GALVESTON

About two dozen isle residents assembled in Galveston on Sunday night to rebuke white supremacists in the aftermath of deadly violence that broke out during a white nationalist rally in Virginia over the weekend.

The impromptu rally in Galveston in front of the Galveston Federal Building, 601 25th St., was intended “to say that hate has no place on our island,” organizer Lyssa Graham-Reynolds said.

The rally comes after a violent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville led to the death of a 32-year-old woman and injuries of several others. James Alex Fields Jr., a 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer, on Saturday rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters who had arrived to demonstrate against the white nationalist rally, law enforcement officials said.

“I don’t want to have to explain Nazis to my 4-year-old,” Graham said at the Galveston rally. “It’s wrong and it’s time to stand up against this.”

Gisela Bankston, one of Sunday’s attendees in Galveston, was born in Berlin in 1939, just before World War II, and moved to the United States in 1962. She became an American citizen in 1967 and has voted in every election since, she said.

The events of the weekend shook her deeply, she said.

“I’ve been crying all weekend,” Bankston said. “How dare they do this in this beautiful country. It’s a nightmare. It’s beyond comprehension.”

Attendees criticized President Donald Trump and his administration’s response for not condemning white supremacists or the far-right groups that sparked the violence.

Some of Trump’s closest advisers have drawn criticism for aligning themselves with alt-right groups, which attendees said push white supremacist ideologies.

“This is despicable,” David Bowers, a Galveston resident, said. “White supremacy has taken over your White House. White supremacy has taken over your party.”

Others said they hoped members of the Republican party would take notice of the events and adopt a stronger stance against far-right factions of the party.

“I hope it’s a wake-up call to Republicans that this is what their party has become,” resident Vicki Blythe said. “Trump has created an atmosphere of hate.”

In an appearance after the deadly rally, Trump stopped short of calling out white supremacists and placed blame “on many sides.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides,” Trump said on Saturday.

On Sunday, the White House issued an unsigned statement condemning hate groups, including white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo Nazi groups.

Marissa Barnett: 409-683-5257; marissa.barnett@galvnews.com

(23) comments

Tim Thompson

Lindsey Graham, a powerful Republican Senator, from South Carolina, no doubt, said this today: "White supremacists 'believe they have a friend in Donald Trump, and he urged the president to immediately condemn the hate groups that gathered Saturday at a Charlottesville rally that left one person dead and others injured.

Carlos Ponce

Lindsay Graham: ""These groups seem to believe they have a friend in Donald Trump in the White House. I don't know why they believe that, but they don't see me as a friend in the Senate, and I would urge the president to dissuade these groups that he's their friend."
Why omit the part where Senator Graham said " I don't know why they believe that"?
However, when alt-Left groups believed they had a friend in President Obama why was that okay? In the 2008 election, the GW Bush administration investigated voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers but the Obama administration dropped the investigation. Obama also invited members of "Black Lives Matter" to the White House - group known for their anti-police chants. And then there's Obama's connections to the Weather Underground's Bill Ayers. His group was responsible for bombing public buildings including police stations, the US Capitol Building, and the Pentagon. Then there's Hillary Clinton's mentor one time KKK member Senator Robert Byrd.

Tim Thompson

Oh here we go again with Obama, Hillary, Bill Ayers, Benghazi . . . you forgot to mention Vince Foster, Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Seth Rich, etc., etc., etc. When are you guys going to stop bringing all of this into the equation? Trump is the President now, not Obama, not Hillary, and he's got to take the heat when there's problems, and act presidential, those are the job requirements. Remember that little ole phrase, the buck stops here?

Gary Scoggin

Remember how folks got all incensed when Obama blamed Bush for all his problems. Now that President Trump is doing the same, these same folks are all nodding their heads in agreement. I can't believe people still fall for changing the subject like this.

Carlos Ponce

Tim:""When are you guys going to stop bringing all of this into the equation? "
We will do it to show the HYPOCRISY of the Left. With the exception of Bill Clinton who was impeached many of those mention got a free pass. Justice is supposed to be blind, not blind sided.

George Croix

I remember it....I haven't heard it for the last 8 years, but I remember it....[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

George Croix

"Why omit the part where Senator Graham said " I don't know why they believe that"?"

Mr. Ponce, for those of us who are not 'resistors', the answer to your question is obvious.....
[beam][beam]

Andy Brown

Do you seriously think Lindsay Graham doesn't know why these groups think they have a friend in Donald Trump?

Carlos Ponce

No one knows because honestly Trump does not share the values of Klan members, Nazis, white extremists, etc despite Uber-Leftist assertions that he does.

Cary Semar

This is a battle you cannot win, Carlos, but you appear to be determined to go down with the ship, flags flying, and guns blazing. I can respect that.

Andy Brown

"This represents a turning point for the people of this country. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That's what believed in. That's why we voted for Donald Trump." - David Duke

Joe Henry

The Nazis and KKK went to Virginia to chant "Make America White again".....and left Virginia with 3 fewer white people.

Carlos Ponce

So they were making a mockery of Trump's slogan.

Ryan Holliday

And by not directly calling them out for it he's consenting too their use of his brand. Trump, and Trump, alone is responsible for his 'brand'.

David Doe

The 2 officers that were killed in the helicopter weren't involved in any violence.
A bit misleading to Include them in it.

George Croix

So, is it changing the subject to look at all aspects of our history and how they tie in with current events?
Or could it be willful cherrypicking to only want to discuss what fits a personal political narrative?
Or is the color of the miscreants the most important issue to some of you...this time, I mean...???

Tim Thompson

Carlos Ponce: "We will do it to show the HYPOCRISY of the Left."

Yeah, well, both sides have taken the "Hypocritic Oath," that's politics! And thank God the USA is still a democracy and there's room for all sides of the spectrum, and we still have free speech . . . more or less! ;-)

Kelly Naschke

Trump spoke out and condemned the KKK, neo nazi's and white supremacists. Now what?

George Croix

Not enough for some folks.
Now he needs to apologize to anyone 'offended' for including all hate groups in his initial comments, rather than following established protocol of giving some a pass...or inviting them o come visit...
if he doesn't do that it will prove...prove, I say...that he's a bigot....to the bigots expecting it....

Color coding racism and criminality...can't fix that....

David Doe

Pretty much shuts up the left unless they have an Agenda.

Tim Thompson

Yes he did, today, true. But unfortunately the Far Right still feels emboldened. And I find it kind of odd that these groups, some of them, at least, seem to say "he speaks for us, take America back" yet, lol, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is Jewish!! Does anybody else see the humorous irony in that? And also some of his advisors, like Steve Mnuchin, are straight out of Wall Street?!

George Croix

Going back to the article:

“This is despicable,” David Bowers, a Galveston resident, said. “White supremacy has taken over your White House. White supremacy has taken over your party.”

Well, I'd agree that is despicable...and hysterical. I'm surprised anybody would take ownership for saying anything as unfixable as that.....

George Croix

Call 'em out for using the brand???
Terrorists want to 'fundamentally change' America.
Does that mean ex-Pres. Obama agreed with the terrorists?
No.
C'mon...the hysteria has gotten absurd. Here it is the middle of August, and 105 degree heat index, and the place is full of snowflakes....[whistling]

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