Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and one of President Trump’s most ardent evangelical supporters, continued his media tour defending Trump’s comments on the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville with an interview yesterday with Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes.
Falwell repeated what appears to be the official line given to Trump’s evangelical supporters that the president doesn’t have “a racist bone in his body,” adding that the president is being attacked by “thin-skinned Americans” when, in fact, it is “offensive for anybody to say that President Trump is a racist.”
“You know, he’s a little abrasive sometimes in the way he says things, and we have some thin-skinned Americans sometimes who ignore the substance of what he’s saying because they’re put off by his demeanor,” Falwell said. “And I think we need to grow up as a people and stop being so easily offended. It’s offensive for anybody to say that President Trump is a racist. He’s anything but.”
Falwell also implied that Trump had handled the deadly white supremacist attack in Charlottesville better than President Obama had handled Islamist terrorist incidents: “President Trump, I was so proud of him for calling out these evil terrorists by name, he called out the KKK, the Nazis, the white supremacists, something that a very recent president couldn’t make himself do when radical Islamic terrorists attacked and killed people.”
Later in the interview, Starnes asked Falwell about what Starnes called the “attack on American history and American culture” and “cultural jihad across America” in the form of removing Confederate monuments.
Falwell replied that “it’s just sort of the fashionable thing to be against right now” before offering up a somewhat confused version of American history that culminated in him claiming that Democratic opposition to Trump’s school voucher plans and other policies is the modern version of slavery and Jim Crow:
You teach the children what happened, you teach them why it was wrong for slavery to exist. You know, it was the European countries who created slavery in the western hemisphere, but America, after the American revolution, you know it was here for about 200 years, and then after the American revolution in 1776 and the revolutionary war a little later—we shouldn’t have taken as long as we did to eradicate slavery, and so we do have some, we do, as a country, we should have been faster in providing freedom to all people.
But it was the Democratic Party that opposed, that supported slavery. It was the Democratic Party that supported the Jim Crow laws, it was the Democratic Party that supported segregation. More Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act than Democrats, if I’ve got my history right.
And then all of a sudden, it seems to me, the Democrats are trying to continue to keep minorities and inner-city folks down by not supporting President Trump’s initiatives to provide school choice, to bring jobs back to the inner cities. And so it just makes you wonder if the Democrats are still up to their same old tricks, just using different methods.