Trump’s failure to swiftly condemn racist violence is appalling. But he’s right that it’s always been part of this country’s story.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Southern slaveholders said the Bible compelled them to hold slaves—that, in fact, civilizing black people was a good Christian way of “liberating” them from savagery. “Christians across the Confederacy were convinced that they were called not only to perpetuate slavery but also to ‘perfect’ it. And they understood the Bible to provide clear moral guidelines on how
to properly practice it,” wrote Thom Bassett in The New York Times.