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NHMC Slams Trump for Post-Charlottesville React

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is hammering President Donald Trump over his reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, which included clashes between white supremacist groups and those protesting that hateful and divisive speech, and the vehicular homicide by an alleged Nazi sympathizer.

Over the weekend, various activist groups called on the President to personally condemn the white supremacists and to apologize for his own divisive rhetoric, which they say has energized that movement.

NHMC President Alex Nogales was clearly on the same page.

"All the Nazis, Klan members and other white Nationalists have been emboldened by the constant hate speech coming from the mouth of the President. Yet he refuses to accept responsibility for creating an atmosphere of intolerance and racism where these groups have flourished and act out their hatred," Nogales said. "The President's response to their actions is also shameful and hypocritical. He is actually equating the actions of the counter demonstrators to the rampaging violence of the white, racist Nationalists. We need to, all of us, stand up to every racist word he utters and challenge him for emboldening the hate mongers and hate groups whose criminal acts are harming the lives and spirits of all Americans."

CNN commentator Van Jones also called out the President for what he called the "false equivalency" of the "on many sides" portion of Trump's statement that "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides."

The President did issue a statement Monday, following the major criticism of his initial comments, that put some action behind his words. It read, in part:

"The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others. To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.

"As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America.

"And as I have said many times before: No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil.  And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."

Elsewhere, Kenneth Frazier, CEO of drug company Merck, who is black, resigned from the President's manufacturing advisory council over the President's reaction to Charlottesville, a resignation which drew this Tweet from the President:

Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.