump’s remarks and condemned the use of violence by all sides:
Several callers criticized Trump’s response to Charlottesville and worried that his rise to power is energizing racism:
Others grappled with issues of how we commemorate history and shared their opinions about what should be done with Confederate monuments. From removing them entirely …
… to keeping the statues up as part of a collection of educational art.
A caller from Iowa said she thinks it’s crucial for Americans to show up and openly oppose hate groups at future events:
Such demonstrations already are in the works across the country, including anti-hate activists planning to protest white nationalist rallies in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend.
Here at Reveal, we are working on an episode exploring the people behind these protests and their wider implications. And we’re opening up our phone lines again to get your insights.
This time, we want to know: Are you more or less likely to attend a protest or demonstration after Charlottesville? If so, what kind of action are you most inclined to take, and why?
Call 510-851-8327 and leave us a voicemail with your thoughts. Your insights will help inform our reporting and might be featured in our episode.