Of all of the adjectives I could apply to the violence at the Unite the Right rally in Virginia, “unimaginable” would be quite low on the list.  No, I’m sorry to say that it was pretty imaginable.  Predictable even, considering how these Antifa/BLM and White Nationalist/Alt-Right/Whatever fools both keep escalating their mutual hatred with relish at every new opportunity.

A few months ago, there were some on the Left who were amused to see Richard Spencer get punched.  After that, it was somehow considered to be a noble on righteous thing to “punch a Nazi”.  This attitude was circulated even by a lot of usually-respectable people who should have known better.  Noam Chomsky tried to warn the Left about the folly of holding this attitude, but it fell on deaf ears.  Then came the Berkeley riot and now this.

The more extreme elements of the Left, struggling with the idea that they are losing politically, have embraced violence as an acceptable form of “resistance”.  In the White Nationalist, they’ve found a happy enemy.  Nazis are and always have been thugs.  If street violence is what Antifa and its ilk wants, they’ll find plenty of it and more people will die in the course of whatever it is they think they’re trying to accomplish.

No, I’m not blaming the victims in Charlottesville.  Heather Heyer was just crossing the street at the wrong time, by all accounts.  I also don’t believe that all of the people who were injured were participating in violent acts (although some definitely were).  Again, I don’t think what Heather Heyer’s murderer did was justified, but I will never stop reminding everyone that violence begets violence.

This is why I consistently condemn the violent rhetoric coming from both sides.  Every time some brutal act occurs whether it is a protester getting assaulted at a Trump rally, an attendee at a Trump rally getting assaulted, a Republican Congressman getting shot, or protesters getting run down it should be taken by the American public as a warning.  It’s a chance for us to reassess the path that we’re on and agree that the extremists on both sides must be condemned and abandoned.  Even now, I’m saying that it’s not too late and we can resolve our differences peacefully.  We’re a long, long way from another civil war, contrary to what some believe.

Of course, the violence isn’t going to stop anytime soon.  I don’t know when–or even if–sanity will reassert itself.  Both sides will point to Charlottesville as proof of the other side’s fundamental wickedness and use it to justify ever greater violent acts.

The Right sees the Left’s calls for violence not only as a challenge, but also a dream come true.  They feel embattled and threatened as the prospect of a “white genocide” circulates among their favorite message boards.  Inevitably, whenever left-wing protesters start punching “Nazis”, they end up punching perfectly normal white people who aren’t involved in the Alt-Right nor do they agree with anything it stands for.

White Nationalists love it when this happens for the same reason ISIS likes it when there’s a backlash against Muslims in Western countries following a terrorist attack by an Islamic radical. It polarizes those communities against each other.  It forces people to take a side and spurs them to join the fight.  ISIS wants Muslims to think that living peacefully isn’t an option in infidel lands.  White Nationalists want whites to think that they can’t really live in peace with minorities and their liberal sympathizers and that they will have to protect themselves.

Witness that they’re already claiming that the killer acted in self-defense or maybe he “panicked”.  That Antifa had surrounded his car and that he was in fear of his life.  They’re not the least bit sorry that Heyer was killed.   This violence isn’t senseless when either side does it.  It has a purpose, it’s just that it doesn’t serve the interests of sane or decent people so it’s still hard for us to grasp what it all means.

The challenge is mostly on local governments to decide what they do to ensure public safety during protests.  If there’s one lesson I hope they learn from Charlottesville, it’s that all protesters should be disarmed of anything that could be used as a weapon, vehicle traffic should be contained, and outbreaks of fighting should prompt an immediate forceful response by police.  This was preventable, I say.  As preventable as it was predictable.

I hate to say it, but the wingnuts on both sides cannot be trusted to restrain themselves.  I think they’ll do far worse before all is said and done, if allowed to.  Local and state governments are going to have to use violence where appropriate to keep them from killing each other and normal people in our streets.  Violence isn’t speech and deserves no constitutional protection nor should it ever have approval from the public.

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Judge Dredd, Pro Se

I feel pretty passionately that this act should be condemned on its own terms, without the tit-for-tat “well they did it too” rhetoric that seems to have permeated through almost ALL conservative media regarding this story. This group is something the trump campaign openly courted, pandered to, and called to arms with his campaign rhetoric and Breitbart’s dedication to “white plight” sensationalism. I don’t get angry at the hypocrisy of the conservatives pearl clutching over the incident. That’s almost a passé reaction to what has happened here. No one gets off the hook for this in my mind. Conservatives, republicans,… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

I haven’t defended or drawn any kind of relative defense for antifa’s role in the weekend’s violence. Whether it was lapse security, lack of permit enforcement or whatever there is absolutely no defense for this act of terrorism. I don’t think these white nationalists right to peacefully assemble should be infringed upon. I don’t think there is any benefit to commit acts of violence should they peacefully protest. There’s no justification for anyone on the left that did. What is at issue here is specifically what this man did,, killing someone else. There shouldn’t be anyone trying to muddy the… Read more »

CMNZ

Ballsy? That’s your response? Disgusting. But this was the guy sufficient people voted for. They’re getting exactly what was advertised.

CMNZ

So long as the right enables and embraces Nazis (including by voting for and supporting Trump) then others have a duty to stand up against it. You don’t appease Nazis. Fuck Nazis and fuck those who equate them with those protesting against them. And fuck those who can’t differentiate Nazis (“whites are the master race”) with BLM (“stop killing black people”). Disgusting.

CMNZ

Wow, the ultimate slippery-slope cop-out. You’re making that the people protesting racist White Nationalists with full offensive and defensive gear are just going around causing trouble randomly, in a vaccum.

It doesn’t get any easier than disavowing Nazis. It’s a gimme.

CMNZ

I find it disgusting that you’re hiding beyond such obvious bullshit. I don’t think you even know what “moral authority” means.

CMNZ

But this is ALL a natural and inevitable result of Trump being elected. So everyone who voted for him also owns this and shares responsibility in it. Even though responsibility will continue to be abdicated in favour of “many sides”, which Trump has now doubled down on at his latest surreal press conference. The Handmaids Tale and other such fiction is fast becoming reality and yet people like you are lapping it up.

CMNZ

Well said Judge Dredd, bang on.

the terroristic violence of Antifa was exactly what led to this happening

Pathetic and disgusting.

CMNZ

Sorry but I’m in no way opposed to free speech and the right to non-violently assemble, and nothing I’ve said suggested otherwise. So you take shove that straw man where the sun doesn’t shine. Nazis also suppressed unpopular opinions and used violence to suppress them. Read a fucking book. I’ve read plenty of them, thanks. If the political Left thinks it will win the arguments of the day with intimidation and violence, then all I can tell you is that you’re on the losing side. If you think that’s the argument I’m making, you’re mistaken. Really. Tell me more about… Read more »

CMNZ

It’s also very telling that you completely fail to acknowledge that the counter-protesters would not have been there were it not for the neo-Nazi rally. It takes something special to turn what happened into how you’re portraying it.

Political violence is bad, on both sides. There I said it. Bigger topic. Thrill, don’t you think it’s fucked that 36 years after Indiana Jones fought them, and 72 years after my grandfather fought them, that Nazism is such a large movement in the US? That there’s a large swathe of people who want to ethnic cleanse the US. This weekend they clashed with a group that didn’t want the US to be ethnic cleansed, and it got violent. But wasn’t it weird that the President didn’t immediately disavow the Nazis? Even after they killed an American? Reckon we should… Read more »

Let me get this straight. According to you, the entire political right bears culpability for the actions of one racist person killing an innocent, yet there is no culpability whatsoever for the left in the violence of Antifa, BLM, and allies? And fuck those who can’t differentiate Nazis with BLM Near as I can tell, you’re the one not able to properly differentiate, aside from a very black-and-white view. Clearly there is a correct side when you’re talking about the general aims of the sides–white nationalism vs. anti-racism. But there is definitely guilt and culpability from both sides in causing… Read more »

The Handmaid’s Tale?

Get. A. Grip.

Is it really a large movement? I don’t think so. In looking at the initial photos coming out, you see things like this one, which make the white nationalist movement seem more intimidating. But then I saw this image, a zoomed out view of the torchbearers surrounding Jefferson’s statue. I count maybe 2-300 there. If it was a local group, that would be one thing, but these people came from all over the country to attend this rally, and a few hundred is the most they could muster. This is not a “large movement” nor a “large swathe” of people.… Read more »

Zurvan

So everyone who voted for him also owns this and shares responsibility in it.

Bullshit. Then everyone who voted for Obama owns and shares responsibility for drone bombings of innocent people. Not to mention the astronomical rise in cost of my health insurance – who do I send the bill to?

Zurvan

“Nazi” does not equal “white nationalist right-wing idiot” no matter how many swastika flags they have. Remember that Hitler’s rise to power was largely due to a socialist platform.

Zurvan

It’s amazing to watch the liberal media try to pin this entire situation on Trump. I watched an interview on CNN with some of the left-wing protesters, where the commentator basically asked one cursory question about how they are feeling after the tragedy, then the second question was something along the lines of, “Seeing as Trump encourages this type of behavior in racists, how does that make you feel?” It was absolutely asinine. They’ve abandoned all semblance of an impartial view, and now look for any excuse to blame Trump for anything and everything. The story isn’t about domestic terrorism,… Read more »

Zurvan

he’s made it clear that he prefers to take his time and craft his message before saying anything in a knee-jerk reaction like his predecessor did.

Unless he’s got a quippy tweet to send out.

Zurvan

Then he asked if we were supposed to start pulling statues of George Washington since he owned slaves. I’m telling you: THAT resonated with mainstream Americans, not just conservatives. The reason is that many of us believe that the far Left will eventually do it.

THIS

Zurvan

For the most part I would agree with that. But considering how his administration has had to respond multiple times as a result of his tweets…I don’t think he thinks all of them through as much as you might think. They just consistently fit the narrative he wants portrayed, so even if they have to backtrack on his tweets, they are able to obfuscate, or put the blame elsewhere.

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

After reading through this shit show all I’d really like to add is that the president has reaffirmed what a weak and powerless waif he is by cucking himself over the admonishment of the neo-nazi terrorist attack. He isn’t “wise” for holding off his responses, he was fighting his advisers and improved the “violence on all sides” statement right on the microphone. Then he cucked himself again by reversing his first statement only to then reverse it again because he wasn’t finished cycling himself. Here was an instance where all he had to do was denounce the act singularly, and… Read more »

Zurvan

the most ineffective leader of the 21st century

Not a very high bar you’re setting there when all you’ve got is Obama and Bush to go by.

CMNZ

The fact that we have a guy on this thread who can’t even acknowledge that politically-motivated terroristic violence is wrong because he’s afraid that he’ll end up agreeing with Trump on something is stunning.

Of course politically-motivated violence is wrong. That should go without saying, FFS. I’ve spoken out many times on this, just not here because this place is new and I’ve had a hard time letting go of the the last place. But, yes, I know you have to pretend I support it as part of your bullshit racist-enabling narrative.

CMNZ

I’m still not seeing the denunciation of fascist tactics that the Alt Left is using though. I gladly give you that redundant denunciation. I’m still not seeing the denunciation of the emboldenment, enablement, and promotion of racist fucks form you though. Just measly-mouthed justifications for Trump’s woeful leadership. You’re basing a lot of this on a evidence-free narrative of “but they started it” (while at the same time trying to claim you didn’t say that). You’re effectively become a Trump mouth-piece, even taking on his exact language, while at the same time trying really hard to pretend you’re not. Trump… Read more »

CMNZ

🙂

CMNZ

Ok, I’l try again in a different way, as requested. I hold that your position gives racism the space and ability to grow and prosper. That most people who harbour racist tendencies actively fight against them, or simply don’t let them be known, because of the social pressure against discriminatory behaviour, which is never anything to be taken for granted (given the history of racism, not just in the US), and is always led from the top. I hold that when it comes to discrimination, groups need to be called out for what they are, and there just be no… Read more »

CMNZ

And that your equivocating position (and Trumps win, with the inevitable rise in the promotion of discrimination) weakens that social pressure and produces a society that is more discriminatory and biased across the board. I think you are concentrating on the detailed narrative that suits your wider narrative, while ignoring a much more important wider narrative.

CMNZ

Trump is so unique and morally odious that I’m on the same side as people like Krauthammer, which was previously unthinkable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08zSks8ynkA

CMNZ

There is no ‘reply’ button under your response, so not sure where to put this…. Look, this is what Trump has had to say on the matter: Unfortunately this is just not credible as it’s clearly Trump reading remarks prepared by his aides off the screen. Contrast his entire body language with when he’s talking like he means it. He’s not someone who has had to bother with moderating the way he delivers, that’s (apparently) a ‘feature’, not a ‘bug’. And also because it’s inconsistent (contrary even) with the way Trump dealt with race (and to some extent violence) through… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

Hey, you finally get it. No it’s not a high bar to hurdle and this monumentally morally bankrupt dipshit can crawl over it.

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