'I thought it was repugnant': Torontonians react to Trump's Charlottesville comments
Trump called factions of Unite the Right Rally 'very fine people'
Toronto may be nearly 1,000 km from Charlottesville, Virginia, but there's been plenty of reaction here to U.S. President Donald Trump's comments on who was to blame for the deadly violence at in that city this past weekend.
Trump drew ire from Democrats and Republicans alike when he said "many sides" were responsible for the violence that left a 32-year-old woman dead. White supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on the city in a "Unite the Right" Rally, as they protested against proposed dismantling of a Confederate general's statue.
The president went further on Tuesday; blaming the so-called "Alt-Left" for inciting violence and calling factions of the white nationalists "very fine people."
Trump's comments were on the minds of many when they spoke to CBC Toronto during a busy commute.
"I was shocked. I thought it was repugnant ... I don't think a lot of people, myself included, thought in our wildest dreams that Donald Trump would be saying that neo-Nazis and anti-Semitism is okay," said Pamela Grace, while riding the subway.
Several riders latched onto passages of Trump's answers to reporters and took issue that he seemingly equated the actions of counter-protesters to those of white supremacists.
"You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had some very fine people," Trump remarked to reporters on Tuesday.
Ali Nassim, who was visiting Toronto with his family from New Jersey, said he was appalled by how the president responded to the tragedy. He said he does not believe counter-protesters are at fault for the violence that erupted.
"That was shocking. How can you say there were two sides are to blame?" Nassim said.
"You clearly know that this is good and evil. If you can't distinguish between good and evil, you have to check your morals as a human being."
Here in Toronto, a group calling itself the Canadian Nationalist Party has stated it plans to hold a rally to "discuss the nationalist movement in Canada and future of our country" at the University of Toronto on Sept. 14. No less than three counter protests against white nationalism have been planned on the same day as a response. The U of T says it has told the Canadian Nationalist Party it does not have permission to hold the rally on campus.
Brittani Asphall said Canadians should not feel superior to the U.S when it comes to race relations.
"I think the only thing we're more superior with, is hiding it."