Despite what POTUS 45 would have you believe, there are not “many sides” to what happened in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend. There’s one side. That side marched on a peaceful city with the intention to cause disruption, create mayhem, incite violence and draw attention to their deplorable cause. Unfortunately it’s fair to say they succeeded.
The Unite the Right rally directly resulted in the tragic death of Heather Heyer, a civil rights activist who was protesting UTR’s conglomerate of fascists, neo-Nazis, alt-right and pro-confederate white supremacists. They were brought together by Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer among others, who were upset that Charlottesville had decided to proceed with the removal of a statue dedicated to General Robert E. Lee from a local park, a park which had also been renamed Emancipation Park as the city looked to shed ties to the failed Confederate secession and its pro-slavery platform. In their view this was the ultimate insult to white people and affirmed their incorrect belief that white men and women are now an “endangered species” in the United States.
The reality is that’s anything but the case. As POTUS 45’s reckless statement has already affirmed, white people with ties to the alt-right movement like White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are part and parcel of the current administration, and are doing their best to ensure that the white and alt-right are not only inheritors of a dominant franchise in politics, but that they must limit access to the polls which could remove them from power and keep that franchise secure for future generations. It’s clearly as crooked as a three dollar bill, but that should hardly come as any surprise considering that Trump’s unlikely ascent to power came as he lost the popular vote yet won the electoral college.
Trump’s victory came by playing to base of people in the alt-right by promising to ban Muslims, build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and “Make America Great Again.” He is the voice of Unite the Right and for all intents and purposes his “many sides” condemnation of violence in Charlottesville is exactly what they wanted. They get free reign to cause civil unrest in any city they roll up in, and when counter protestors push back, it’s the people who despise the neo-Nazis who get blamed instead of the neo-Nazis themselves. That’s why “many sides” is a load of crap that smells on first sight. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone anywhere that people wearing hoods and swastikas while carrying torches and shields with white power symbols would cause anger and violence. They’re symbols of hate that are designed to promote fear and in doing so they provoke anger among a populace who resents that fear-mongering and racism being brought to their city.
In short I can sum up my response like this: “many sides” my f–king ass. One side did this, one side is responsible, and that one side feels no shame about it because they got exactly the publicity they wanted. If they fulfill Kessler’s promise to return in even greater numbers, even greater violence will result. This is an inevitable fact and every city where Unite the Right plans to rally needs to be aware of it and prepare for it right now.