As was reported by the BBC this week, President Donald Trump retweeted a series of unverified videos posted by a far-right British nationalist group. Trump’s tweets are unfitting of any American, let alone an American president, on all counts.
This latest tweeting incident follows reports in recent months, as news sources from around the world reported white supremacists carrying burning torches and chanting Nazi-era slogans like “blood and soil” in streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s feeble condemnation of these supremacists rings hollow against the spirit of those Americans who stormed French shores against Hitler’s legions.
Trump’s de facto support for those who disparage American values is only further emphasized by those Pontius Pilates within his cabinet who wash their hands, giving him continued free reign of the Twitterstopia of which he holds court.
White House chief of staff John Kelly’s defense of Robert E. Lee, leader of rebel Confederate forces, is one glaring example. Regarding Lee’s fight to preserve Confederate ideals, Mr. Kelly called Lee an honorable man, apparently forgetting Lee’s efforts perpetuating the enslavement of other human beings.
Perhaps Mr. Kelly and President Trump might have a similar sentiment towards German field marshal Erwin Rommel as well. Celebrated as “chivalrous” for his reputation of fighting a “clean war”, Field Marshal Rommel is also been said to have played a key role in Hitler’s attempt to export the Nazi Holocaust to the Middle East.
Indeed, the Trump White House appears to have no such opposition to Nazis in our streets nor to far right nationalist groups of any origin having also just opposed a U.N. resolution condemning Nazism in recent weeks.
How do we face the world as Americans in this Trump America? How do we explain to generations to come that Confederate and Nazi flags were flying in the streets of Virginia as if their two defeated forces were deserving of commemoration in the year 2017?
In recent months, news sources from around the world reported that white supremacists carrying burning torches and chanting Nazi-era slogans like “blood and soil” were marching on the streets of Charlottesville. But they who marched through our streets with their symbols of hatred did so only because the freedom secured by dead Americans of all ethnicities allowed them to do so. Indeed, both Lee and Rommel would have both very much opposed such diversity within the ranks of the forces they led into battle.
“Blood and soil,” they were chanting. The blood of fallen Americans buried in American soil. The blood of the white, black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and a multitude of other ethnicities of men and women that fought for that soil and are buried under it in every war this country has ever engaged in. To denigrate these American patriots is unfitting and unseemly. Even more so, it is unfitting of an American president to fail to mount an aggressive and sounding opposition to any who would ever disrespect their sacrifice.
Whose is this land? Whose is this America? Go to Arlington National Cemetery. Go to Normandy American Cemetery, Mr. President. Walk through these microcosms of America.
Walk past the 400,000 Americans buried in Arlington. Walk past the 9,387 Americans buried in Normandy. Walk past those Americans from every race, religion and walk of life. Explain to them the Confederate and Nazi flags that were flying in our American streets. Explain to them what occurred in the America they fought and died for.
Shame on those within this cabinet like Kelly who know the cost of war most of all. And shame on us. Shame on all of us here today because of the sacrifice of those fallen Americans who served and died before us. We owe them more than this — particularly us who carry their legacy. Confederate and Nazi flags have no place in this United States. Far-right nationalist groups from any country or origin have no place in the free world. Our American president should know this, and stand against it.
Patrick Mondaca is an adjunct instructor at John Jay College in New York City. He served in Baghdad, Iraq with the 143rd Military Police Company in 2003.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.