It’s difficult to know where to begin when Nazis have just openly engaged in a rally in the country you call your adopted home. One of the many reasons I chose America as my second country was its reputation for liberalism, for its cultural melting pot status that is inarguable and likely unmatched around the world. The best of civilization wants to come here and experience it first hand, to add to it, to help it grow.
And now the Klan is marching against all of that, though this time without their hoods.
It’s telling that they don’t feel they need them now. This gaggle of white supremacists is proud of its racism, proud of its call for a white ethno-state, proud of its plans to differentiate and belittle Jews as different from the rest of them. It’s all right there in the Charlottesville statement, which I won’t link to here, but will post some screenshots below.
A quick side not on terminology here. I was always taught that as soon as you bring up the Nazis, you lose the argument. But let’s not mince words; sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. Whether the participants of such an event as we saw in Charlottesville insist they are simply civic nationalists, ethno-nationalists, or even the pathetically fluffy ‘alt-right’, there’s a very clear and defined word for who they are and what they represent, Godwin’s law be damned.
By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you.
— Mike Godwin (@sfmnemonic) August 14, 2017
And now the promised screenshots of their Charlottesville statement, written by the infamous Richard Spencer:
Notice there’s no mention of affording the rights of freedom of speech or firearms to anyone that doesn’t mention their strict definition of European. And I presume U.S. citizens, in this iteration, would not include those descended from those of ‘non-European stock’. This is brazen and outright white supremacy that has precisely no place in the United States of America, and it has rightly been denounced on all sides. Well, almost.
On Saturday a young woman was killed by a speeding car that slammed into counter-protesters. Her name was Heather Heyer. Several more were injured in the same attack. Two police officers also died in an unrelated helicopter crash at the scene. The violence at the rally was quickly condemned by all sides, all that is except President Trump.
When asked about the situation on Saturday, he condemned the violence ‘on many sides’ without calling the KKK or neo-nazis out by name. And just in case you think there was no need to do so, and t he many sides comment was fair, let’s check in with David Duke.
If you can’t watch it now, that’s David Duke saying that this rally is about “fulfilling the promises made by Donald Trump”. When the former Imperial Wizard of the KKK says something like that which ties you up in their movement, a rational person distances themselves from that immediately. But President Trump did not do that. He was repeatedly given the opportunity to do so at a press conference on Saturday, even going back to the mic after one such question only to say something completely unrelated. He was inactive, and the nazis loved it. This from the nazi propaganda site The Daily Stormer, which thankfully GoDaddy has now refused to continue hosting:
In case you’re wondering if President Trump inspires neo-nazis–this is from their publication The Daily Stormer: pic.twitter.com/cT4OZv7VMP
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) August 12, 2017
Words matter, and who you choose to condemn matters. As I write this, President Trump has issued a statement finally naming the KKK by name, but it appears to be too little too late, and is the bare minimum even then. For a President that is so trigger happy with the rest of his statements, when cars driven by Islamists plow into crowds and cause deaths, he has been curiously silent when a white nationalist has done the same.
Now cannot be the time to ignore this. This is a cancer that is growing in American society, emboldened by dog whistles they see coming from this administration. The Nazis are coming, and we must denounce them at every possible step of the way.
That includes you, President Trump.