WaPo asks: What if Western media covered America’s white tribalism the same way it covers other nations:
The international community is yet again sounding the alarm on ethnic violence in the United States under the new regime of President Trump. The latest flash point occurred this past weekend when the former Confederate stronghold of Charlottesville descended into chaos following rallies of white supremacist groups protesting the removal of statues celebrating leaders of the defeated Confederate states. The chaos turned deadly when Heather Heyer, a member of the white ethnic majority who attended the rally as a counterprotester, was killed when a man with neo-Nazi sympathies allegedly drove his car into a crowd.
Trump, a former reality television host, beauty pageant organizer and businessman, rose to political prominence by publicly questioning the citizenship of the United States’ first black president, Barack Obama. Since his election, Trump has targeted Muslims, refugees, Mexicans and the media. He has also advocated for police brutality. These tactics have appealed to and emboldened white ethno-nationalist groups and domestic terrorist organizations.
It’s quite true! When I’m late for work, I catch the start of the BBC’s News Hour program. And for everything besides UK and US news, they take on a noticeably anthropological tone.
So, what does an Indian news site think of this stuff? Here’s The Times Of India:
WASHINGTON: America is erupting into a flaming debate about its dark past after President Donald Trump made incendiary remarks that appeared to give a free pass to white supremacists and neo-Nazi extremists. He has equated them with counter-protesters opposing their racism and blamed them for confrontation and violence during protest rallies in Charlottesville last week, while re-opening a debate whether the country’s Founding Fathers were racist.
Notably, Trump glossed over the fact that the white extremist protesters, carrying tiki torches, chanted hateful, provocative, racially charged slogans such as the ”Jews will not replace us” and ”blood and soil,” and taunted white liberal counter-demonstrators for ”betraying your race” while insisting they will ”take back our country.”
White extremists, all descendants of European invaders and settlers who stole the country from Native Americans, have a sense of privilege and ownership of a country where they are as much immigrants as later settlers. Trump’s own family emigrated from Germany, but on Tuesday, as he has done often in the past, he implicitly appeared to support nativist forces who believe there is no place for anyone other than white people in the United States.
The Charlottesville clash and Trump’s remarks on it goes to the very heart of the country’s founding and its subsequent evolution into a plural, diverse melting pot.
The all-white rally was protesting moves to rename a Charlotteville park named after Robert Lee, a Confederate General who led the American South during the Civil War, and whose defeat eventually led to the modern American union that abolished slavery, and at least in principle, put it on the path to end racism.
Many white extremist groups idolize Confederate symbols and flags under the guise of respecting history, while many liberals see it as a throwback to a dark and ugly time when white America practiced slavery.