I almost ignored the noise surrounding the events in Virginia yesterday. Almost. Then my mom and husband woke up from their respective naps and wanted to watch the riot porn in CNN and FOX. Switching back and forth between the channels, I got sucked into the drama. You had to switch because the points of view were so different, all the way down to the number of deaths. CNN reported 1; FOX reported 3. I allowed myself a cursory examination, because, quite frankly, I’m tired of the sky falling all the damn time.
Here’s what I found out: The original rally was really organized by various people interested in “preserving white heritage.” There were about 200 hundred of them, which constituted the “largest gathering of white nationalist” in decades. They were wielding tiki torches and generally acting like entitled assholes. Some Redditors showed up because they had wooden shields, sticks, and memes to live by and so why not? Antifa showed up with helmets, baseball bats, various other weapons, and armor. They unified with a group of students from the university, who joined in
the melee a counter protest. These folks got very violent and vastly outnumbered the original protesters. The police were allowing all these assholes to bash each other for a while. One of them, a guy from Ohio named James Fields, drove his Dodge Charger through a group of counter protesters, killing one and injuring another 20 or so. Two police officers died in a related helicopter accident while policing the event. Trump made some comments and the media judged them insufficient because he talked about violence on many sides.
Here we go again. And by again I distinctly mean another media circus. And another opportunity for people on the left who were untouched by the violence yesterday to metaphorically beat their friends, family, and the vast right-wing conspiracy over the head, and feel falsely victimized. And another opportunity for white heritage folks to make asses of themselves and feel falsely victimized by the culture of the United States. Notice a trend here?
Here’s my response: Fuck ‘em all. Except for the dead and injured. For them: I’m sorry that happened to you and your families.
There are assholes on the left and right. The ones on the left are louder and more accommodated by the larger society than the ones on the right, but the right has its own fair share. Folks on both sides have been driven to violence by the rhetoric of the two parties and their followers. It sucks that people get caught in the crosshairs, like this poor woman last night, or like Senator Steve Scalise, but it happens and it’s going to keep happening as long as we allow ourselves to keep janking up the rhetoric. You (universal) can blame the other side all you want, but both sides do it, left and right. No amount of fighting about it on social media is going to solve the problem.
Me personally? I can’t get behind anybody seeking to preserve their heritage, no matter the race or culture. Honor it all you want. Incorporate parts of it into your personal life all you want, but go ahead and live your modern fucking life while doing it. Part of of living in a modern, free society is that people get to believe whatever they want, but you don’t have to support it, and you don’t have to stay silent about it. But know that if you organize for your culturally offensive point of view in the middle of August, staging what looks like a modern day KKK rally, bad shit might happen because free will.
Likewise, I can’t get behind anybody bringing weapons and armor to a protest. Part of living under the United States Constitution is that people get to gather and protest whatever they want. We have free speech rights. And we get a certain amount of reasonable protection from police officers. But you do not get absolute protection from harm, and if you’re going to hang out with thugs in armor with weapons intent on beating someone with a counter point of view, you might get hurt in the process. You might even get killt (Tim Kaine quoting Faulkner). That’s the risk you take.
So I’m not getting swept up in this thing. You (personal) gotta do what you gotta do. I have no dog in this fight because of my revulsion for both sides. And the rhetorical fallout from both sides is pretty much abhorrent as well. I’m tired of every single incident being cause for the left to jump to conclusions and exploit events to assert their fantasy that they still live in 1950s America. And I’m tired of stupid conservatives expressing the fact that they feel beat up by cultural bashing of whites by retreating to scenarios that give credence to the left’s 1950s arguments. Stop feeding that fucking flame, doofuses. We live in America 2017 and our country has been through A LOT to get to where we are, where the poorest among us–regardless of race, gender, culture, etc,–generally lives better than the middle class in some third world countries. We ought to fucking act like it.
It’s just all so exhausting and empty, living in this vacuous political climate. How are you feeling about it? This is an open thread.