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Charges against alleged white supremacists tossed by judge

FILE - In this Aug. 12, 2017 file photo, white nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Lee Park in Charlottesville, Va. Federal charges against three alleged members of a violent white supremacist group accused of inciting violence at California political rallies were dismissed Monday, June 3, 2019, by Judge Cormac J. Carney in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, who found their actions amounted to constitutionally protected free speech. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Regarding “Trump’s Charlottesville comments taken out of context” (June 9): Letter writer Joe Nenninger asserts that our president’s “very fine people on both sides” comment had been taken out of context. In support of this assertion, Nenninger cites only President Donald Trump’s response to a reporter’s observation that “the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.” To which Trump retorted, “Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis.”

Whether or not the applicant for the permit for the rally listed his group as “neo-Nazis” on the application certainly doesn’t negate who these folks were and what their purpose was in marching that day. In fact, the applicant was Jason Kessler, who stated on a radio show prior to the event that “the number one thing is I want to de-stigmatize pro-white advocacy.”

The people who organized and attended this rally were white supremacists and anti-Semites. Had the United Daughters of the Confederacy or the Sons of Confederate Veterans organized the rally, perhaps a plausible argument could be made that the preservation of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue was the purpose of the event. But a rally organized by those in the Unite the Right movement? These are most assuredly not “very fine people.”

Jack Hilton • Frontenac