News anchors and pundits have repeated lies about Donald Trump and race so often that some of these narratives seem true, even to Americans who embrace the fruits of the president’s policies. The most pernicious and pervasive of these lies is the “Charlottesville Hoax,” the fake-news fabrication that he described the neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017 as “fine people.”
Just last week I exposed this falsehood, yet again, when CNN contributor Keith Boykin falsely stated, “When violent people were marching with tiki torches in Charlottesville, the president said they were ‘very fine people.’” When I objected and detailed that Trump’s “fine people on both sides” observation clearly related to those on both sides of the Confederate monument debate, and specifically excluded the violent supremacists, anchor Erin Burnett interjected, “He [Trump] didn’t say it was on the monument debate at all. No, they didn’t even try to use that defense. It’s a good one, but no one’s even tried to use it, so you just used it now.” Real Clear Politics
I’ve been publicly debunking the “fine people” hoax since 2017. The press created the hoax by consistently and intentionally omitting the second half of President Trump’s comments about Charlottesville. If you only see or hear the first half of what the president said, it looks exactly like the president is calling neo-Nazis “fine people.” But in the second part of Trump’s comments, he clarified, “You had people in that group who were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of the park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”
In other words, the president believed there were non-racists in attendance who support keeping historical monuments. To remove all doubt, the President continued with “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay?”
Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if the President’s assumption about the attendees was accurate or not. He clearly stated his assumption that some people were there for the monument protest, which he contrasted to the racists who were there to march and chant racist stuff. The New York Times interviewed a member of the non-marchers who said they did not stand with the racists. They cared about guns and free speech. See for yourself, here and more background on that group here.
Last week I chatted at length with one of the Charlottesville protest attendees. He hates racism, loves free speech, and wasn’t “marching with” anyone. He reports that there was chaos from the start, with lots of people all over the venue doing lots of different things. And there was no way to know what all of the people in normal street clothes were thinking by attending. He was there because he figured it would be a diverse group, from Antifa to neo-Nazis, with plenty of normal non-racists in between. Bolstering his argument is his Jewish heritage. He didn’t think he was attending a neo-Nazi event. He learned that from the press.The “Fine People” hoax funnel