Saturday 21 April 2018

'This is wrong, this is unacceptable' - Jesse Jackson criticises Trump after Charlottesville attack

US civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson
US civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson
Victim Heather Heyer. Photo: REUTERS

American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson has criticised American President Donald Trump in the wake of the Charlottesville car attack.

Reverend Jackson told Newstalk Breakfast the American people deserved better leadership from Trump.

Mr Trump has spoken out against Saturday's violence (AP)
Mr Trump has spoken out against Saturday's violence (AP)

He also criticised Trump’s position on Barack Obama’s birth certificate, affirmative action, and access to voting.

“The good news is it is coming by the month. Congressmen, senators and leaders around the world are saying this is wrong, this is unacceptable,” he said.

Rev Jackson said there should have been more security at the protests in Charlottesville where a car ploughed into a crowd protesting against a white supremacist rally in Virginia on Saturday.

The impact hurled people into the air, and Heather Heyer (32) was killed as she crossed the street.

A white supremacist militia member armed an assault rifle in Charlottesville. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A white supremacist militia member armed an assault rifle in Charlottesville. Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
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Victim Heather Heyer. Photo: REUTERS

“There should have been more security on the front side. We should have had the army out there, literally,” he said.

He added that the masked neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan protesters were heavily armed.

“It was a paramilitary exercise. They are anti-American as a union. They are, in fact, confederates.

“The confederate ideology and the neo-nazi and the white supremacist. That’s who they are. They are proud of it, not ashamed of it,” Rev Jackson said.

He said it has become more acceptable for people to express racist views under the Trump presidency.

“It is more acceptable. The Klansmen thanked him yesterday for his support of them,” he said.

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