Watching the video feed and seeing the pictures from the fascist rallies Friday night and Saturday at the University of Virginia, I had many thoughts. I’m not going to try to put them into a coherent essay, I’m just going to post them in order as they occurred to me.
1. That these people don’t look like what you expect white supremacists to look like. These aren’t backwoods rednecks, these are preppy suburbanites. These are your neighbors. The fringe is now the mainstream.
2. Many of them aren’t even bothering covering their faces. In the old days, they’d put on hoods. They no longer even feel the need to do that. They feel safe in going out in public now that they have people in the White House who support them. That’s perhaps the most horrifying aspect of it all.
3. Don’t tell me you’re protesting for white people. I’m a white person and you sure as hell are not on my side. I will never be on the side of racism and fascism, ever.
4. Many of the policies these people support are policies that the Trump administration supports. The racist anti-immigration rhetoric and the desire to deport millions of people and cut even legal immigration in half; the fight against affirmative action; the pro-Putin and pro-Russia bullshit (Russia is a hotbed for this kind of fascism and they love Putin); the weakening of civil rights protections and voting rights; the watering down of DOJ action on police brutality (against black people, of course; they’ll be crying like stuck pigs if the police rough up a “patriot.”
5. We have fascists like Sebastian Gorka in the White House. Again, the fringe is now the mainstream. That has been happening on the right for a long time as the Overton window has shifted, but it has reached a zenith with Trump. And you have Steve Bannon, who built Breitbart.com into the home of these people.
6. This is the inevitable result of the ignorant, populist nationalism that is promoted by Bannon, Gorka, Miller and Trump. When you tap that vein, this is what comes flowing out. Right-wing populism is inextricably tied to fascism, not just in Germany but here too. Every time it has broken out in America, the result has been the mass deaths of racial minorities. Read Richard Hofstadter.
7. Waiting for Trump to condemn the use of Chinese-made tiki torches and pledge to bring back old-fashioned KKK torch-making jobs to America. And to revive an American-made white sheet industry. They can use black people to pick the cotton to make them, for old times’ sake.
8. Remember, all of this started because the city of Charlottesville removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from that park and that infuriated these people because it negated their “heritage.” Also rememeber, celebrating the confederacy had nothing to do with racism, nor did the Civil War. And what better way to prove that than by having KKK and racist Nazis march for white people in response?