Robert Thivierge / Flickr white pride...
Robert Thivierge / Flickr

Because the current president of the United States is an unstable and tantrum-prone child, it is important to consider what messages he is getting from the only television outlets he considers acceptable measures of his self-worth.

He needn’t worry. His only still-valued program, Fox & Friends, spent Sunday morning praising the president for not “picking a side” between white supremacists marching in Charlottesville and those opposing them.

PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): I think the president nailed it. He condemned in the strongest possible terms hatred and bigotry on all sides as opposed to immediately picking a side out the gate.

Hegseth also singled out for praise Trump’s conspicuous invocation of America First, a Trump motto cribbed from the notorious anti-Semitic movement that opposed American intervention against Nazi Germany.

And then, this line to me is so important. He said, “We are all Americans first.” And you hear the slogan, “America first,” but what does that mean if you are America first? It means you’re not a racial identity first. You’re not a class first. You’re not a gender first. You’re not a sexual orientation first. You’re not another country first. It’s not multiculturalism first. It’s America first.

And, like Trump, drew equivalence between black Americans protesting the murder of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers and Confederate and Nazi-symbol wearing white supremacists marching to preserve the dominance of their perceived “race.”

You can call that out, and then — but still also listen, say, on Black Lives Matter, to the grievances of young African-American males in urban cores who feel like they are looked at differently by police. That discussion still should be had. Just like young white men who feel like, “Hey, I’m treated differently in this country than I feel like I should have. I’ve become a second-class citizen. None of it — they tell me I have white privilege.”

So Donald Trump probably was feeling very smug and satisfied today. His base had heard his message of not picking sides and putting America First, even as America’s front pages were filled with scenes of marching Klan members, anti-Semitic signs and slogans, Nazi flags, racist banners, and blood in the streets. He refused to condemn a march of violent white supremacists sporting flags and guns and racist slogans; many of his fellow Republicans may profess to being caught aghast by the move, but the Fox News network was fulsome and effusive in its morning praise.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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