Trump voters in Kentucky stand by his Charlottesville remarks

These Trump voters back him on Charlottesville
These Trump voters back him on Charlottesville


    These Trump voters back him on Charlottesville


These Trump voters back him on Charlottesville 02:54

Story highlights

  • Residents in Paris, Kentucky, said they oppose white nationalism
  • "It scares me what this world will be like," one mother said

Paris, Kentucky (CNN)While much of the country lambasts President Donald Trump's reaction to Charlottesville, support for him in this part of Kentucky remains strong.

"There was fault on both sides," said salon owner Mike Sexton -- echoing Trump's sentiment that the so-called "alt-left" -- not just white supremacists -- were responsible for the violence last week.
"I think the white supremacists were wrong in what they were doing, but there's still a little fault on both sides."
    Trump won Bourbon County where Paris -- a town with a population of under 10,000 is located -- by an overwhelming majority last year. And while residents said they are concerned about racism in the United States, they don't think Trump is responsible for any of the divisiveness.
    "Some of my best friends I've got are black people," said Jerome Harney, the owner of Jerome's Barber Shop. "I served on the city council, and it's the black people who elected me."
    Harney, 85, is an institution in this town. He owns a barber shop in town, where he started working with his father 64 years ago after returning from serving in the Korean War. Since then, he's worn a tie to work every day -- his father told him barbers need to be the best-dressed men in town.
    Although Harney is a registered Democrat, he hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter.

    Poverty breeding 'a lot of trouble'

    And like the dozens of other residents CNN spoke with, Harney supports Trump but denounces white nationalism. "Those white people who put swastikas on their arms marching, the 'Ku Kluckers,' are making the white man look bad," Harney said.
    He said poverty is breeding "a lot of trouble."
    "If they put people back to work, that alone will solve a lot of problems," Harney said.
    Kimberly Howard has a different concern. She's worried about the level of white supremacy in the country and the possibility of a race war.
    "The racist stuff that's happening, it can turn into a war between the black and the white," Howard said. "It's scary, considering I have five children that are young and a granddaughter. And it scares me what this world will be like."
    Like other residents, Howard said she agreed with Trump that both sides were at fault in Charlottesville. "We need to stop being so shallow minded ... we need to treat people equally," she said.
    "I feel like now, if I were to go to my employee and say I was discriminated against, I don't think I would be treated fairly ... I feel like I'm more discriminated against than the black(s)."

    'We all need to come together'

    Eddie Platt, another Trump supporter, said he thinks the President needs to take a firmer stance against white supremacists.
    "He needs to say this is not going to be tolerated in the US," Platt said.
    "He can sit there and take a hard line, 'fire and fury' and power like we've never seen before against North Korea when North Korea's rhetoric was the same thing," Platt said. "But here, he doesn't take a strong stance against the violence that's going on here in our streets."
    While Sexton agrees with Trump that both sides were to blame in Charlottesville, he said everyone needs to get along.
    "This is a melting pot. This is the USA," he said. "We all need to come together."