The President is meeting with the Attorney General and the head of the FBI today to get everyone on the same page over the Charlottesville riot and murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer. Her killer–a 20 year who drove his car into a crowd–has been described by his former teachers as a young man who had an undue fascination with the Hitlers Nazis.
A couple hundred members of the Klan, Nazis, and skinheads who have let their hair grow back came to Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. They knew they would be met by a group known as Antifa, or Anti Fascists. Antifa includes Black Bloc, and another group calling itself By Any Means Necessary.
The Antifa tactics are simple. They charge into a crowd they oppose and physically attack anybody in their way. They use weapons, they wear masks, they dress in black, they bash and smash and trash.
I’m an old reporter. I remember clearly going to cover Klan demonstrations in years past. There were always a few people claiming to be Klansmen or white supremacists and they would spout their racist and anti-semite bile. In those days those of us covering the news would choose what we would put on the air and what we would not. We didn’t let these people say anti-semitic things on the air, we wouldn’t let them say racist things on the air. We didn’t air hate.
But now hate is in the airwaves all the time, in part I suppose, because almost all television is live, but also because social media has no self restraint.
So yes, the racists now have platforms to be heard. It’s too bad.
But also yes… the Antifa are making the situation a whole lot worse by insisting they have the right to go punch out, and beat people they don’t like.
Klan rallies have been ignored for years and years as public demonstrations of stupidity and racism.
What the so called Antifa has done is make it a spectacle by forcing violent confrontations, and giving the racists a chance to claim that they are more important than they are, that they represent more Americans than they do, and that they are a movement sweeping the nation when in fact they are a small fringe that doesn’t represent anyone but their own racist selves.
Condemning them is good.
But letting the Antifa off the hook is the same as letting the racist go blameless.
Antifa has demonstrated over and over and over during the campaign, on inauguration day, and since that they think it is their right to visit violence on Trump supporters, and anyone else they oppose.
So in the aftermath of a terrible weekend that got an innocent woman killed, why do politicians–especially Republicans–feel they must forthrightly condemn the racists, but dare not say a word of approbation about the people–the Antifa–who ignited the riot?