The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Trump can’t decry racism and white supremacy if he is their chief promoter

Video games did not invent hateful ideologies. The rush to blame them for mass shootings is a pathetic evasion of the truth, argues Alyssa Rosenberg. (Video: The Washington Post)

Most of the words coming out of the mouth of President Trump in reaction to “this American carnage” over the weekend were the right things to say. The slaughter of 29 people in two cities over 13 hours demanded such a response. Calling out hatred, racism and white supremacy were a must. Unfortunately for the nation, the president’s credibility on this is less than zero. You can’t be mourner in chief or healer in chief when you’ve spent your entire political career stoking the hate and championing the white supremacy you now decry.

As George Conway, outspoken husband of Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway, predicted on Twitter on Sunday, Trump will undercut the tone and substance of what he said to the nation Monday morning with some tweet, some comment that reflects his cold, dark heart. This is the same president who stood back for 13 seconds while his supporters chanted “Send her back!” about a member of Congress last month. The same president who made a joke when someone yelled “Shoot them!” as he railed against immigrants during a rally in May in Florida. And those are just two of countless examples.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” said Trump from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. He’s so right. And that can’t happen as long as the president of the United States is their chief promoter.

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