The deadly clashes incited by US white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump’s initial reluctance to condemn it underscores that the country urgently needs a mass movement to eliminate racism, an African American journalist in Detroit says.
Trump “refused to come out and specifically name a racist and fascist as a cause of this incident in Charlottesville,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.
“Of course, yesterday he was forced to come out and make a statement, but people question how genuine his statement actually was,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.
Far-right officials like White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are embedded in the Trump administration, making it impossible for Trump to disavow the loyalty of white nationalists, Azikiwe said.
“Therefore, what’s needed in this country is a mass movement of the progressive forces against racism, against neo-fascism to bring about the type of changes that are really needed in this country so racism and fascism can be totally eliminated from the United States,” he noted.
Thousands of people across the US took part in protests against Trump and hate groups on Monday following the bloody demonstration over the weekend in Charlottesville.
The white supremacists and neo-Nazis participating at the "Unite the Right" event were protesting against the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces, specifically the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville.
Officials in states and cities across the United States said they would step up efforts to pull Confederate monuments from public spaces, despite the violence in Charlottesville.
Supporters of Confederate memorials argue they represent an important part of US history, while opponents view them as symbols of hate and racism as well as an affront to African-Americans.
The Confederate States of America was an unrecognized confederation of secessionist US states whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, which in turn largely relied upon the labor of black slaves.