I think that the editors of the Chicago Tribune have it about right on the riot in Charlottesville and President Trump’s reaction to it:
Trump can’t be blamed for the rioting in Virginia. But the haters and stooges of white nationalism see something in the president that gives them permission to act out. Trump is no oratory giant. He’s a sloppy speaker whose nasty streak on the campaign trail acted as a dog whistle to the ugly right. Whether by design or carelessness, Trump avoided calling out the haters by name Saturday. That omission hurts.
He was right, though, to say that Saturday’s tragedy should be seen as a starting point for reflection. “We want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville, and we want to study it,” he said. “And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen.”
Whatever one may think of it the United States will be decreasingly a Western European-descended, Christian country than it has been for its history. We will either come to terms not just with that reality but with that history or we will tear ourselves apart. If you can’t love a country whose history is at times unlovely, there is no country that you can love. Living in a country whose history you can’t bear to look at and that you are unable to love doesn’t sound like a winning formula to me.