The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday is a national calamity. It is a product of white supremacists and home grown terrorists.
Donald Trump responded by condemning hatred “on many sides.” His refusal to call it what it is, and condemn the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK members who perpetrated this violence, is a dangerous lie that fuels more hatred and violence.
Kudos to the Republican senators who are now calling on Trump to denounce the white supremacists that incited this tragedy. More must join the call. The country needs all our leaders – Republican and Democrat – to stand united against hatred and bigotry.
But all of us – you and I and every decent person in America – must also stand up against it: Not with violence, but with a firm and visible commitment to decency, tolerance, and the rule of law.
Don’t wait for Donald Trump to condemn it. He unleashed it.
It is now up to us. We must not allow this in America.
Robert Reich is the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and co-creator of the award-winning documentary Inequality for All.