Professor explains what took so long for Trump to name ‘hate groups’

AU Professor Craig Albert talks Charlottesville and the President's response.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It took three days and lots of complaints before President Trump named the hate groups involved in the Charlottesville rally that turned deadly.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” said President Donald Trump a day after the incident.

Complaints spread across the country and even showed up in his own party after Donald Trump addressed the incidents in Charlottesville. The biggest problem? He was too slow to speak and he didn’t go far enough.

NewsChannel 6 sat down with Craig Albert, Associate Professor of Political Science, to discuss what went wrong.

“Blue collar working individuals might confuse when he’s saying white nationalist or white supremacy with just being white. And so he’s not saying that because he doesn’t want to lose the white vote.”

Augusta University’s Craig Albert told us research shows naming groups, like Trump did with radical Islamic extremists such as ISIS during the campaign trail, helps fuel those groups and grow their numbers.

But Trump took that risk. And the risk of what Albert says are potential votes.

“Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. Including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.”

But Albert added that the problem with Charlottesville was the people legally protesting were set up for failure.

He said, “The police weren’t there in any high number. There wasn’t proper barricades preventing counter protesters from engaging with one another. So there were some serious tactical decisions that led to the tragedies as well.”

Augusta Alt-Right took part in the Unite the Right protest and issued this statement:


The mayor of Charlottesville, the Governor of Virginia, and the Chief of police unconstitutionally and in violation of a federal court order removed peaceful demonstrators from their permitted location. They forced us into the arms of those determined to commit violence against us, simply for our political views. The police refused to protect innocent demonstrators, and looked the other way while anarchists assaulted them with cement filled water bottles, bear spray, and bricks.


“Hateful speech is allowed in the United States even if we don’t like it. If it bothers us to our core. It’s allowed. Hate speech that targets others or incites violence or is likely to cause criminal activity is not allowed,” Albert added.

As for condemning the groups now, Albert said Trump could get some major support, even democratic support after coming forward and naming those groups. But he said he’s started a battle with white nationalists and we may see a blowback from them moving forward.

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