White House condemns violence after president criticised over muted response to march by white nationalists in Virginia
The US Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the death of a woman killed this weekend when a car smashed into anti-racism protesters. The move came as politicians from all sides rounded on Donald Trump for failing to explicitly condemn white supremacy groups or label the violence domestic terrorism.
On Saturday the president had condemned hatred and violence on “many sides” in his remarks but had not directly singled out the white supremacists whose attempt to hold a major rally in Charlottesville, Virginia resulted in the governor’s calling a state of emergency. Disorder including clashes with counterprotesters left more than 30 injured.
No previous US president of modern times would have failed to condemn his country’s white nationalists. This one did
As George W Bush’s speechwriter put it this weekend, it is one of the “difficult but primary duties” of a political leader to speak for a nation in traumatic times. A space shuttle explodes, a school student goes on a shooting spree, a terrorist flies a plane into a building, a hurricane floods a city. When such things happen, Michael Gerson wrote in the Washington Post, “It falls to the president to express something of the nation’s soul.” Yet if Donald Trump’s words about the violent white extremist mobilisation in Virginia on Saturday – which an under-pressure White House was desperately trying to clarify on Sunday – are an expression of its soul, America may be on the road to perdition.
The original United States of America was built on white supremacy. The US constitution of 1787 treated black slaves as equivalent to three-fifths of a free white and gave no rights at all to Native Americans, who were regarded as belonging to their own nations. After the civil war, Jim Crow laws enforced segregation across the defeated south and comprehensively disfranchised African Americans for nearly a century. Writing Mein Kampf in the 1920s, Adolf Hitler praised America’s institutional racism as a model from which Nazi Germany could learn. Only in the postwar period, and then slowly and incompletely, was meaningful racial equality pursued by the land of the free.
Heather Heyer, 32, a legal assistant from Virginia, was one of 20 people struck by vehicle that was driven into a crowd of counter-protesters
The woman who died when a car rammed a group of people protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was named on Sunday as Heather Heyer, a 32 year old legal assistant with a law firm in Virginia, who repeatedly championed civil rights issues on social media.
Heyer, whose Facebook cover photo read: “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention”, worked for the Virginia law firm Miller Law, and regularly drew attention to cases of police malpractice and racism, as well as posting her support for Bernie Sanders in his presidential campaign.
OK, so the 99th PGA Championship might not have turned a stone-cold classic yet. But it hasn’t been half bad either, with plenty that will live long in the memory. Brilliant 64s for Hideki Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari. Rod Pampling’s selfless Adam Sandler tribute act. Graham DeLaet’s birdie-eagle-eagle-birdie run. The emergence of 23-year-old local hero Grayson Murray. Jason Day’s decision to hook a big one round a tree trunk last night instead of taking his medicine and chipping out, the most preposterous way anyone will ever play themselves out of contention in a major, even if they keep staging these things until the rapture.
Then there’s been the steady brilliance of Kevin Kisner, another local boy, sort of, from Aiken, South Carolina, a two-hour drive over the border. A regular visitor to Quail Hollow, he’s threatening to win this tournament wire to wire, a little local knowledge going a long way. And what about the heart-warming story of Chris Stroud, a 35-year-old Texan who recently decided to give up pushing for his elusive maiden Tour victory, immediately won the Barracuda in Reno last week, and is now in the hunt for a title that’d catapult him into the Daly-Beem-Micheel category of shock PGA champions.
Pictures from earlier on day of clashes show James Fields with white supremacist group Vanguard America
The man accused of murdering a woman by deliberately driving into her during protests over a far right rally was photographed earlier in the day standing with the white supremacist, neo-Nazi group Vanguard America.
James Fields, 20, of Maumee, Ohio, allegedly killed Heather Heyer, aged 32, and injured 19 others when he rammed his car into a group peacefully protesting against a far right rally on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Approximately 12% of the US population are left-handed – but standing out in a co-operative world can help some thrive
Athletes could help us understand why most people are right-handed (and that seems worth understanding today, on International Left-Handers Day).
In the United States, despite scientific agreement that it’s partly genetic, the rate of left-handedness has fluctuated over time. According to a 2009 paper titled “the history and geography of human handedness”, American left-handedness declined before 1900, then picked up again, reaching approximately 12% – possibly because left-handedness is no longer “corrected” in schoolchildren.
- Oakland Raiders running back sits during anthem in pre-season game
- Colin Kaepernick protested against racial injustice last season
Colin Kaepernick says he will stand for the national anthem this season – if he manages to find a team – but his message lives on.
Prior to Saturday’s pre-season game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch appeared to sit out the national anthem. Kaepernick did not stand for the anthem last season as a protest at racial injustice in the US, and several other players followed his example. Lynch was not one of them – the 31-year-old had retired from the NFL and did not play last season but chose to return to his hometown Raiders earlier this year.