On the Violence in Charlottesville

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My take on what happened in Charlottesville:

Whatever you think of Unite the Right, or the demonstration against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, they had a lawful and constitutional right to stage a peaceful rally. The only reason violence “broke out” was because Antifa operate on the principle of “We don’t like you so you can’t associate, so we’ll stop you from associating by any means necessary.” This is unlawful.

To the extent to which there were Nazi cosplayers among the Unite the Right crowd is almost irrelevant. This is the United States of America, one has the right to express his or herself, no matter how terrible that expression is. Furthermore, and I reiterate – the Unite the Right crowd went through the proper channels, obtained a permit to demonstrate, working with the authorities to guarantee a safe environment. Antifa did not.

The Antifa “counter-protesters” went there with the express purpose of breaking up a legitimate, constitutionally backed assembly of individuals. That is a crime, an infringement on the rights of others. Doubly so when the means of breaking up said assembly was through violence.

Antifa responding to a rally it doesn’t like

Now, the argument leveled by Antifa is that the mere existence of Unite the Right/white nationalists/whatever is itself a violent act. Indeed, anyone who voices opinions to the right of Lenin is lumped together by Antifa as dispensers of ‘hate speech,’ and thus violent actors against whom counter-violence is acceptable, and even honorable. These are communists after all, and they don’t shy away from it, with hammer and sickle flags flying high above their congregations, and propaganda posters which highlight the influence of the intellectual progenitor of the movement, Bolshevism.

The media has framed the Charlottesville event as a “White Supremacist Protest” that “clashed” with “counter-protestors” as violence “broke out.” This description from Carlos Slim’s Blog is representative of the mainstream framing:

The city of Charlottesville was engulfed by violence on Saturday as white nationalists and counterprotesters clashed in one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South.

White nationalists had long planned a demonstration over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. But the rally quickly exploded into racial taunting, shoving and outright brawling, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and the National Guard to join the police in clearing the area.

The terms chosen and their implementation were clearly done so as to justify what were unlawful actions of Antifa as somehow moral. Starting with White Nationalist Rally backdrop, establishing that something ‘bad’ was taking place, the media’s description of Antifa as benign-sounding ‘counter-protesters’ attempts to absolve it from the violence that took place. How could violence have broken out, the implication begins, when it was just counter-protesters taking a stand? The answer, of course is that the ‘bad thing,’ the ‘white nationalists,’ the reason there was an event at all, is the problem and the source of the violence.

Which, as I’ve discussed before, is wrong. Unite the Right were legally permitted to be there. By most accounts, they were occupying their designated demonstration area, Lee Park, until the authorities decided to break them up and to force them into an area heavily populated by the Antifa Outrage Mob. This periscope from Richard Spencer details some of this.

Once UTR and Antifa were in close proximity, the police stood down. Note, the police were not proactive in controlling Antifa. Thus the violence escalated, and culminated in the death of three people.

(Tweet: Robert Barnes@Barnes_Law ACLU confirms that police were given stand-down order. This invited the violence the city used to shut down a court-permitted protest.)

(Tweet: ACLU of Virginia @ACLUVA Clash between protesters and counter protesters. Police says “We’ll not intervene until given command to do so.” )

From this perspective, President Trump’s comments, while deliberately ambiguous, did not constitute a disavowal of Unite the Right, but the Antifa outrge mob. If Antifa had not been present, there likely would have been no violence, and certainly not on the level we saw over the last 48 hours. The proof of this is that Richard Spencer held an identical rally in the same park 3 months ago, torches and all. It was broken up after one fight broke out.

The difference between then and now is that back then Antifa were not there in numbers. This time around, the rally was known well in advance which gave Antifa enough time to organize and bring numbers from across the region. Thus, instead of one altercation there were many, and instead of the police actively breaking things up, they probably stoked it by both refusing to separate and control Antifa but pushing the conflicting groups closer together before standing down.

Back to Trump, his use of squishy language like ‘at the end of the day we’re all Americans’ when applied to Charlottesville actually becomes a legitimization of UTR, because the violence was initiated with the intent to stop them. Condemning the violence is to say that the recipients of that violence had a legitimate reason to do what they were doing, which in fact they did.

Trump’s comment about the violence ‘from all sides’ alone should have been a clue that he understood the true dynamic at play. Yes, he was technically equating the “White Nationalists” and Antifa but in the context of The Acceptable Narrative, Trump stuck his neck out. For reference, this is what an ‘acceptable’ response from our leaders is supposed to look like:

(Tweet: Jeb Bush  @JebBush The white supremacists and their bigotry do not represent our great country. All Americans should condemn this vile hatred. #Charlottesville)

 

The irony is that Jeb Bush, and other GOP figures who vomited similar terrible responses, are considered by Antifa to be the very white supremacists, bigots and purveyors of hate they were virtue-signalling against, simply because their political views lean to the right of Lenin. It is people like Jeb Bush who did not lift a finger as the right sustained loss after cultural loss over the last 5 decades or so. They would sooner lose while clad in a bowtie, sipping scotch in The Metropolitan Club, than win in a Nazi armband, where winning is defined as the restoration of heritage America’s brand of Western Civilization.

This is not to say that the way to win is to become a Nazi cosplayer. You cannot on one hand seek to restore America while on the other espousing 1930s German National Socialism and expect to be effective in the long run. But I remind the reader that they are fighting against those who equate ‘heritage America’s brand of Western Civilization’ as equivalent to Nazism. There is no reasoning with them, no rational debate to be had at this stage.

In his statement, Trump continued on to focus on law and order, which also was a subtle condemnation of antifa. Again, the only ones who were lawfully permitted to rally were UTR. Restoring law and order then means targeting the lawbreakers, antifa.

“No citizen should fear for their safety and security in our society,” the President said. UTR were such threatened citizens, strictly speaking. “And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.” Out of the two groups, which can be described to be going outside to play and have a good time?

By far, the two most responsible factions for the violence at Charlottesville are the media and the police. The media for its efforts in normalizing political violence, as long as it flows from left to right. They did not condemn the Berkley riots with any fervor. They had torrents of outrage for unassuming dissidents like James Damore, but when a leftist shooter sprayed countless rounds at a ball field full of Congressional Republicans, the most common refrain was how those congressmen brought it upon themselves owing to heightened negative rhetoric.

In the midst of the drama, Jake Tapper of CNN tweeted out the following image of a Captain America comic book:

Tapper (and by proxy the legion of like-minded media drones) could not be clearer about his endorsement of political violence. It is justified in his mind because UTR (really, anyone on the right) plays the role of Nazi’s and thus deserve to be punched in the face. It echoes the Punch Nazis in the Face meme which began when Spencer himself was sucker punched during President Trump’s Inaugural weekend in Washington DC. Tapper’s use of a vestige of Heritage America in support for the anti-America Antifa is particularly insidious piece of subversion. Truly diabolical.

Does Tapper, or anyone else in the media, think the assaulted aren’t going to punch back, particularly when they were legally and constitutionally in the right?

I doubt Tapper and other media types are that stupid. As for the police, and the Charlottesville government; they too have messed up big league and have allowed people to die unnecessarily. Why did the police fail to maintain order by not breaking up Antifa in the first place, by herding UTR into the Antifa mob, and standing down? Another interesting tidbit is the actions of the ACLU, a notoriously left-wing organization, that stood up for UTR in this instance.

The ACLU defended UTR’s right to protest, helping the group to secure the permit to demonstrate. The most cynical interpretation is that they did so with the knowledge that things would kick off, given the organized efforts of Antifa. And combined with the actions of the police, you have a situation in which the Powers that Be seemed to have said “first amendment? Yeah have your free speech, but let’s see how you do with a violent mob in your face.”

As long as this is going to be the reaction from those who would enforce the law, on all levels, there will be more casualties. Because the Alt-Right isn’t going anywhere, and as more and more moderates wake up and understand that the mere fact that they don’t worship Lenin marks them for the purge (again, see Damore), they will reluctantly join the ranks of the alt-right, at least in spirit. And as those numbers swell, leftists (who see the mere existence of right-leaning thought as violence) will in turn up their violence, implicitly backed by the media.

In this regard, it makes Trump’s efforts in combating the media that much more important. Steve Bannon is correct – the media is the enemy of the American people. For years it has acted like some sort of boxing promoter representing the boxer that is the Postmodenist view of the world. It has stoked tensions through biased, sensationalist, and misleading reporting.

In this case the media has implicitly stood with those who wish to deny citizens a constitutional right. And three people are dead as a result. It is an absolute tragedy that this young woman was killed. As much as the ideology behind Antifa is misguided and plain wrong, no-one deserves to die for having such views.

Just as no-one deserves to be attacked for their viewpoints, as UTR were. And therein lies the original sin – the violence perpetrated by Antifa. From there, it spiraled to a point to where a woman had her life taken by a young man who ruined his in the process. Thankfully there are some, in particular the young, more internet savvy who properly understand these dynamics, when free from mainstream media nonsense.

Going forward ‘our side,’ whether Alt-West or Alt-Right or Alt-whatever, is going to have to build political power from the ground up, which has been going on already. Trump’s election was a positive leap. The bad optics of Nazi cosplayers and the Charlottesville violence are at worst a minor step back. The underlying truth of Antifa violently silencing unpopular speech is about as un-American as it gets, which will only galvanize those who are truly interested in pro-America.