Sunday, August 13, 2017

- Let's Talk About Charlottesville

It's a big mess, with one person dead and a number of people seriously injured. So let's talk about what happened in Charlottesville, and then we can talk about why it happened.

The Alt-Right spans a wide spectrum. And the Unite The Right protests was organized by the people at the extreme end of it. Actual Klan members, actual National Socialists (The American Nazi Party) and the various dribs and drabs of small, comparatively extreme militia groups planned to get together for a peaceful march and rally. They had one the night before that went more or less unopposed and resulted in no serious injuries. They came, they spoke, they left. That was what they were hoping for.

These people are to the Alt-Right what the Social Justice Warriors and Anti-Fa are to the Democrat left. The most passionate, the most vocal, and arguably, the most extreme wing of the group. They are also, in my opinion, the stupidest of it's members just like BAMN and Antifa. They are fine with political violence, or at least have no intention of standing by and 'taking it' without resistance when violence is used against them. It's their belief that the establishment finds their ideas so abhorrent that they will not protect them and their constitutional right to free speech.

That part of their political beliefs turned out to be right.

When they got together Saturday for their rally in a downtown park, they found themselves surrounded on all side by their political opposite number. Anti-fa and black lives matter had gathered at all the entry points to the park, forcing the protesters to run a gauntlet of pepper spray, rocks and bottles in order to join the protest. The police separated the main body of the protest, but did nothing to protect those trying to enter or leave.

When it became clear that this wasn't enough to prevent the rally from taking place, the police attacked the right wing protesters, declared their legal and approved assembly illegal, and ordered them to disperse. So the protesters ran the gauntlet again, receiving injuries and pepper spray for their trouble, and left the park. They obviously weren't happy about it, and the leftist protesters were jubilant at their victory.

That's when the car incident happened - after the protest. The driver of the car with ohio plates drove directly into a number of counter protesters, killing one person and injuring 19 others. He was later arrested and though his name is known, at this time no one knows if he was connected directly with the rally or not, though obviously it's the way to bet.

Had this been a "Black Lives Matter" rally, or even a "F*** Donald Trump" rally, things would have gone very differently. The police would have turned their guns in the other direction and protected the assembly as they should have. But the klan and Nazi party holds deeply unpopular views, and the establishment wasn't interested in letting them speak. And when legal means failed to prevent the rally, they made the choice to hide behind the leftist mob.

I don't care for stupid people, particularly in large groups. This was, in my opinion, two large groups of stupid people with equally noxious political ideas. Your goals don't matter much to me when your method is driving a car into a crowd or throwing rocks and bottles. Stupid people are dangerous, to themselves and others. And this was the worst most stupid members of both the left and the right.

I don't agree with the Klan or the American Nazi party. I agree with them that white people are getting the institutional shaft in this country, but that's about as far as it goes for me. What they want to do about it seems like a remarkably bad idea, and I'm not interested in seeing them empowered. I'd much rather the intelligent, thoughtful, reasoned portion of the alt-right be the ones who drive the discussion forward.

Real Freedom of assembly seems like a good idea to me. Allowing white people to defend themselves and their group as much, or as little, as other fractional groups in the political process seems fair. Right now that isn't the way things are and only white people are supposed to be ashamed of themselves and have to defend themselves for their skin color. To be white and American is to be 'bad' according to popular culture, and that's obviously wrong.

And I won't go so far as to decry violence in all it's forms. Violence as self defense always has, and always will be perfectly OK to me. Did the guy driving the car believe he was protecting himself? It doesn't look like it from the video. The facts will eventually be known. But stupid people make stupid decisions and we shouldn't prevent them from suffering the consequences of those decisions. If this was what it seemed to be, they should lock the guy up, and throw away the key.

And though I don't agree with the Klan, I still firmly believe they should have been given their right to speak. That the Charlottesville Police don't share that view is the reason this all happened. When stupid people are allowed to talk, people stand around and say "Boy, that's really stupid". When stupid people, particularly in large groups, are prevented from talking, you get violence.

The Anti-fa and black lives matter groups, fear a large empowered extreme right, and they are willing to use violence in order to prevent it. They should fear it. They're right to fear it. But they aren't going to be able to prevent it by using pepper spray and homemade flamethrowers. All that does is lower the IQ of the discussion. Instead of 100,000 people of average intelligence wondering what to do about our differences, they're going to get 10,000 people of below average intelligence with their own pepper spray and rocks.

This won't be the last of the violence either unless the right, even the noxious stupid right, is assured of their constitutionally protected rights. De-platforming seems like a good idea to the left, but it's a mistake. Because when people can't talk to settle their differences they find other means. That's what happened in Charlottesville. This wasn't 'chickens coming home to roost' for the alt-right. The establishment explicitly chose violence over talk. And the stupid people in the mobs on the left and right, were happy to give it to them.


ikaika said...

Tom - very concise and accurate on the event, the ideologies and the inevitable results of two large groups of extremely stupid people being forced into a willfully blind (police sanctioned?) street brawl.
Almost on cue the Democrats and the ones most responsible for the melee, McCauliffe and the Mayor, used the bodies of the dead and injured to erect a bully-pulpit.
The entire leftist media got into the fray by condemning the NRA.... ?
Just like Benghazi, it was Dana Loesch's hateful video that encouraged Antifa and BLM to assault people. I didn't know that the NRA was responsible for the vehicular homicide, but nitwits in the press say that people like me and my wife have blood on our hands .. just because.

Bzod said...

NRO has some thoughts: