Did you see this profoundly sad interview with the single mother of the 20-year-old far-right man arrested for mowing down protesters in C’ville?
When pressed by The AP reporter about what Bloom was told by her son, it does appear that he had indicated it was an alt-right gathering.
“Like I said, I don’t really talk to him about his political views,” she said. “He just — so I don’t really understand what the rally was about or anything, so… I just know there was — he did mention it was ‘albright’? What is it? Al–?”
The reporter then interrupts her, saying, “Alt-right?”
Bloom responds, “Albright”
“Albright”. Good grief. The cluelessness!
This AP interview with one of the man’s former high school teachers said that his pro-Hitler radicalism was well known at the school. Was the kid’s mom really so out of touch with her fatherless son that she didn’t know he was a Nazi sympathizer? I think it’s possible, yes.
A reader — a mom — writes:
I tried to read the comments on your blog post, “The Curse of Identity Politics,” but I just couldn’t finish them. All I can hear or see is “white men are evil and have oppressed so therefore . . . burn them at the stake.” Of course, they don’t use those words, but it feels that way.
Let me say this before I continue, when I saw the photos of Friday night’s march in Charlottesville, I was shaken to the core. I showed my family, all white and middle class and educated, and we just . . . it was devastating. We all unequivocally denounced these idiots and mourned for all of us.
But next, I want to add something as a mother. I have two boys. They are white and as a school teacher, I suppose we are considered middle class or somewhere there about. I am divorced, and their dad shows up when he feels like it. We also live in rural west Texas, and frankly, that doesn’t feel so “privileged.” Nonetheless, I will grant that they have the benefits of their class, race, and sex. And yet . . . I am so afraid for them. It feels as if everyone (other than stupid alt-right morons) hates them. I mean it. That is what it feels like. I am raising them to be Christian. I have already started to teach them that this racist, neo-Nazi crap is evil. They are only 8 and 10, but it is never too early!
Today, after watching all the news commentary and my Twitter feed, I have little hope for them. It won’t be enough that we condemn the alt-Right, we will have to join the Left, and that we cannot do.
That probably sounds a little crazy and dramatic, but nonetheless seemingly necessary. I will now start to teach them, and show with my own witness as much as I can, that our lives are not our own. They must not bow to the Alt-Right nor to the Leftists. And that will mean martyrdom of some kind. I hugged them so hard tonight and the oldest asked, “Mom, why are you so sad?” How the hell am I supposed to answer that? All of these idiots with their personal agendas and “white structures” and “white privilege” bulls***, tell me: what would you say to my sons? Do you actually think any of this ends well for them? Either they capitulate to the Left, join the alt-Right, or martyr themselves to both.
How does one raise a son to be a martyr? I feel like I don’t have the training for that or even the strength. I also feel that I am no longer being over dramatic. I think we are here. It is time.
America, 2017. It is for people like this, people who get that we are not living in the normal America anymore, that I wrote The Benedict Option.
Another reader writes:
Speaking as an alt rightist who identifies with the Richard Spencer faction, let me ask this: If the left isn’t going to give up their identitarianism and they’re not because it’s rooted in the powerful twin motives of religious zeal and financial self-interest, what concrete, specific path of action do you propose for non-elite white men and boys?
I’m not trying to be a wiseguy. What do you want white men and boys to do? Vote Republican? We see where that got you and other orthodox Christians.
It’s a good question, one that relates to the agonizing dilemma the West Texas mom has. The question, to me, had the effect of putting the Benedict Option in stark relief. I think that ultimately, religion is going to be the only way to save anybody from this stuff — and not just religion, but the Christian religion, because it teaches the virtue of suffering, and not returning hate for hate. I fear that conservative Christians who aren’t digging in deep, and raising their kids with a much more serious and engaged form of Christianity than they’re now doing (and I’m absolutely not talking about more youth-group jibber-jabber), are going to lose their kids either to the identitarian left or the alt-right. The cultural pressures toward tribalism are going to be too strong.
But: I recognize that the church in the US, despite its numbers, is weak. Most, I fear, don’t even understand they world we’re in, much less have the resources (theological and otherwise) to disciple people to live in it. They had better learn now. You ask about “non-elite white men and boys”? As we know, the working class has largely left the church behind. The church’s influence over them is severely limited, to non-existent. I frankly don’t have a good answer for your question. I know that as an alt-rightist, reader, you will disagree, but from my point of view the GOP leadership has to be strong and consistent in its condemnation of the alt-right, but had also better shift its rhetoric and its policies towards condemning identity politics and policies based on them, in the name of justice and the common good. And then follow through. Otherwise, with no hope in either politics or religion, we know who is standing there ready to receive them.