Racial politics haunt GOP in Trump era

n this photo taken Aug. 14, 2017, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee still stands in Lee park in Charlottesville, Va. AP Photo, Steve Helber.

NEW YORK (AP) — The violence in Virginia over a Confederate War monument is highlighting the Republican Party's struggles with race in the age of President Donald Trump.

The issue is adding to tensions within an already divided GOP. And the broader debates over Confederate symbols — as well as Trump's call for a massive wall along the Mexican border — expose a political reality that continues to shape the modern-day Republican Party. That includes "dog whistle" political statements that seize on many whites' fears and resonate with some of the GOP's most passionate voters.

The phenomenon is playing out in places like Virginia and Alabama, where Republican candidates in some cases have been slow to criticize white supremacists after last weekend's violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

By STEVE PEOPLES and BILL BARROW, Associated Press

The Gayly - 8/15/2017 3:16 p.m. CST