- - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Emotions are high following the violent protests in Charlottesville. An innocent life was lost when an individual affiliated with the neo-Nazi movement killed Heather Heyer.

Neo-Nazis and white supremacists are deceitfully pretending to be the voice for white America. But these fringe extremists are in reality a symbol of weakness and hatred.

There is no room in America for their beliefs. Yet they feel empowered. They misconstrued and used “Unite the Right” as their theme of the rally, yet no true conservatives share their offensive views — despite the liberal media’s efforts to attach the two. Conservatives and President Trump continue to condemn these white supremacists time and time again.

Alt-left groups like Antifa that use violent and terror tactics to silent their oppositions also feel empowered, while barely facing any criticism by liberals. These fringe anti-American groups have now become the loudest and most destructive elements in America. Yet the Charlottesville vigil following the tragedy showed the true spirit of America: seeking peace and unity as a nation.

There are times when political leaders need to press the pause button during a major crisis. This is one of those moments, when leaders need to reach out, encourage dialogue and address race relations in this country.

The crisis has been brewing for a long time in our nation’s history, and the deep wounds of race in America are not easy to heal. Even President Obama struggled to balance the discussion of race and law enforcement during the Ferguson riots and the Dallas shooting of five police officers.

President Trump made an important step this week to start the healing process when he reached out to Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer, yet the liberal media barely even mentioned the fact. Ms. Bro made an important statement on MSNBC when she said her daughter’s mission “was to make things fair and equitable for everyone. Anything [Mr. Trump] can do to further the mission, I will be behind him.”

When MSNBC host Katy Tur asked about the president’s comments blaming both sides in the Charlottesville melee, Ms. Bro agreed: “You have to have all your facts before you make the statement.”

Unlike the liberal media, Ms. Bro is giving the president the benefit of the doubt. Her tone reflects the much-needed calmness surrounding this tense situation. All political leaders and the media should take note.

It’s time to pause and calm emotions. It takes bold direction and leadership to heal a divided nation. Abraham Lincoln could have told us of the difficulty of uniting a divided country.

Some argue that removing Confederate statues in the halls of Congress would be a step toward that healing. Other Americans believe that we don’t need to remove these statues and should try to learn from our history rather that erase it.

Ed Gillespie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Virginia, explained it well: “Allowing Virginians to work through the sensitive issues surrounding these historical statues at the local level is the best way to do so without inflaming tensions and stoking resentments.”

While liberal Rev. Al Sharpton called for discontinuing federal funding for the Jefferson Memorial, D.C.’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser spoke instead about the need to listen to one another.

This emotional debate over Confederate statues and improving race relations is happening across America, but simply destroying property and making erratic decisions without having a thoughtful discussion is damaging in the long term.

Let’s take a breath.

Let’s stop yelling.

Let’s listen to Susan Bro’s message of fairness and equitable treatment for all Americans. Only then can we start to heal.

Mercedes Schlapp is a Fox News contributor, co-founder of Cove Strategies and former White House director of specialty media under President George W. Bush.



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