The hysteria unfolding regarding events in Charlottesville reminds me of the anti-Russia madness that has made front page news ever since Hillary Clinton discovered that she had lost the presidential election to Vladimir Putin. The media train is again rushing headlong into a terra incognita with its only goal being to bring down President Donald Trump by riding a wave of anti-right wing extremist revulsion. The establishment press is essentially enforcing its own code of ethics, insisting that just because what the mainstream characterizes as morally repugnant “Nazi-scum” and white nationalists exist they are ultimately fully responsible for any violence that is required to defeat them and disrupt their activities. For the ubiquitous talking heads like Wolf Blitzer and Rachel Maddow to believe otherwise is to posit moral equivalency between the good guys and bad guys, something that cannot be tolerated.
As far as I can determine, almost no one knows much about the specific agendas of the various parties that were involved in last week’s fracas in Charlottesville. My own viewpoint extends only as far as a strong belief that the deconstruction of this nation through the elimination of select historical monuments is wrong, particularly when said monuments commemorate people who fought and died for their country. As I am a Vietnam-era army veteran I would concede that my judgment in that regard is somewhat skewed.
That aside, there are several other issues that should be of general interest that have been largely obscured by the violence that erupted and the media interpretation of the event to fit in with its own preferred narrative.
First and foremost is the free speech issue which is being conveniently ignored by a media and political class intent on punishing the white nationalist protesters no matter what rights have to be trampled along the way. As far as I can determine, the primary objective of the Unite-the-Right gathering was to protest against removing a statue, so one has to at least assume that some demonstrators were there in good faith based on that issue. And surely many of the counter-demonstrators were there to protest peacefully against some of the admittedly extremist groups marching under the Unite umbrella.
If President Donald Trump chooses to describe those individuals as good people, that is up to him to make that assessment based on what he was witnessing and hearing, but that is not what is really important. As far as I am concerned it matters not a whit whether some of the Unite marchers call themselves neo-Nazis or alt-Right because they had a permit to march and had a perfect right to gather, speak out and demonstrate. No one has a right to attack someone else or silence them because you disapprove of them. That is what the First Amendment is all about, the protection of every individual’s right to speak his or her own mind, particularly important if one is expressing unpopular or unorthodox views. It matters not at all if the speaker is a Communist, Fascist, a Green or a Libertarian, he or she has the same right. If that speaking-out morphs into threats of violence or degenerates into actual violence there are laws to deal with that, so free speech is not and should not be construed as a license to run amok.
Likewise, the so-called Antifa protesters had a right to demonstrate and deliver their message, though it is somewhat troubling that they appear not to have had a permit to gather and the police allowed them to effectively take control of the streets. One might also note that it is the political left, so called progressives, that have been in the forefront of using violence, particularly on college campuses, to shut down debate on issues they object to. They have successfully denied access to speakers who are routinely vilified as “racists” or “Nazi-scum,” including Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro, and have “shut down” pro-Donald Trump rallies. They push their agenda while simultaneously ignoring the racism and domestic terror agenda of groups that they approve of like Black Lives Matter. This counter-demonstration in Charlottesville might easily be seen as the latest manifestation of that particular form of left-wing self-righteous bigotry, to shut down by violence a group that hard core leftists are not willing to tolerate.
It is important to bear in mind that there is great danger in selectively endorsing politically correct Free Speech. If either the left or right is successful and we lose our First Amendment rights through “hate speech” legislation or other forms of state censorship such as have been introduced in Europe it is safe to say that we will have lost our republic.
A second major issue is the role of local, state and federal government in what both did and did not happen. I have looked at a lot of footage of the rioting and have also spoken to several people who were there as observers. I wanted to know just how big the alleged Nazi and Klan contingents were, – 100, 500, a 1,000? – which would seem to me to be essential to understanding what took place. When I sought to discover more about the size of the groups that demonstrated and counter-demonstrated I learned that there was nothing definitive in the media on the issue.
I had been told by one of the witnesses that the so-called white nationalists were greatly outnumbered and had not initiated the violence, which would certainly alter the narrative, so I picked up the phone and eventually got through to the Charlottesville police department only to be told that there had been no public declaration of the numbers involved or sequence of events but someone would call me back. No one has returned the call and I find it very odd that those in authority have not even bothered to describe the event and how it developed from an official point of view, if only for “lessons learned” to correct the procedures in place that led to the violence.
There was in fact a considerable police presence in the area, even accounting for bathroom breaks and donut runs, but it was invisible where it needed to be, i.e. keeping the two groups separated, which it had apparently agreed to do after meeting with the organizers of Unite-the-Right. Both right-wing and left-wing participants in the protests have described how the police closed the park with the Lee statue before standing around and only “looking on” when the fighting started. It is difficult to describe this failure to separate the groups and clear the streets as an oversight, so it must have been deliberate.
Charlottesville has a liberal Democratic mayor named Mike Signer who quickly climbed on the bandwagon to condemn the Unite-the-Right protesters before, during and after the events of Friday night and Saturday. He appeared on national television in an interview with Jake Tapper on the morning after the Saturday riot to lay the blame for the unrest on Donald Trump. One wonders what orders the Charlottesville police had received, not to mention the numerous state troopers present who were under the control of Governor Terry McAuliffe, another liberal Democratic stalwart. Who attacked whom? Why did no one intervene until the fighting was well under way? Was the official indifference just dumb or deliberate?
And finally, there is the possible role of the federal government in what developed. One media source has identified some of the allegedly radical groups that came together to demonstrate on both sides. Among the so-called supremacist groups one finds the Alt Knights, Klu Klux Klan, Identity Evropa, Traditionalist Youth Network, League of the South and the so-called “3% Risen.”
On the left, there was Antifa and Redneck Revolt. Interestingly, though the media has made much of the fact that some of the right-wing activists were armed, it has chosen to overlook the fact the some of the left, most particularly Redneck Revolt, also brought their guns along while many more counter-protesters were prepared for action, carrying baseball bats and wearing helmets and balaclavas to hide their faces. In any event, neither side resorted to the use of firearms.
In reviewing the list of the various groups involved in the protests, I was reminded of the old quip that the American Communist Party only survived financially speaking in the post Second World War environment because it had been heavily infiltrated by dues paying members planted by the FBI. Placing one’s informants in the middle of a radical group is a time-honored practice that has exploded in the U.S. since 9/11. Hardly any arrests in so-called terrorism cases are made without an FBI informant being somewhere on the scene. Of course, the informant is not supposed to encourage or participate in any illegal action, but lacking a fly on the wall when something goes down who is to know? FBI officers get promoted on the basis of arrests made and both domestic and international terrorism constitute high priority targets. I would assume that there FBI informants among the Klu Kluxers, the neo-Nazis and also within Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute. On the left, I would bet there were some inside sources working the Redneck Revolt and Antifa.
The likelihood that there were paid FBI informants on both sides of the conflict leads me to believe that the federal government knows exactly what took place on August 12th in Charlottesville, but perhaps no one has either the guts or requisite integrity to be honest about it as it might be embarrassing all around. What if it turns out that the politically more acceptable counter-demonstrators deliberately provoked the violence and were allowed to get away with it?
Even as I write this the tsunami “orgy of self-righteousness,” as George Neumayr describes it, connected to Charlottesville continues to grow. Steven Sailer has asked how long it will be before an alleged neo-Nazi is publicly lynched with the media blaming the victim for his own demise? And with all those apparent storm troopers marching around, it hasn’t taken long for Jewish groups to raise the specter of a tide of anti-Semitism in America all due to Trump, which inevitably means that the accommodating media and pandering politicians will get their talons into this story for a long time to come on that basis alone. Al Sharpton meanwhile wants to defund the Jefferson Memorial and there are moves afoot to remove all the statues of former slaveholders from the Capitol building. Can James Madison, James Monroe and even George Washington himself be next? Will Washington the city be renamed Tubman? Stay tuned.