Posted by Curt on 23 August, 2017 at 11:02 am. 2 comments already!


Daniel Payne:

Pundits, journalists, politicians, clergy, law enforcement, sociologists—all may agree or disagree to varying degrees about what the Charlottesville mayhem of August 12 means for our country. Any number of interpretations could be useful and instructive. But above all Charlottesville has shown just how profoundly broken and destructively useless our media industry and political establishment really are. It is a genuine national embarrassment.

I do not say that lightly. I love this country; I love its rich history, its political traditions, its culture, its people. I love its religious backbone. I do not love the historical flaws of our country, but I love the ways we have righted them, and the great gifts we have given the world along the way: our priceless treasure trove of abolitionist literature, the Gettysburg Address, Letter From a Birmingham Jail, our brilliant Supreme Court decisions on any number of civil rights.

I love the United States. But I am deeply embarrassed for it, and I want it to do better than it has over the past few weeks.

It is not unsurprising that the events of Charlottesville—an awful combination of hatred, racism, toxic politics, paranoid factionalism, and political ineptitude—would stir our emotions and cause some people to do crazy things. But the responses from the media, politicians, countless individuals, and institutions has been nothing short of shamefully disastrous. However painful it may be, we should analyze what has been going on in the days since that terrible afternoon to learn from it and commit ourselves to doing better if and when, God forbid, this happens again.

The ‘Both Sides’ Hysteria

Last week I wrote about the media meltdown surrounding Trump’s claim that “there is blame on both sides [for Charlottesville].” That was entirely true: eyewitness testimony, from sources including a New York Times reporter and a student counterprotester, affirm as much. There is simply no question that both white nationalists and leftist “Antifa” protesters both engaged in unjustifiable violence that day.

Yet here’s a small sampling of the responses to Trump’s accurate statement. Mitt Romney responded by tweeting: “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.” Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat minority leader of the House of Representatives, issued a statementasserting Trump’s “both sides” claim “ignores the abhorrent evil of white supremacism.”

At The New York Times, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman claimed that Trump “gave white supremacists an unequivocal boost” by “equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists.” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine declared on Facebook: “This was not ‘both sides.’ White supremacists descended on Charlottesville to promote hate and intimidate this Virginia community.”

But it was both sides. That is a fact. Yet these leaders seem willing to excuse political violence simply because it was directed at neo-Nazis. These politicians and journalists appear to be saying violence is okay when it’s committed against people we don’t like. All you have to do is say “There were Nazis!” to justify it.

This is shameful and humiliating for America: elected officials and members of our press are apparently tacitly advocating mob rule and vicious, primitive might-makes-right public discourse. The world should look at us and laugh for such crude and shocking behavior coming from the nominally elite and educated members of our political and media classes.

Further Justifying Violence

The justifications for the violent behavior we saw in Charlottesville did not just stop at such sly, underhanded approvals. Some public figures openly endorsed political violence against their opponents.

The biggest meme related to this phenomenon rocketed around Twitter like wildfire: people began comparing the violent progressive activists in Charlottesville with the soldiers who stormed the French beaches as part of the Normandy invasion during World War II. CNN contributor and former Hillary Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon, CNN anchor Christopher Cuomo, Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, author David Simon, actor Joshua Malina, and countless others compared the Charlottesville vigilantes to D-Day soldiers.

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