Trump Has Eliminated Any Middle Ground: You're Either With Him, or Against Racism

Trump Has Eliminated Any Middle Ground: You’re Either With Him, or Against Racism

Are You With Racist White Nationalists, Or Against Them? Trump Declared Which Side He’s On

Tuesday Afternoon, Donald J. Trump shoved an orange toe into the sand, dragging it from left to right as accurately and as lengthy as his body would physically allow. He then crossed his arms with a huff, puckered his lips as he’s so often wont to do, and stared blankly at the rest of the country.

Now he waits for America to make a decision. Well, perhaps not all of America. Poll after poll shows where most Americans stand already. The majority of us are on the opposite side of Trump’s line — many of us are flipping him off while we stand here — so there’s really only one group of Americans who need to decide where they’re going to stand: Trump’s die-hard loyalist supporters, who after Tuesday’s press conference might be struggling with a serious moral dilemma.

Related: Trump Calls White Supremacists ‘Fine People’, Says ‘Alt-Left’ Shares Blame for Charlottesville

As of today, anyone who crosses that line to stand by Trump’s side is unequivocally and undeniably linked with the white nationalists Trump chose to defend during Tuesday’s press conference. You are in their corner. You agree with their ideals and find solace in their rhetoric. You are now a white nationalist. That’s how you will be identified to the rest of us. Your red baseball cap is now as telling an indicator of your views on race as sporting a swastika armband and goosestepping alongside those Trump chose to defend on Tuesday.

I know that for many of you, this is an impossible situation. You agree with Trump’s policies and his vision for America. I of course disagree with you as strongly as I possibly can, as does a sizable majority of the American populace, but hey, you’re entitled to your opinions. But let me be as clear as day here: if you support Donald Trump after that press conference, if you cross that line in the sand and choose of your own free will to stand by his side, you are officially siding with white nationalists, Nazis, and the KKK. You are siding with terrorists.

Trump Thinks There Are “Very Fine People” Within The Ranks Of Domestic Terrorists

Trump’s press conference on Tuesday made it extraordinarily clear that he believes both sides — racists on one side and people protesting racism on the other — are to blame for the domestic terror attack that happened on Saturday. He believes both parties somehow inspired a white supremacist to plow a car into pedestrians, killing one young woman and injuring several others.

Related: SEMPER FI: Trump Just Got Drilled in ‘Core Values’ By The Commandant of the Marines

Were violent acts carried out that day by both sides? Yes. No one is denying that. But can we easily and without an ounce of doubt name which side killed an American and attempted to kill countless others? If that question doesn’t answer itself, you lack the intellectual capacity to be reading this article right now.

You can’t blame both sides for the death of Heather Heyer. You can’t blame both sides for starting the march in Charlottesville to begin with. It’s not like white supremacists sat down amicably with counter-protesters and politely scheduled these events together as a team. That didn’t happen. The events in Charlottesville are entirely the fault of the radical right-wing bigots who organized their march, spewing hatred and calling for violence every step of the way.

Counter-protesters are just that: they came to counter the protest assembled by the radical right. They came to stand against racism. Their presence was reactionary and entirely determined by a situation conceived by and created by the white supremacists who decided first to arrive.

Related: Trump is a Nazi Sympathizer, Say a Shocking Number of Americans in Damning New Poll

And the Nazi who carried out the act of domestic terror that killed Heather Heyer? He was a white supremacist. This wasn’t some “vigilante,” fighting crime in an effort to save the day, as one Fox News correspondent put it. Batman is a vigilante. The Green Arrow is a vigilante. James Alex Fields, who plowed his car into scores of pedestrians in an effort to kill people he disagreed with? He’s a monster and a murderer. And if you attempt to romanticize what he did, you’re just as much a bigoted waste of space as Fields himself.

Trump tried to claim there were “Very fine people on both sides” in his remarks Tuesday. How is the American public meant to interpret that? Trump is saying it’s “very fine” for someone to be outwardly racist and hateful, to aggressively chant “Jews will not replace us” in unison. To plot and then attend a protest where violence was encouraged by its organizers.

There’s no such thing as a “good” white supremacist. There never has been, and there never will be. You won’t find a person with full sleeves of Aryan tattoos working in a soup kitchen or volunteering to tutor children with their reading. These “very fine” white supremacists Trump took the time to defend? They do not exist.

The company you keep directly influences the sum of your character. Donald Trump told the world this week that he wants white supremacists and terrorists within his circle. If you choose to support Trump after he made that stand, then they’re within your circle as well. And there’s absolutely nothing you can tell yourself that will make that statement any less true.

Where Will You Stand?

You have a choice, Trump supporters. An ultimatum, really. You either stand with white nationalism and support Trump, or you oppose racism. There is no third option here, and no “But wait!” to amend to either choice. This is a binary variable. A yes or a no, a true or a false, a one or a zero.

I know it’s hard admitting when you’re wrong. And as I’ve stated previously, despite the fact that I strongly disagree with you on most issues, I can appreciate the fact that you support Trump’s political agenda where Charlottesville isn’t concerned. But this terribleness is your opportunity to put your country ahead of your politics. It’s your chance to stand up and tell Donald Trump that so long as he stands with white supremacists, you will not stand with him.

Related: A New Generation of Hate Rises In America – And Trump is a Symptom of the Disease

You can still believe all of those things I strongly disagree with you on, and yes, we’ll keep fiercely arguing about these issues. You can keep hoping for your border wall. You can keep fighting to repeal Obamacare. You can continue your anti-intellectualism campaigns and your war on education. No one is asking you to abandon the things that you believe in, however misguided I personally feel those beliefs may be. We’re asking you quite simply to surrender your idolization of Donald Trump and to acknowledge that he is undeniably, unquestionably wrong in siding with white supremacists. That partnering with the Devil is a deal-breaker for you.

You can refuse. That’s fine. Just know that doing so will forever scar your reputation. You will henceforth be recognized by society at large as a Nazi sympathizer. You will be marked as someone who agrees with domestic terrorists. Is Donald Trump really worth that label to you? That decision is entirely yours to make. If you continue to back Trump, well, you’re a Nazi. But if you finally agree to take a stand, then welcome to the Resistance.

Featured image courtesy of Drew Angerer/ Getty Images

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots