Compilation of news and commentary, A Socialist In Canada, Aug 14, 2017
The ‘many sides’ of injustice in Charlottesville riot
We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump,” said former KKK “imperial wizard” David Duke.
We can officially drop the pretence of equality after violent protests by white supremacists, “heritage” groups, neo-Nazis, KKK members and armed white terrorists slammed that charade this weekend. Their deadly brand of racism was effectively endorsed by the United States president when he failed to call out supremacists, anti-Semites, xenophobes and homophobes and instead rebuked the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”
On many sides. Which sides would those be, Mr. President, when there were just two: white supremacy — and equality.
Donald Trump wants to “study it,” he said, “to see how such things can happen.” He might want to start with studying the “many sides” of injustice at play.
Take a moment to think about what these people were protesting as they marched through the University of Virginia campus Friday night carrying torches and breaking into fisticuffs. And again, whey they showed up Saturday morning, waving Confederate and Nazi flags, carrying semi-automatic weapons, helmets, spears and shields, throwing punches, water bottles and spraying chemicals. A car plowed through counter-protesters flinging bodies in the air, killing one person and injuring dozens.
These savage people were not protesting white lives lost to police brutality. They were not protesting disproportionate incarceration of white people, or stricter sentencing than people of other races, or being denied housing or education for the colour of their skin. They were not protesting any of that because it is not their reality.
They were not protesting. Period. They were rioting.
Their tempers were inflamed by the possibility of the removal of a statue of Civil War-era Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The city council voted for the removal in April, but it is pending litigation.
Not only was Lee the general who led a war to defend the ownership of Black people as property, he was also one of its more cruel enforcers — breaking up families and hiring them to other plantations, ordering the enslaved to be whipped and brine poured on their backs, as detailed in an eye-opening profile in the Atlantic in June. [Below, see weblink to June 2017 article in The Atlantic.]
The Saturday protesters had gathered at Emancipation Park, the new name of what was once Lee Park, where the statue stands.
Jason Kessler, a right-wing blogger, told media the protests were also about free speech and “advocating for white people.” This, they believed, entitled them to chant things such as “White power,” “White Lives Matter,” “You will not replace us” and “Jew will not replace us.”
It was a mind-boggling show of white fragility, by people threatened not because their rights are being trampled by any measurable means but because a few voices of those they historically oppressed are starting to be heard again.
Where were the police ominously beating back protesters in the numbers they did in Ferguson, in Chicago, in Charlotte, in Baltimore, in Cleveland among other places when Black people protested deaths at the hands of police? Where are the calls for white people to denounce this disgusting display of hate in their name? Why is the driver of the car that plowed into people not being called a terrorist? Will we now ask that white people be the eyes and ears on the front lines of white hatred?
Remember Mark Hughes, the armed Black man called a suspect by Dallas police during protests in July last year? They called him a suspect even as he was helping them evacuate people and they did not take down their tweet with his photo even after it was established he was innocent.
In this gathering, white men armed to the teeth roam freely, with the privilege of knowing their rights will be protected.
The flags they were waving signify death and devastation to significant groups of Americans. Yet, they were allowed because, democracy. Would these democratic rights be granted to anyone wanting to wave the equally reprehensible Daesh (ISIS) flags?
Trump, a normally avid tweeter who releases foreign policy details in 140 characters, was silent until later in the day when he tweeted out a vague denunciation of the events and gave his insipid speech.
In all fairness, his blandness was not a surprise. Why would he disavow his friends?
Former KKK “imperial wizard” David Duke said, “This (protest) represents a turning point. We are determined to take our country back. We are going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump.”
Over at the Daily Stormer, the white supremacist website, there was jubilation. “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us…. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”
Not all Trump’s buddies were pleased with his speech, though. Richard Spencer, the founder of the “Alt-Right” hate group, who was not shot at, not beaten, not punched, but maced by police, was miffed. “Trump should not have praised the state and local police,’ he tweeted. “They did the opposite of their job. Total disaster.”
Total disaster. Never thought I’d agree with anything that revolting man said.
On video: Moment of fatal car rampage at Charlottesville protest, on RT.com, Aug 13, 2017
Terrorism in Charlottesville, seen through the lens of an eyewitness, report, photos and video by Michael Nigro, Truthdig, Aug 13, 2017
A new generation of white supremacists emerges in Charlottesville, by A.C. Thompson and Karim Hajj, special to ProPublica, Aug. 13, 2017
How Trump has cultivated the white supremacist alt-right for years, by Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate Magazine, Aug 14, 2017
The misguided attacks on ACLU for defending neo-Nazis’ free speech rights in Charlottesville, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, Aug 13, 2017
Why won’t Trump call out radical white terrorism?, by Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, The Atlantic, Aug 12, 2017
The myth of the kindly General Robert E. Lee, by Adam Serwer, The Atlantic, June 4, 2017
‘White supremacy does not “violate” Lee’s “most fundamental convictions.” White supremacy was one of Lee’s most fundamental convictions.’
From a letter by Robert E. Lee in 1856: “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and I hope will prepare and lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known and ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”
The making of the tabloid presidency, book review by Sam Tanenhaus, published in New York Review of Books, print issue of Aug 17, 2017 Reviewing: Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency, by Joshua Green, Penguin, 272 pp.
… Joshua Green’s new book, Devil’s Bargain, argues that Trumpism is best understood through his partnership with Stephen K. Bannon, now the president’s chief political strategist. Green, formerly a correspondent at The Atlantic and now at Bloomberg Businessweek, has been writing about conservatives since the George W. Bush years.
Welcome to Charlottesville – proof that political correctness is wrecking America, commentary by Robert Bridge, RT.com, Aug 13, 2017 [This is a shameful commentary by a regular commentator on RT arguing a la Donald Trump that ‘many sides’ are responsible for the racist violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11 and 12, 2017.]
Watch for forthcoming commentary on the careful usage by Western mainstream media, including Canada’s state broadcaster the CBC, of the misleading term ‘white nationalists’ in place of the truthful ‘white supremacists’, ‘neo-Nazis’, etc. This follows the pattern of Western media coverage of Ukraine, where neo-Nazi legions have been politely termed ‘volunteer brigades’. Western media and governments are feigning concern and outrage over the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, but for the past three years, they have been providing vital support and cover for the rise of neo-Nazi extremism in Ukraine.–Roger Annis
After violence in Charlottesville, cities rush to take down monuments as white supremacists gear up to fight, LA Times, Aug 14, 2017
Trump retweets alt-right troll following Charlottesville rally, New York Post, Aug 15, 2017
Donald Trump has been a racist all his life and he isn’t going to change after Charlottesville, by Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept, Aug 15, 2017