The tragedy in Charlottesville could have been an occasion to stop and consider how the tolerance for politically correct violence and politically correct hatred is leading the nation towards civil war. Instead, the media and the political left have turned this incident into the biggest fake news story of the summer, transforming its real lessons into a morality play that justifies war against the political right, and against white people generally.
The organizers of the “Unite the Right” demonstration in Charlottesville were repellent racists. But they came to defend a historic monument honoring a complex man and cause, and not to attack it or presumably anyone else. They applied for a permit and were denied. They re-applied successfully in a petition supported by the local ACLU. If they had come to precipitate violence, why would they have gone to the tedious trouble of applying for a permit? Who knows what – if anything – would have happened if that had been the end of the story and no one had shown up to oppose them.
What “Unite the Right” actually demonstrated was that the assortment of neo-Nazis, pro-Confederates, and assorted yahoos gathered under the banner of the “Alt-Right” is actually a negligible group. This was a national show of strength that actually attracted a couple hundred people. Compare that to the tens of the thousands who can readily be marshaled by two violent groups of the left – Black Lives Matter and Antifa – and you get an idea of how marginal “white supremacists” are to America’s political and cultural life.
Yet “white supremacy” and its evils became the centerpiece of all the fake news reporting on the event, including all the ludicrous attacks on the president for not condemning enough a bogeyman the whole nation condemns, and that no one but a risible fringe supports. Talk about virtue signaling! Omitted from the media coverage were the other forces at work in precipitating the battle of Emancipation Park, specifically Black Lives Matter and Antifa, two violent left-wing groups with racial agendas who came to squelch the demonstration in defense of the monument.
Unlike the Unite the Right demonstrators, the leftist groups did not have a permit for Emancipation Park (they had permits for two nearby parks). But why should they need a permit, since the havoc they had previously wreaked in Ferguson, Berkeley, Sacramento, Portland and other cities, was accomplished without permits, while their criminality was presented by the media as “protests,” and their rioting went completely unpunished?
In short, there were two demonstrations in Charlottesville – a legal protest by “Unite the Right” and a protest by the vigilantes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Who started the fight is really immaterial. Both sides were prepared for violence because these conflicts are already a pattern of our deteriorating civic life. Once the two sides had gathered in the same place, the violence was totally predictable. Two parties, two culpabilities; but except for the initial statement of President Trump, condemning both sides, only one party has been held accountable, and that happens to be the one that was in the park legally.
What is taking place in the media accounts and political commentaries on this event is an effort by the left to turn the mayhem in Charlottesville into a template for their war against a mythical enemy – “white supremacy” – which is really a war on white people generally. The ideology that drives the left and divides our country is “identity politics” – the idea that the world consists of two groups – “people of color” who are guiltless and oppressed, and white people who are guilty and oppressors. This is the real race war. Its noxious themes inform the mindless, hysterical hatred for President Trump, and the equally mindless support for racist mobs like Black Lives Matter and Antifa. It is a war from which no good can come. But it won’t be stopped unless enough people have the courage to stand up and name it for what it is.