August 14, 2017 Last Updated 9:18 am

World newspapers react in horror to violence in Charlottesville

While local news may have still led many newspaper front pages, many papers thoughout the world reacted to the events in Virginia this weekend, with many writing editorials and columns on the violence

The world’s newspapers are reacting in horror to the sight of far-right wing groups gathering in Charlottesville this weekend, and the resulting violence and death that ensued. Many papers in Europe, and a few elsewhere led with the story of the neo-Nazi rally, and some with the photo of the car that ran into counter-demonstrators.

world newspapers

Of course, there were also many papers that continued to feature more local news on their front pages, either because of policy or because editors judged that the local stories more important. For instance, in Spain, the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid led most papers, and in Ireland, the semi-final match before the All-Ireland Final led many papers.

Still, the growing strength of the far-right, and the president’s continued inclusion of them inside his administration, has many papers seriously concerned about the direction of the United States.

There have been those concerned that the US is becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. Reading foreign papers one finds that if some were laughing before, they are not laughing now.


The Globe and Mail, John Ibbitson:

The fascists are mobilizing in Donald Trump’s name

Almost lost in the tumult of the last few weeks – the collapse of the effort to repeal Obamacare, chaotic hirings and firings in the White House, cascading revelations over Russiagate, the escalating crisis with North Korea, and now the horror of white supremacists injuring and allegedly killing people in Charlottesville – was news that the Justice Department is going to start investigating universities for discriminating against white applicants, which is how this administration views affirmative-action programs.

Further proof, if any were needed, that Donald Trump is fomenting race-based conflict. The struggle to contain this President is not the struggle between progressives and conservatives, between the left and the right. It has become a struggle between those who wish to preserve the republic as a constitutional democracy and those who want to Make America White Again.

Toronto Star, Shree Paradkar:

Paradkar ShreeThe ‘many sides’ of injustice in Charlottesville riot

This is it, then.

We can officially drop the pretence of equality after violent protests by white supremacists, “heritage” groups, neo-Nazis, KKK members and armed white terrorists slammed that charade this weekend…

…These savage people were not protesting white lives lost to police brutality. They were not protesting disproportionate incarceration of white people, or stricter sentencing than people of other races, or being denied housing or education for the colour of their skin. They were not protesting any of that because it is not their reality.

They were not protesting. Period.

They were rioting.


The Telegraph, Bonnie Greer:

America’s new White Supremacists are part of a crisis that affects Britain too

Charlottesville is a pretty college town named after Queen Charlotte, consort of George III, and home of the University of Virginia. Just outside is Monticello, the gracious home of that most gracious of American Presidents, Thomas Jefferson. The tragic irony of Jefferson is a metaphor for the South itself. It was Jefferson who wrote the lines: “All men are created equal” while owning hundreds of human beings. Some were his own flesh and blood.

The Confederacy itself was a kind of dream: a notion of England, home of all things genteel and worthy. Enslaved women were named after characters in Shakespeare; white womanhood was put on a pedestal, an echo of the time when “knighthood was in flower”.

Libération, Guillaume Gendron:

United States: the far right with the face uncovered

Forty years after the Supreme Court authorized the US Nazi party to march in the small town of Skokie, Illinois, under the cover of freedom of assembly, the worst of the American right wing has handed it over. Less than 200 km from Washington, the federal capital, in the small town of Charlottesville, Virginia, where, in a gathering unprecedented in at least a decade, various extremist phalanxes, protected by Militia and surrounded by hundreds of anti-racist counter-demonstrators, including the local Black Lives Matter movement…

…Since that decision, the alt-right , a juvenile and uninhibited outgrowth of white supremacism that built its notoriety by campaigning on social networks for Donald Trump during the 2016 election, decided to make it his fight. In May, Richard B. Spencer, the self-proclaimed inventor of the alt-right, conducted a first nocturnal parade, torches in hand, at the foot of the monument. On July 8, fifty members of the Ku Klux Klan did the same, repulsed by the police and a thousand counter-demonstrators. Not to discourage the supremacists, determined to return in force and arms, as they showed this weekend.

The Guardian, Paul Mason:

Paul Mason

The far right has declared cultural war – we have to stop them now

Nobody, seeing the militias parading with assault rifles and Kevlar this weekend, wants the US to descend into conflict. But the low-level political violence and severe cultural dislocations of the US today contain obvious parallels with the years before the American civil war.

As the historian Allan Nevins observed, by the late 1850s white America had become “two peoples”, whose radically different cultural identities could no longer be contained in one polity.

Then, the “two peoples” were shaped by rival economic models: industry and the free market versus sharecropping and slavery. But the concepts the Confederates took into battle with them have survived: states’ rights versus the federal government; white supremacy; the concept of an ethnically defined nation with a destiny nominated by God.

Middle East:

Haaretz, Salem Pearce:

What I Discovered About White Supremacists While Protesting Alongside Rabbis in Charlottesville

“Blood and soil. Blood and soil. Blood and soil.”

They chanted the slogan in sync with the sound of their combat boots hitting the pavement. And they weren’t shouting; it was a mantra spoken robotically. I could hear it because they passed right in front of me yesterday as I stood with my fellow clergy along one side of Emancipation Park in Charlottesville: a long line of young white men dressed in khakis and polo shirts, but also helmets and mouthguards, and wielding batons and wooden shields, and holding Confederate and Nazi flags.

In place of a helmet there was the occasional telltale red hat: “Make America Great Again.”

“Blood and soil” is the English equivalent of Blut und Boden, a Nazi ideology that emphasizes an ethnic identity based on only blood descent and the territory in which an individual lives. It was absolutely chilling to hear it uttered by marchers a mere foot away.


The Australian, Editorial:

US must be united, not divided

Donald Trump has brought himself no credit with his tone deaf and evasive response to the outrageous white supremacist, neo-Nazi violence in the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia. By initially being unwilling to call it out and inappropriately seeking to blame the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” on what he termed “many sides”, he fell well short of the mark needed from a US president confronted by the spectre of resurgent Ku Klux Klan racism and an act of gross terrorism perpetrated by a neo-Nazi militant in the heart of America…

…It is no surprise white supremacist websites are exultant. One, The Daily Stormer, has noted Mr Trump “refused to answer questions about white nationalists’ support for him … no condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.” No wonder some Republicans are appalled, with the veteran Senate conservative Orrin Hatch saying: “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.” Mr Trump will be unwise to ignore such criticism.

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