First off, one should be careful when politicising events such as what happened in Charlottesville and the tragic murder of Heather Heyer.
Many people have been doing this in addition to the fact that many are also calling her murder and the maiming of many other individuals an act of domestic terrorism, others are completely failing to condemn the attack, and some are using the event to make other types of political talking points.
Secondly, we shouldn’t have to live in a world where we have to argue against the reasons for tacitly or openly supporting fascism . . .
How many propagandistic techniques, false equivalences, and falsehoods are being propagated is hard to know. One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of this type of political rhetoric.
This is a very common occurrence after such tragedies occur.
Much of the political disagreement was largely triggered because Trump failed to denounce the Nazi, KKK, and fascist protesters that belonged to the same group as the murderer of Heather Heyer.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 13, 2017
Trump made a short statement specifically condemning far-right groups explicitly but then at a press conference reverted back to his original position that he made at the first press conference.
The White House also released a statement clarifying that Trump would think that his condemnation of the violence that took place in Charlottesville, of course, included “white supremacists, K.K.K. neo-Nazi, and all extremist groups.”
His Daughter Ivanka did, however, denounce and disavow the fascist protesters explicitly almost immediately after her father made his first statement in response to the events in Charlottesville.
1:2 There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 13, 2017
Some Republicans are claiming Antifa are just as extremist and threatening as the Nazis. And are just as much to blame for the violence at Charlottesville.
Which prominent far-right figures have denounced the Charlottesville attack?
Do you hear the same denouncement of the organiser of the Unite the Right March, Jason Kessler, or other prominent white supremacists such as David Duke, and Richard B. Spencer?
No. Because we are comparing two very very different phenomena here.
So, therefore, it’s hard to see how past events aren’t totally irrelevant to the fact that NAZIS, the KKK, and neofascists were marching around in broad daylight, many of them, and one of them ended up killing an innocent person? We’re talking about what transpired in Charlottesville, nothing else.
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) August 13, 2017
It’s more than violence in this case; it’s about the failure of people to speak out against fascism.
Furthermore, it’s certainly not about brushing all white people as fascists either. This is a gross misrepresentation that somebody that has severely lost contact with reality will believe.
How could somebody as influential within GOP circles such as Ann Coulter be pandering to such madness? This is pure irrationality and radical thinking. This is not a rational statement to make.
She retweeted this:
Take our Monday Poll –
Are you a Nazi?
— Everyday Lib Fem (@EverydayLibFem) August 14, 2017
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 15, 2017
When has media asked ANY Dem to "denounce" BLM or Al Sharpton — or, more analogously, Karl Marx or ISIS? Trump fell for this sleazy tactic. https://t.co/rhS8986y0I
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 15, 2017
This “tactic” doesn’t seem that much of an ask of Trump.
He is president of the most powerful nation on earth. Irrespective of this, when fascism occurs, the president or any other person on this earth should not, given the opportunity to denounce fascism when it is directly pertinent to do so, ignore it or make vague and ambiguous statements with regards to your position with respect to the occurrence of right-wing fascism.
This shouldn’t be something that needs to be debated. Not in 2017.
Who should be blamed for Heather Heyer’s death and why can’t Trump apportion blame for her murder where it should be and leave it at that?
If you accept that the murder in Charlottesville was a terrorist attack, would it be acceptable for Trump to call us to view the “many sides” of other terrorist attacks by non-right wing fascists?
Yes, there was violence and conflict between the protesters against the far-right wing marchers (it’s hard to see how many of them could be considered moderate at all, and if they were, why did they not leave the march instead of risking being associated with Nazis?) but it has to be clarified that the cause of death of Heather Heyer wasn’t due to her being violent in any way. The attack was unprovoked. There is only one person to blame for her death and that is the man who was behind the wheel of the car that was used as a murder weapon.
This does not make up for any left-wing violence being excusable in any way either. These occurrences are separate and the issues are separate.
Left-wing violence has to be condemned as harshly as any extremist violence is. This shouldn’t need to be debated either.
But denying that the blame should be placed on a Nazi and his rhetoric and the rhetoric of his fellow Nazis is going to cause outrage.
You can’t argue in a court that a person provoked me so I killed them, therefore, I’m innocent. Isn’t this what Trump is implicitly arguing?
Even if he subconsciously believes this, this is so out of touch with reality.
It could be the case the violence that didn’t surround the murder was just as violent but it doesn’t appear so. Therefore, you cannot put an equivalence between two types of violence that aren’t at the same degree or level.
This is where many feel that President Trump has failed the most.
This is underlined by the fact that many of the fascists, proto-fascists, and far-right supporters involved in the Unite the Right March and movement are being directly empowered by President Trump, those such as white supremacist (or nationalist, what’s the difference, really?) Richard Spencer. In response to the alleged murder committed by the far-right extremist James Alex Fields Jr. of Heather Heyer who was mercilessly and cowardly mowed down by a dodge challenger whilst amongst a large group of other victims who were lucky enough to survive with their lives in Charlottesville, has said that Trump did not condemn “white nationalists” for the murder so he has now claimed that he will be continuing to support further white nationalists rallies and marches around the country. The next one is planned to be in Texas. Of course, he would probably still continue the protests even without the endorsement of Trump but how much more or less empowered would he be? Clearly much less. He feels he has the indirect endorsement of the president of his country.
What do we mean by “alt-right”, “white nationalism”, and “fascism”?
We cannot tip toe around mislabelling white nationalists as white supremacists or fascists when people are espousing such views.
Richard Spencer is an individual who has in the past called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” and has refused to outrightly reject Hitler and the KKK.
White nationalist or white supremacist, what’s the difference here?
If this is what people call the alt-right, then the alt-right is overtly fascist and we are being steamrolled by political rhetoric which makes us question whether this is in fact true.
The alt-right doesn’t offer much new in terms of political ideology. It’s proto-fascist and nationalist. Many views of its adherents are overtly fascistic.
There are more moderate sects of this movement. Trump may even be considered to be the embodiment of the moderate arm of the alt-right by many of his supporters.
Most appeal to the alt-right categorisation as traditional political labels do not suit their beliefs.
Why not call yourself an independent, libertarian of variance x, conservative with socialist or nationalist leanings, or identify with other political ideologies, there are many to identify with.
Why are you risking being associated wholeheartedly with people such as Richard Spencer?
He is a fascist with a new hat. That is all.
Maybe you support his views or are complicitly accept what he says. Your silence in opposing people like him would indicate that this is the case.
Call the alt-right out for what it is. They have not created some type of “new” political way of thinking. Their views are still ALL located somewhere on the political spectrum—whether that’s the traditional left-right or four quadrants political compass. There is nothing alternative about them. They all lie somewhere on this compass:
We are doomed to repeat the same mistakes if we ignore history.
Heinous, radical, and poisonous political doctrines are untenable and have been shown to be untenable throughout history. There is nothing more to be said here. This is true for both left and right variants of extremism and this shouldn’t need to be reiterated. There is no controversy here. Bad ideas should be left in the waste bin of history as long as humans live in a civil society.
Heather Heyer was working as a paralegal in Charlottesville. She was a champion of civil rights issues on social media and was not a part of any violent group that espoused the hatred and vehemence of the Nazis, Ku Klux Klan or fascists
It seems that those trying to place the blame on the counter-protesters could be a distraction or denial of the fact that Trump failed to denounce and disavow the right wing violence explicitly and call it for what it is when he is so quick to condemn other wrongs he sees with no trouble at all.
The danger of this is that these right-wing groups may hear this as a dog whistle. And this is exactly what has happened. David Duke, former the head of the KKK, tweeted in response to Trump’s remarks:
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) August 15, 2017
This opens the door to fascism and this is not by a long-shot the first time many have suspect Trump of fascistic and racist sympathies. They may doubt the sincerity of Trump’s subsequent remarks about Charlottesville as they appear forced upon him due to the backlash in the “mainstream media” or “fake news” as Trump loves to point out.
Some Republicans are highly critical of Trump for not calling out racism and fascism where it exists.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
Some Republicans are not taking a stance on the issue.
Others are calling out Nazism and fascism and vehemently rejecting it. However, some are refusing to place the blame on the fascist protesters for Heather Heyer’s death.
This could be construed as complicity with their actions. Make no mistake about that. Many will interpret it this way.
Who attended the Unite the Right March?
Some Republicans supporters and Trump supporters were part of the Unite the Right March (whether they all were, it’s possible).
Most liberals condemn Trump for not saying enough. The other groups that don’t fall into this—flawed—two party dichotomy hold varied opinions.
Nazis, fascists, and the Ku Klux Klan espouse the same ideology that the alleged murderer did, he marched with them the night before Klan style, and he garnered their shield. (The right-wing fascist group who supplied the shield Vanguard America denied any connection.)
The march was organised predominately by right-wing fascists and right-wing fascists were who the march ended up mostly being for.
Alt-right attendees didn’t make up the majority of the Unite the Right group (unless you define alt-right to be fascist) and were a minor group in attendance.
Lunatic fringe extremist groups
It is hard not to see how the resurgence of Nazism in the United States isn’t one of the greatest evils the United States faces domestically.
Some are going to disagree and say it’s other forms of extremist terrorism or other forms of evil.
Globally, it’s hard to know.
How much of a fringe these extremist groups live on and how much sway do they have over the “bulk” of citizens?
It seems that these extremist groups from all areas of the political spectrum consist of individuals that are mostly mentally unstable and irrational and evil individuals. There are no two ways about that.
I think we will always have societies with lunatics that desire to pursue violent ends to achieve their political and social aims.
This is fine as long as they are kept away from positions of power. For this to occur they cannot garner much support outside of the fringes of society.
Let’s hope the idiots and clowns that espouse the type of virulent hate speech we’ve seen lately stay there.
They are not welcome in the twenty-first century . . .
For more, you may want to watch this chilling documentary about the Charlottesville far-right march by VICE:
Thanks for reading. My name is Matthew John, and am a freelance writer trying to establish myself, please share this article if you liked it. Feel free to leave a comment below.