US President Donald Trump today called for unity among Americans and said there was no room for prejudice, bigotry and hate, days after his controversial remarks over the racist violence in Virginia drew widespread criticism. Hundreds of white supremacists clashed with counter demonstrators as a car rammed into the crowd and a police helicopter crashed on August 12, killing three people and injuring 19 others in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate,” Trump said in his first prime time address to the nation in which he spelled out his Afghan policy and the path forward to American engagement in South Asia. “The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other,” he said. American patriots, he said, from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield for the nation and for its freedom.
“By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal, and to remain one nation under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission, and one shared sense of purpose,” Trump said. “They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed, and color to serve together — and sacrifice together — in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They’re all part of the same family; it’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag, and live according to the same law, he said in his remarks. “They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other,” he said in his remarks.
Trump had earlier said “both sides” were to blame for the clashes. His comments were met with severe backlash. He again drew flak when he said the white nationalist rally included “very fine people, on both sides”. Trump’s comments set off a political firestorm, triggering widespread rebuke from lawmakers and prompting senior business executives to quit his economic advisory councils.