There has been so much I to be expressed in the wake of Charlottesville and the response afterward. I will not get to all of it here. I am going to start with something that seems to be missed in the discussion. That Friday and Saturday, the police and government officials screwed up.
The Friday night Tiki torch parade of white nationalist came and surrounded a bunch of anti-white nationalist protesters. The violence that ensued could have been prevented if the police had set up a line between them. It could have been done. As soon as one cop saw the line of citronella Nazis moving, they could have easily moved a line of cops in a position to separate the two groups like they do at most every protest/counter protest.
The same thing on the chaos on Saturday morning. When you watch the shots of the shield bearing clashes there were cops not interfering. Not keeping the peace. I’ve seen it done. I’ve been hemmed in by cops several times.
The tragic homicidal car incident there was nothing the cops could do about that. The violence that happened earlier could have been prevented by police. There was a decision made in the chain of command to not interfere.
Now onto the most important thing that not near enough people understand:
Racism exists and has always existed.
Many of you are going “Duh.” but I think it is important at this moment to say it. Charlottesville was not some isolated incident, it is the latest in a line of hate going back to the Civil War. These groups change names, adjust ideologies and tactics but have always been there. There core selling point is that if the blacks (And Jews, Native Americans, Mexicans, etc.) are given liberty they will take it from whites. I will not waste time explaining further, just know that these people exist and have always existed.
These people are not (all) militants living the woods waiting for the second civil war to start. These are lawyers and policeman, business owners and hiring managers. People who have the power to change peoples lives for the better or worse. When a white nationalist banker interviews a black couple about a home loan, it matters.
I know there are those who will argue that there are Blacks that show preferential treatment to Blacks too. If there had been an equal footing in the past that may make a valid point. My parents were alive when “Segregation Now” was shouted by a sitting Governor. Even if the law says we are all equal that doesn’t change people’s minds. Do you think those thousands that watched and cheered for that Governor’s words, when the law changed, said to themselves, “Guess everything I believe in was wrong. I’m going to teach my children tolerance.” No, that didn’t happen. We learn our values from our parents and it takes a lot to change them later in life.
Racism exists. It matters. It influences politics. It influences people’s everyday lives.
So, how should we fight Fascism/White Nationalists?
This is where I have struggled. Where is that line of response that goes too far? When is it appropriate to punch a Nazi? I do not have all the answers to that.
What I can support is the identifying of Nazis. One thing that has given hate groups power is the ability to act anonymously. The internet allows one to shout hate without repercussions. Just as the KKK hood empowered people to hide in the crowd of a lynching.
I also am glad people at the rally are losing jobs. If they have the power to hire people or influence people’s lives, that have the power to oppress non-whites. Companies who tolerate that of their employees have bigger issues.
I do not condone death threats to people or threatening one’s family. Even before Charlottesville, there has been too much of that going on on the Internet. I think death threats, even over the internet, should be prosecuted as crimes.
I have gone this long without mention the President. That was intentional. The only thing I will quickly address is there being good people on both sides.
If you show up to a rally and there are Nazi flags and people shouting “Jews will not replace us.” and don’t leave? You are showing support for Nazi ideals. for the slaughtering of Jews. For the oppression of other races.
And to those who are giving excuses like “Both sides” or think this is about a statue. Take a long look at who you are sympathizing with. Are you a Nazi sympathizer? A White Supremacist apologist?
Is our president a racist?