National spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) Niger Innis said it is “absurd” to blame President Donald Trump for the actions of extremists who marched on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Innis, the son of the late civil rights pioneer Roy Innis and the executive director of TeaPartyFwd.com, said during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the violent confrontations at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left one woman dead and 20 other people injured was fueled by both “the extreme Left” and “the extreme Right.” Pointing to the liberal critics and pundits who sought to pin the blame for the racial hatred evidenced in Charlottesville on Trump’s shoulders, Innis said that such individuals are “guessing wrong.”
“I think that’s absurd. I think that actually it reminds me of the story of the boy who cried wolf. And now what happens when the wolf really comes?” Ennis said. “And I think for them to compare the president to that kind of extreme nonsense is nothing but pure partisan politics.”
“There are some folk within the Democratic Party — and tragically within the Republican Party — that are just never, ever — ‘I don’t care how much this economy booms, I don’t care if we disarm North Korea, I don’t care what this president does’ — it will never be enough to please them,” he said. “They are forever Never-Never-Trumpers. And that’s the reality.”
Noting that the hard-left and hard-right groups largely came from outside Charlottesville to participate in the protest and counterprotest “and cause mischief,” Innis said that both groups “are trying to divide our country and turn us into 1920s Berlin, where you had hard communists and hard fascists fighting in the streets of Berlin. And we know what that led to. That is not the United States of America.”
The CORE national spokesman also pointed to the state and local leadership who mishandled the Charlottesville protest and failed to contain the chaos and bloodshed adequately enough.
“And so, these hard-left … groups and hard-right groups, to be fair, want to cause mischief within our streets. And these public officials have got to pull up their big-boy pants and do the right thing and protect the citizenry,” Innis said. “Because most of the people of Charlottesville, both black and white, do not want that chaos and mischief.”
Trump ran on a platform of restoring “law and order” to the country, he noted, and this message resonated with a large swath of the electorate. But when politicians and the media pin the blame for extremist violence on the president, Innis said that they “are guessing wrong.”
“I think a lot of these folks are hoping that these types of incidents are a reflection on the president and just their dominant narrative that, ‘Oh, it’s Trump’s, you know, speeches that cause people to act crazy in the streets.’ And it’s just not true,” Innis said.
“If folks can get a good job at good wages and feel that they have a way to provide for their families and for their future, a lot of these extreme-left groups or extreme-right groups are not going to be able to get the kind of traction that, unfortunately, they had in Charlottesville,” he added.
In Trump’s initial statement Saturday responding to the Charlottesville violence, he condemned all hate groups without specifically mentioning the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists, or neo-Nazis. This drew widespread criticism and appeared to prompt the president to issue a second statement Monday in which he called out those groups by name.
“I think the president’s statements — both of them — you know, I liked the fact that in his second statement that he actually pointed out the Klan, that he actually pointed out the neo-Nazis as, frankly, as small as those groups are. But it was important to make that moral statement,” Innis said.
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)