On August 12, 2017, the nation witnessed the horrific scene after a neo-Nazi sped his car into a group of peaceful counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one person, Heather Heyer, and injuring dozens of others.
Southern Poverty Law Center Interim President Karen Baynes-Dunning issued the following statement on how President Trump has continued to fan the flames of hate since the deadly incident:
“Two years ago today, the nation awoke to the reality of a surging white nationalist movement and the murder of Heather Heyer. And since then, we’ve heard President Trump continue to pour fuel on the growing flames of hate. We’ve heard him continue to feed the grievances of white nationalists by using words that dehumanize and vilify people of color.
“The ugly truth is that Trump has embraced far-right extremists like no other president in modern history, and he has mainstreamed fringe conspiracy theories that poison our democracy and animate a dangerous terrorist movement. He is normalizing hate as a political weapon.
“This white nationalist fantasy – that liberal ‘elites’ are conspiring to ‘replace’ white people in our country with immigrants and other people of color – is the poison that is this movement, with the aid of its champion in the White House, is injecting into our democracy.
“It must be stopped."