Donald Trump is the reason for the monumental divide in Richmond, & America

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Written by Brandon Jarvis

I love white people, I am white.  I know a LOT of white people that are awoken to the issues encompassing the country.  This is merely a testament to how Donald Trump embraced a demographic within a demographic while simultaneously becoming President. 


The monuments in Richmond have always been a topic of disagreement, but until 2017, the argument has remained mostly complacent.  Heather Heyer was murdered on August 11th, by a white supremacist in Charlottesville.  The entire reason that the KKK, Nazi’s, and counter-protestors were in Charlottesville? Well it began by wanting to protest the removal of a confederate monument, or so they claimed. 

Donald Trump has empowered the white nationalist movement by feeding them inspiration and a rhetoric that makes them feel like they are being oppressed.  The president is supposed to be a figure that helps the country come together and move forward, instead Trump thrives on the competition of putting down citizens.  Like his tweet on New Years Eve,   “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”  This behavior is not the norm of a person that truly wants to “Make America Great Again”.

The divide that is currently existing among Americans began long before Donald Trump took office.  When black children were being gunned down in the street, protestors took to the streets to demand justice.  This scared white people, in fact it terrified them.  The days of the status-quo of not being an open racist, while not condemning racism, were coming to an end.  White people were confused; should they allow their moral compass to be true and condemn these racists? Or, I know this is outlandish, but should they act like nothing is wrong and fully trust the justice system that never makes a mistake.  The fact that white people had to make this decision upset them to the deepest depths.  Why should white people have to address these problems? It is not 1960 anymore, black people can vote, they can sit anywhere they want on the bus, and by golly they can even be president!  This is where it gets tough… they have to decide between defending the man that shot a kid walking home from the convenience store, or condemning him for his actions.

Now enters Donald Trump, the man that plays to the emotions of the privileged white folk. Donald Trump may not even understand his effect, but he made white people feel a little safer in a world where they are already safe.  He made white people feel feel like they may not have to address the social-injustices happening in this country.  He made it so white people can continue to look forward and be ignorant to what is happening to black children every single day. He helped them believe that he can prevent the country from browning, and this clearly played well to his base.

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”  – Donald Trump

August might go down as the month that was the true turning point of the Trump presidency in history books. When the neo-nazis were descending upon Charlottesville, they must’ve thought that the world would agree that the statues were worth it all.  By no means, did they believe that their actions on that tragic Saturday, would be the immediate reason for statues to be removed across the country.  Protestors in Durham removed a Confederate statue, a controversial and racist Supreme Court Justice’s statue was removed in Maryland, and Richmond’s Mayor Levar Stoney has changed his position; and asked for his commission to look into removing confederate monuments in the city.  Then in an unexpected move, Google and GoDaddy removed the biggest neo-nazi website ,the Daily Stormer from their servers.  The neo-nazi’s have even united lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in their disapproval of racism, and Trump’s comments.

The country has seemed more united at this time than I have seen in recent years. It is all in spite of Donald J. Trump and the neo-nazi’s.  It took the president almost 2 days to denounce the neo-nazis and their recast beliefs after the Charlottesville tragedy.  He originally put the blame on many sides, not naming any group in particular.  Then, the next day, 3 days after the death of Heather Heyer and 2 state troopers, Trump doubled down on his original comments.  White nationalists took this as a victory, and praised Trump for his comments.

Lawmakers responded quickly and decisively.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker: Trump has not shown ‘competence’ needed to lead

Richmond, Virginia will soon become the topic of a much larger discussion.  Statues will only be the superficial viewpoint of the attention.  It really goes much deeper than a monument of Robert E. Lee. It boils down to the history that is represented by those statues, and the reasons for keeping them versus the reasons for removing them.  Trump recently addressed the possible removal of statues on Twitter.

Written by Brandon Jarvis

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