By Bill Parry
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) is calling on President Donald Trump to resign after his comments Tuesday at Trump Tower, where the president re-directed blame for Saturday’s violent clash in Charlottesville, Va.
Trump laid blame on what he termed “the alt-left,” as well as white supremacists and neo-Nazis, for the violence that left 32-year-old Heather Heyer dead and 19 others injured after a car allegedly driven by James Fields, 20, slammed into a group of counter protesters.
“In saying that there were two sides that shared blame for the violence in Charlottesville, the President of the United States of America clearly and shamefully equated the actions of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with the actions of anti-racism protesters,” Van Bramer said. “President Trump added that among a violent group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were some ‘very fine people’ who the press treated unfairly. The President of the United States of America pointed to that horrifying scene on Friday night, meant to evoke racist violence, as a quiet and peaceful march where people simply and ‘innocently’ expressed dissatisfaction that a statue they like would be taken down — even adding the group of white supremacists and neo-Nazis had a permit for their protest, whereas the counter-protesters did not.”
Van Bramer was in early opposition to the Trump administration, leading a protest march of 2,000 people across the Queensboro Bridge just weeks after the presidential election to rally outside Trump Tower, despite his office receiving homophobic death threats.
“Heather Heyer, who was one of those brave ‘permitless protesters’ who stood up to defend our values, is not alive today,” Van Bramer said. “I re-read the transcript of President Trump’s remarks to make sure I wasn’t the one losing my mind. Somewhere in here, rather everywhere in these comments, is the moral abdication of the presidency. Donald Trump should resign. And if he doesn’t, his party should join the rest of us in calling to have him impeached and removed. He is unfit in every way to serve as President of the United States. For the good of the country, and this world, he must go.”
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), the House Democratic Caucus Chairman, also blasted Trump’s comments.
“President Trump has disgraced the office of the presidency and clearly lacks a moral compass. A president who should be representing the party of Lincoln has instead chosen to stand with white nationalists, neo-Nazis and domestic terrorists. It is beyond the pale,” Crowley said. “Every American, regardless of party, should immediately condemn the president’s rhetoric. To my Republican colleagues, if you were waiting for a time to speak out and say ‘enough is enough,’ it is now. No political agenda is worth standing behind a president who normalizes the un-American behavior of Nazis and white supremacists.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@