Community rallies against violence in Charlottesville

BY Michael Aron, Chief Political Correspondent |

More fallout from the firestorm unleashed by President Trump in the wake of Charlottesville is in full action. His conflicting responses to the violence instigated by white supremacists has political and business leaders turning away from him.  Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron took the pulse of New Jersey’s congressional delegation in Freehold at the offices of New Jersey Republican representative Chris Smith.

Mary Alice, there is a demonstration going on here in New Jersey Citizen Action and the liberal group has organized it. Similar ones are going on outside of the offices of Republican Tom MacArthur and Republican Leonard Lance.  A firestorm, as you mentioned, is certainly what has been going on ever since the President spoke his mind Tuesday on the violence in Charlottesville. Earlier Wednesday, Democratic congressman Frank Pallone held his event in Long Branch with faith leaders. Pallone said that he’s concerned what’s happened in Charlottesville and it’s just the beginning.

“And, I say that because some of you had noticed that in the media some of the groups – the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis, the KKK that were involved, were already starting to talk about doing events this weekend around the country. And they have been energized for some reason by what happened in Charlottesville. So, I think it’s important that we speak out today and continue to speak out against racism, against the hate, against the violence that many of these groups preach,” said Pallone.

“Hate is a learned behavior. It is not something children are born with, it is something that is learned. And, just as it is easy to learn how to hate, it is just as easy for us to learn how to love,” said Rev. Lesly Deveraux.

The words that Trump uttered Tuesday, which riled up the nation, blamed both sides in Charlottesville for the violence.

“What about the alt-left that came charging as you say the the alt-right. Do they have any assemblance of guilt? Let me ask you this, what about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs. Do they have any problem? I think they do,” said Pallone.  “So, why can’t he say these are the guys, these are the people who need to be condemned? Well, why does he have to say both sides are equally at fault? Those sides are not equally at fault. The white supremacists, the neo-Nazis, the KKK, these are the ones who don’t share our values.”

Trump operative Steve Rodgers of Nutley said he does not think Trump heard himself politically by what the president said.

“He was very, very articulate in expressing his condemnation for David Duke, for white nationalists, for white supremacy, but he also made it a point and I think it was well taken, by the majority of people in this country.  The media wouldn’t make it appear that way that there is a lot of blame to go around with regards to the problems we are facing now between opposing forces and race. So, what he was saying was, ‘look we got to calm down, we have settle down and understand that there are two sides to every story,” said Rodgers.

Rodgers went on to say that any white supremacist involved in violence, including David Duke, should go to jail.  He says Trump agrees with that. Meanwhile, New Jersey congressmen and senators issued statements and tweets from both sides. Democrat Albio Sires talked about the lack of leadership. Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen said there’s no comparison between those on the side of bigotry and hate and those who man the barriers to protest them. Republican Tom MacArthur said he doesn’t believe good people participate in white power rallies.