The recent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville has once again brought our country’s racial divide to the forefront. The responses from President Trump have done more to exacerbate than heal that divide. It is a failure of leadership at the highest level.

Mr. Trump seems unable to consistently find his way to the moral high ground. Let me make it simple: Slavery and white supremacy = bad. Equality and liberty and justice for all = good. The politics of exclusion = bad. The ideals of inclusion = good.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights,”; Thomas Jefferson, “Declaration of Independence” 1776 = good. “Our new government (the C.S.A.) is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rest, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” Alexander Stephens, vice president of the Confederate States of America, “Cornerstone Speech”; Savannah, Georgia. 1861= bad.

There was no “equality” of side from a moral stand point to the groups that gathered in Charlottesville.

One side carried Nazi Swastikas and Confederate battle flags spewing their hate speech as they marched. The other group opposed their ideologies as evil and un-American. The difference could not be clearer. If white supremacy groups come to march where I live, I hope lots of people from the other side also show up and join me in saying “No – not in my town, not in my state, not in my country!”

We fought two wars in opposition to the hatred and exclusion of white supremacy. Must we fight another? Now Mr. Trump, with which side will you stand?

Roy Estabrook

North Monmouth