People gather for a vigil in response to the death of a counter-demonstrator at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, outside the White House in Washington, U.S. August 13, 2017. .
(photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said that the need for leadership in the United States at this moment is crucial and that "we need to move from words to action. The threat is not over."
Greenblatt pointed out that "the hate groups are feeling emboldened and are already organizing a number of other rallies."
On Monday US President Donald Trump said that "Racism is evil." He added that, “those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
Trump was responding to fierce criticism of his first response to the Charlottesville events, in which neo-Nazis and white supremacy groups marched holding torches while shouting racist and anti-Semitic slurs, including "Sieg Heil!" and "The Jews will not replace us!"
James Alex Fields Jr. from Ohio, allegedly fascinated by Nazi ideology, drove his car into a group of anti-racist protesters killing one woman and injuring 19 other people. He was arrested by the police.
White nationalist Holocaust denier David Duke used social media to claim that the left-wing is committing a "cultural genocide against the South" that must end.
The Charlottesville events were ignited when various white supremacy groups obtained a legal permit to march in protest of the planned removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville park. The joined protest was labeled "Unite the Right." Counterprotestors showed up at the scene and clashes broke out.
Mayor of Charlottesville Michael Signer, who is Jewish, thanked Trump for his statements on his Facebook page. Signer wrote: "Donald J. Trump, thanks, at long last, for condemning hate in speech and action. Our work here is just beginning. Yours is too."