This is hardly my first attempt at having a dialogue on an incendiary issue, indeed I seem to have found my way into these matters a lot over the years. My last article for Jaded Politics was one such endeavour of course and what you have before you will involve some of the same format along with more pertaining to the specific issue in general. In short:
Few things really grind my gears more than hypocrisy. And I note that here because with the most recent violent protests, I am hearing no shortage of those on the right who are in various ways making excuses for it. Furthermore, I am hearing this from the same folks who would not shut the hell up about every perceived slight they claim that Barack Obama would make in dealing with these issues. In short, we are dealing with double standards here which means we are dealing with hypocrisy. And the purpose of this posting is to address the latter in the context of the most recent protest.
I want to preface this by noting that this was hardly the first such protest of this kind in Charlottesville this year:
Several dozen torch-wielding demonstrators, led by prominent white supremacist Richard Spencer, gathered by the Lee statue on May 13 to protest the vote for its removal.
In July, Ku Klux Klan members held a rally in Charlottesville in Justice Park, where they were met with more than a thousand upset counter-protesters.
I preface this article with the above because I am unaware of any violence or murder that happened at those rallies. Can the same be said for the most recent white nationalist rally? Hardly:
This is the face of someone murdered at the Charlottesville rally. There were additional deaths as well including two policemen who died in a helicopter crash:
Virginia State Police lost the commander of its 33-year-old Aviation Unit in the helicopter crash in Albemarle County on Saturday after violent protests in Charlottesville.
Lt. H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian was the pilot of the Bell 407 helicopter that crashed near Old Farm Road and was engulfed in flames. Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, of Quinton, who previously had served on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s protection unit, died at the scene.
The helicopter was one of two state police choppers that had been circling over Charlottesville as violence broke out before the scheduled white nationalist rally and after police canceled the event as an unlawful assembly.
Here are their faces:
I do not recall any deaths in the prior white nationalist rallies. I also do not recall any deaths in the leftist asshat protests earlier this year either. So on that point alone, this is not an equivalent situation. However, you would not know it to listen to various and sundry nattering nabobs on these matters who cannot do a simple unequivocal condemnation of white nationalist violence and murder without bringing up part of their anatomy. Namely, their butts in various ways: Here are some interactions with them courtesy of social media -their words in bold font:
“If antifa hadn’t showed up..”
Those who committed the violent acts are supposed to be responsible for their own actions.
By playing the “but _________” card, you are giving them an escape hatch for their actions.
You are coddling the white nationalists by giving them an excuse to commit violence and murder.
There is NO EXCUSE for it.
Once you take that stance, you can then condemn the violence of groups like antifa as well as call out these who defend or make excuses for them the same way you have (tacitly) done for the white nationalists.
“There are ‘many sides.’ Antifa, Nazis, BLM, Black panthers, some strange-ass ‘avenger’ dudes, and all the rest.”
Antifa is not the issue here.
It is sufficient on *this issue* to condemn those who committed the violence in #Charlottesville and do not make any excuses or attempt rationalizations for it of any sort
Playing the “but ___________ said/did” card as a way of trying to make an excuse for such things is never wise.
And fortunately there are consequences in a sane universe for this sort of thing:
Far-right white nationalists who attended rallies this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, did not cover their faces as they marched around with lit torches, chanting slogans like “you will not replace us”.
But they are now facing an online backlash, as Twitter users identify and denounce them.
Calls have been made to have them kicked out of universities and sacked from their jobs.
Cole White, one of those who attended the rally has now reportedly been fired by his employer – the Top Dog hotdog restaurant chain in Berkeley, California.
The sacking came after he was identified by Yes, You’re Racist, a Twitter user who has been publicly naming and shaming those who attended the rally under the hashtag #ExposetheAltRight.
Meanwhile, Peter Cvjetanovic, a 20-year-old student who was captured in one of the most widely shared photos, has defended his right to attend the “Unite the Right” rally, which centred around opposition to the removal of a statue of Civil War General Robert E Lee.
The rally descended into violent street brawls between white supremacists and counter-protesters.
One woman was killed when a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, and US President Donald Trump has come under criticism for failing to explicitly condemn white extremist groups, including neo-Nazis.
Mr Cvjetanovic, who was also identified by Yes, You’re Racist on Twitter, told local Nevada TV station KTVN Channel 2 that he understood an image of him that spread widely “has a very negative connotation”.
He added: “But I hope that the people sharing the photo are willing to listen that I’m not the angry racist they see in that photo.
The self-described white nationalist said he attended the march to send a message that “white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture”. People like him, he said, “just want to preserve what we have”
Here is the problem in a nutshell: I could give a rip less about the monuments. I could also care less if average folks want to peacefully and vocally protest their removal. But when those folks enlist the aid of hate groups like white nationalists, then I do give a rip and a huge one. And my stance is as follows as it pertains to them specifically but also to any similar kind of issue in general:
“[I]f your response to white nationalists engaging in violence and committing murder involves *anything other than a full and unequivocal condemnation of them*, then your moral compass may need a reset!”
To paraphrase the words of Rabbi Hillel, “that’s the whole of political Torah, the rest is commentary.”