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White Racial Terrorism

I’ve been out running errands for most of today, and come back to see a horrifying glimpse of America, 2017: [1]

A planned protest in Virginia by white nationalists was abandoned on Saturday after a spate of violence prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency and law enforcement officers to clear the area.

The demonstration, which both organizers and critics had said was the largest gathering of white nationalists in recent years, turned violent almost immediately and left at least one person dead and a number of people injured. “I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here,” Mayor Mike Signer, said on social media.

In comments from Bedminster, N.J., President Trump condemned the violence and called for the swift restoration of order. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” he said.

The turmoil began with a march Friday night [2] and escalated Saturday morning as hundreds of white nationalists gathered. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets and carrying shields, they converged on a statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park and began chanting phrases like “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.”

Later, someone deliberately drove a muscle car into a group of people demonstrating against the white nationalists. One person is dead from that deliberate act of terrorism [3], one that copies what Muslim radicals in Europe have done.

Trump’s response to the racist rally has been — how to put this? — underwhelming.  [4] No, I’m sorry, it’s not “underwhelming”. It’s disgusting. And given that professional racist David Duke invoked Trump’s name favorably at Friday night’s rally, Trump has every reason in the world to condemn this rally and its attendees in no uncertain terms. But he didn’t do it.

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David French has this right:

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And:

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We need a strong, morally decisive leader at a moment like this. Instead, we have Donald Trump.

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The Catholic bishop of Richmond did not cover himself in glory either with his equivocation:

“In the last 24 hours, hatred and violence have been on display in the City of Charlottesville. I earnestly pray for peace. I invoke the prayer of St. Francis who prayed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.” I pray that those men and women on both sides can talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully. The love of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against hatred. Only the light of Christ can quench the torches of hatred and violence. Let us pray for peace.”

“Both sides talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully”? Bishop, I’m not sure how to tell you this, but we are talking about neo-Nazis!  Look, sir:

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I am entirely — entirely, emphatically — on the side of the Southern Baptist pastor Russell Moore here:

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Yes, we can and should talk about how left-wing racism and antifa violence are feeding this right-wing racism and violence. But that can come later. Today, all that needs to be said is: these white thugs who desecrated Charlottesville today are evil, and must be condemned and resisted by all decent people. And also, by the American president.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports, based on people running the license plate number of the car that plowed into the crowd, is that the driver may be a high school kid with a big anti-Trump profile on social media. If true, he plowed into a crowd of his own side. Why?

UPDATE.2: Not true!

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UPDATE.3: So, now we know who the police arrested and charged with murder: James Alex Fields, Jr. Look:

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But don’t miss this important update from the New York Times‘s reporter on the scene:

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Did somebody say Weimar?

306 Comments (Open | Close)

306 Comments To "White Racial Terrorism"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 16, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

A Wehrmacht report makes brief mention of “and Polish bandits” with respect to the Warsaw ghetto uprising. What evidence.

Antifa is the ultimate expression of white upper middle class privilege.

I think there is probably some truth to that. And Bill Ayers’s father was CEO of Con Edison, wasn’t he? When someone has spent several years in an inner city working class neighborhood, being useful to the residents on a daily basis, I will listen to what they suggest The People really need.

(But Viking, I can think of at least one Georgian Bolshevik who never faced persecution in the Soviet Union…)

I’m trying to put myself in Bad Religion’s shoes… he makes as much sense as the Weather Underground’s “Days of Rage,” but somewhere in there his original intentions are good. He knows some history. History is full of would-be revolutionaries who formed small dedicated bands (anarchist as well as communist) and fancied they were defending The People, without, you know, getting to really know the people at all. It doesn’t end well.

Probably many of us have thought, gee, if I’d been alive and an adult at the time of… Wouldn’t it have been great if 25 white men armed with semi-automatics had stepped out in front of the church featured in Mississippi Burning and chased away the klansmen waiting to club the people leaving the civil rights meeting… or stood in the way of the mob moving on the black neighborhood in Tulsa in the early 1920s…

Of course this line of daydreaming also reminds me of my pastor’s comment about bombastic self-righteous Christians saying if they were alive in Jesus’s time they wouldn’t have been part of the mob calling for his death… to which pastor retorts “You would have been at the front of the mob shouting ‘Give us Barabas’.” Because, few of us are as good in a real moving situation as we would like to think of ourselves with 20/20 hindsight.

When a community is really defended against real threats by fascists or just a temporary mob of alcohol-fueled local racists, it is more likely the local black American Legion post that will do it, because they are there, on the spot, they know the local community, they know all the alleyways, they even know most of those in the mob, and they know the local police. See, e.g., Nelson Peery’s account in Black Fire: The Making of an American Revolutionary about how his father did just that in Minneapolis, MN after a (false) cry of black man raped white woman. (As often happened in the first half of the 20th century, the woman actually was hiding an extra-marital affair with a white man from her husband, and eventually confessed to police).

Having channels of communication with police is useful. I’ve known people who maintained them during prolonged protests against police brutality. If you understand the systemics, sometimes police are asked to enforce a set of laws, in a set of social-economic circumstances, where nobody could do that without being brutal… so let’s look at how the police and the civilians are being set up. Although its fiction, also look at how the black sheriff in John Grisham’s A Time To Kill (which is much better than the movie) handled KKK and anti-Klan demonstrators.

The Stalin era happened because the ideology, when put in practice, made it possible.

This is a different question than anything Bad Religion raised. He’s an anarchist, not a Bolshevik. But, in response to this observation, I became convinced the Leninist party organization was a failure on its own terms precisely because it does NOT assure fidelity to original principles, it only assures fidelity to whoever has their hands on the levers of power at any given time. Stalin, Milosevic, and the current Chinese central committee presiding over a ruthless capitalist economy, all being examples.

#2 Comment By BadReligion On August 16, 2017 @ 11:21 pm

“But I like the writings of Peter Brimelow, and I trust his judgement, and he happens to like the work of Jared Taylor, the founder of American Renaissance.”

These people are racists, in the strictest, most accurate meaning of the word. They believe and promote the idea that humanity’s different so-called “races” are innately biologically different from one another in ways that create hierarchies of ability, value, and so on. That’s discredited, reprehensible, and completely unacceptable.

“Wow Bad Religion, I am so shocked and surprised that Antifa publications support Antifa whining about the rules applying equally to them.”

The Intercept isn’t an Antifa-affiliated publication.

“Assault is against the law. Arson is against the law. The police are supposed to stop you from using violence and destroying property. That’s not collaborating and you know it. Stop being such a baby about being expected to obey the law. Yes that IS indicative of white privilege. You all grew up with authority figures, and the police still do this for you most of the time, dismissing your excesses because you were basically a good kid who did something stupid. A black kid does the same thing, he goes to jail. You aren’t fighting this system, you’re perpetuating it.”

The Sons of Liberty wore disguises and committed targeted political vandalism. They were definitely breaking the law, and we call them heroes. The police aren’t “dismissing our excesses.” I know numerous people who are threatened with serious jail time as a result of the mass arrests on Inauguration Day. Now, there’s no evidence against almost all of them; this is just a form of collective punishment. They were also not given any chance to disperse, breaking about fifteen years of DC precedent. Apparently many of them were also sexually molested while in jail, and were denied food, water, and restroom access for hours on end. Other than the limo fire, the alleged “crimes” largely consist of vandalizing the means of production of some truly dreadful banks and other corporations. In other words, mostly broken windows.

There’s video from that same day of the police blasting elderly/disabled/impaired people with pepper spray and other chemical agents, and then Black Bloc participants rush in, heroically taking the brunt of the assault while leading people to safety. Dane Powell, recently sentenced to four months in jail, can be seen rescuing a small child whom the police pushed off the sidewalk and into the line of fire. Hey, Ken, note that Powell was in the military for nine years!

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Now, contrast this with what happened last Friday night. As the fascists were marching with their torches, and especially as they began to attack a badly outnumbered and almost totally unarmed group of students, black Americans all over Twitter were asking what would happen if the marchers and assailants were black. The police stood by and let the beating continue for sometime before deciding to intervene, and even then the fascists took opportunities to continue their assaults. The police did chase down and arrest one fascist, and I’m curious to see what his legal situation looks like.

There was no mass arrest. There was no large-scale deployment of chemical agents, and/or the other less-lethal weapons the police often wield. I’m to conclude here that the state sees the windows of the powerful as being far more valuable than the bodies of the comparatively powerless, particularly in light of who is doing the breaking in each case.

If you’re referring to Tim Tai, he was threatened because apparently the students in that incident wanted to exclude the media, period. I’m not claiming that his treatment was justified, but I don’t think that it fits your narrative. MU’s Asian and Asian-American community apparently has suffered its share of racism as well: [28]

Siarlys, I also included the testimony of one of the surviving Jewish Ghetto Uprising leaders. He pointed out the help they received from the broader Resistance.

I’ve also pointed out earlier that, in the eras you mention, i.e. not far removed from the nadir of race relations, groups like the multi-racial (but mostly white) IWW were engaged in armed conflict with the Klan and other hate groups. That continues today.

As for the rest of your insults, you really don’t know us at all.

#3 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 17, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

Bad Religion, I’m not sure YOU know you very well. You seem to have read up on an intoxicating dose of stirring history, and rushed out to emulate, without really thinking through a viable strategy. I have several books on the IWW on my shelf, and have read others. In fact I have a 1925 edition of the IWW songbook right at my fingertips, with the timeless photo of Wesley Everest, a WW I veteran who was lynched by an American Legion mob for being a proud member of the IWW. I’m sure you know who he was too — but many other readers may not.

Its true that the original Boston Tea Party was no more and no less illegal destruction of property than your own antifa actions. And we do by and large call the Sons of Liberty heroes. But I’ve also read a good deal of Kenneth Roberts’s historical novels, Oliver Wiswell as well as Rabble In Arms. So I have an idea of the hazards when an organized body not subject to legal due process takes it upon itself to redefine what is allowed and not allowed.

I’ve been having some heated debates in other venues about “free speech,” and actually reached a point of agreement. Fortunately I was communicating with someone who remembered that the Chicago 7 were essentially tried for “inflammatory speech.” What do you think of entrusting Jeff Sessions with the power to decree some speech acceptable and other speech beyond the pale of the law?

For a critic, I’m actually open to the possibility that you’ve done some good. If the report is true that the Nazis (those who actually call themselves Nazis and wave swastika banners) physically attacked people leaving a prayer meeting at a church, and antifa provided the only protection they got, good for you. If its true that the KKK people were marching armed and assaulting people who got in their way, pulling bait and switch in violation of their permit, and decoying police out of the way of where they would really be, then there is a place for citizens who are ready to defend the peace of their community to step forward.

Nut overall, I don’t so far trust your record or you judgment of when you feel authorized by whatever higher moral authority to move in and break windows or whatever. Bank of America is not seriously incommoded in its exploitation of the working class because you broke a few windows. And I have a few things to say to Professor Murray if he’s ever in my vicinity — I don’t want you drowning either of us out.

#4 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On August 17, 2017 @ 7:10 pm

“They believe and promote the idea that humanity’s different so-called “races” are innately biologically different from one another in ways that create hierarchies of ability, value, and so on. That’s discredited, reprehensible, and completely unacceptable.”

BadReligion, in my view race is not a social construction. What’s reprehensible, or at least very misguided, is the idea that if one race (say, Caucasians) has a significantly lower IQ than another race (say, Japanese, stipulating that they are a race), that does not mean Caucasians are morally inferior to Japanese. It only means they have fewer intellectual capabilities, but that they are equal in the eyes of God.

Whether or not you believe in God (probably not, if I had to guess), you might learn from Jeremy Waldron’s *God, Locke, and Equality*, where he argues very persuasively that the idea of equality has no traction at all apart from theism. If that’s right, it supports conservatives who say that the ultimate and most important kind of equality is essentially theistic, not secular, and it is most certainly not tied to social constructionist views of race–theism being incompatible with social constructionism.

#5 Comment By BadReligion On August 18, 2017 @ 10:15 pm

Your view is incorrect. It’s empirically discredited, repeatedly and conclusively, and yet it keeps rearing its ugly head again and again. This is not a harmless point of debate; the results are absolutely toxic and harmful to people, even lethal.

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#6 Comment By mM On August 20, 2017 @ 10:36 am

update on my post about going easy on Bishop Dilorenzo-some criticized his lack of a stronger public presence-as I said he was hospitalized during the Charlottesville events and has since passed away

[NFR: Oh! That’s sad. May God grant his soul rest and eternal peace. — RD]