Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Among the white supremacists in Charlottesville

You probably don't want to watch this. I didn't either. However, you probably should. It is one of the most courageous, intelligent efforts at journalism I've seen in a long while.

Our home-grown fascists and white supremacists feel they don't get a fair chance to tell their own story. Elle Reeve from VICE News gave them just that amid the horror that was Charlottesville. I could say much about people who condemn themselves, but again, I urge you to watch yourself.

One comment: one of the "white nationalists" complains that those other people, those people struggling against oppression who stand in his way, have something his mob lacks -- community, a joy in being together. His purpose in showing up with his tiki torches and guns is to try to build this. Dude, that's not how it works. When we who believe in freedom manage some joyous community, it's because somewhere along the line we figured out we must "love one another or die" as W.H. Auden wrote when the Nazi invasion of Poland plunged Europe and the world into overt barbarism. That's a sentiment that testosterone-intoxicated, whiny white males have trouble finding and sustaining. Absent complete social collapse or an effective Hitler, the crabs in the barrel usually eat each other.

The story as told here absolutely condemns the failure of Charlottesville and state of Virginia do their most elementary job. The white supremacists announced they were coming to provoke. It was the job of law enforcement and whatever back-up was needed to keep the provocateurs separated from the counter-protesters. The authorities seemed literally caught with the their pants down, without the proper protective gear for a predictable confrontation.

For democracy to survive, the state must maintain a monopoly of force and be shamed by the majority of citizens into exercising that monopoly evenhandedly. That's certainly not where we are now, as any of us who have been working to end police shootings and other abuses in our communities are all too aware.

Police in the video don't look as if they even tried. That's more scary than even the bully boys waving metaphorical dicks and actual arsenals.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

It's this sort of journalism that will keep us from falling into fascism. Trump has not been able to shut down media resistance. First target of fascists is the liberal press, but what happened was that they rose to the occasion rather than capitulating. We are dsmn lucky!

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