By Dia Gill | Web Managing Editor
Earlier this month a Unite the Right rally in Virginia spiraled into violent protests, the death of one woman, and injuries in over thirty people. The rally occurred on August 12, in the college town of Charlottesville. Hundreds flocked to the site of the rally bearing Ku Klux Klan and Nazi symbols in the form of flags and clothing. They were met with opposition from counter-protesters.
The groups became violent and one man from the Unite the Right rally drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman. In total over 30 people from both sides were injured.
Politicians and officials from around the country offered their remarks on the situation, but it was President Donald Trump’s that came under fire.
“You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now,” the president said.
Media critics declared his comments inappropriate and that they failed to condemn white supremacists. Two Avon High School students agreed.
“When I saw Mr. Trump’s response to the attack, I was shocked,” said sophomore Sophia Trinkle. “I find it hilarious that Trump can place blame on ‘both sides’ because only one side had Nazis, KKK members, murderers, and hateful supremacists. Nazi chants and symbols are unamerican. Confederate flags are unamerican. It is incredible to believe that people protesting the continuance of hate are being lumped together with people who do Hitler salutes and proudly hold up the confederate flag.”
Junior Victoria Wendt shared similar opinions as Trinkle.
“Whether there was violence already occurring in the protest or not, the neo-Nazis and their ill intent should have at least been mentioned when Trump was assigning blame, considering the white supremacists drove a car into the crowd,” Wendt said.
Vice President Mike Pence came to the president’s defense and accused the media of focusing on Trump’s initial statement rather than those who caused the violence. Two days after constant criticism for his remarks, Trump released another statement that finally condemned the actions of the Unite the Right rally members.
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer’s comments were better received than the president’s by the media and America.
“We will get through this stronger than we were yesterday,” said the mayor.