Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump is speaking up against racism. In a tweet Saturday, Trump noted the “senseless death and division” that were sparked by “the riots in Charlottesville a year ago.” He went on to call the country to “come together” before moving on to “condemn all types of racism and acts of violence” and wish “peace to ALL Americans.”
The tweet was a marked departure from the way Trump responded to the Untie the Right rally last year, when Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, was killed when a white supremacist slammed his car into a group of counterprotesters. In addition, two Virginia state troopers died when their helicopter crashed near the protests. At the time, Trump argued “both sides” were to blame for the violence, which led to outcry that the president of the United States appeared to be acting as an apologist for racists.
The president went on to send a tweet about how he is proud to “have fought for and secured the LOWEST African American and Hispanic unemployment rates in history.”
While some were quick to characterize the president’s message as a stark contrast from last year, others pointed out that it still seemed the president couldn’t quite get himself to condemn the Neo Nazis who had marched in Charlottesville last year. Trump sent out the tweet ahead of Sunday’s Unite the Right rally in Washington, D.C.