by Keith Hartzler for the Saker blog
Seeing the First Amendment abrogated; seeing, yet again, left-wing violence; seeing the fiasco’s primary victims anathematized by pseudo-journalists & self-serving politicians … I was aghast & felt myself crossing some sort of ontological Rubicon. After the false accusations of rape at Duke & UVA; after numerous cause célèbre black deaths; after myriad hate-crime hoaxes; after the SPLC & “The Trump Effect”; after the violence directed at Trump supporters during the campaign, at conservative speakers on college campuses, at those attending right-wing conferences; after the disruption & cancellation of speakers & conferences (H.L. Mencken Club, American Renaissance, VDare, Institute for Historical Review, National Policy Institute); after Mel Bradford, Paul Gottfried, Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, Peter Brimelow, Kevin MacDonald, John Derbyshire, & Jason Richwine were cast into outer darkness; after misbegotten foreign policies (over & over, again & again) throughout the Middle East & Balkans (& coverage of same); after the fast-track marginalization of anyone opposed to (or even uncomfortable with) gay marriage, drag queens, & the transgendered … after these repetitive assaults on my default assumption that the cultural Left & political Right are as interested in truth & accuracy as I am, the stage was set for me to experience those involved in creating the mainstream Charlottesville narrative as my enemies. I felt (& feel) profound contempt for Antifa, BLM, the Virginia authorities, “respectable” news outlets, & politicians of both parties. What follows is not a comprehensive, start-to-finish account of the Unite the Right rally & left-wing counter-protest. But it is a reasonable, honest effort to sort through eyewitness reports & second-hand responses, zeroing in on two violent episodes.
Writing for The New Yorker, Doreen St. Félix calls Corey Long a “man of fortitude,” a “figure of elegance,” a “graceful man.” This after viewing the picture of Long spewing fire from an aerosol can at a legal demonstrator trying to exit the park. Her bias I just can’t abide. As Unite the Right demonstrators walked to their cars, they were followed—closely—by Long, DeAndre Harris, & others. The latter were taunting & brandishing weapons (broom handles, baseball bats, & a mag lite).
The former were complying with the “state of emergency” & the order to disperse. At the parking garage, near as I can tell from the video evidence (key spot starts at 1:03:30), the young black men blocked the entry. A group of eight or so (with a couple of white Antifa thrown in) singled out an older white man carrying a Confederate flag. Corey Long tried to rip the flag from the older man’s grasp (at about the one-minute, sixteen-second mark). DeAndre Harris came forward & hit him in the face with the mag lite. A black man in a pink shirt swung a wooden stake, was pepper-sprayed, & fell backward into Harris (knocking him to the ground). Three blacks ran after a single white guy fleeing into the garage—catching him, knocking him unconscious, then continuing to beat him. White guys came to his defense. Harris, in the midst of this melee, got up & got hit with a nightstick. He fell back a bit further into the garage & was on the receiving end of two, maybe three more blows.
There is no question, from the video evidence, which group instigated the fight. Yet the typical headline is “White Supremacists Brutally Beat a Black Man with Metal Poles in Charlottesville Parking Garage.” Again, bias of an extravagant nature. In the New York Times, Harris is described as “an aspiring rapper” trying to defend one of his friends about to be speared by white supremacists wielding a flagpole. He has already raised over $166,000 on GoFundMe, ostensibly to pay for his concussion, fractured forearm, & head wound. Just an innocent black man in the wrong place at the wrong time, don’t you see? He a gudboy dindu nuffin. The amount of his windfall approaches VDare’s annual revenue & may exceed it now that PayPal has blackballed VDare as an SPLC-certified hate group. The parking garage, it’s worth noting, is next door to the police station.
It is wildly premature to call James Fields a domestic terrorist, or to judge him guilty of premeditated murder. Yet those are the normative assertions. According to Taylor Lorenz of The Hill, police at the station “think the guy running people down wasn’t malicious, he was scared.” He threw the car into reverse only after a bat-wielding mob smashed out his rear windows. According to Patrick Howley, editor-in-chief of Big League Politics, the car had been set upon at an intersection shortly before it ran into the crowd. Can you say “narrative collapse”? What if it turns out this guy was trying to leave Charlottesville peacefully; became trapped in his car when it was surrounded & attacked by an angry, bat-wielding mob; accelerated out of fear for his life; stopped the car after hitting the crowd; then put it in reverse when attacked again? The key question at his trial will be whether he was attacked & in fear for his life. Shouldn’t this be front & center in coverage of the event? Isn’t the fourth estate’s social function to provide accurate details so that public opinion is grounded in truth, rather than flights of inquisitorial fancy?
None of this would have happened if authorities had done what they are supposed to do. By that I mean protect the group with a legal permit that had yet to break any laws. Unite the Right had to form a shield wall to enter the site of their planned rally. That’s dereliction of duty, plain & simple. By that I also mean counter-protesters should have been dispersed along with Unite the Right, rather than being allowed to harass the latter & block streets throughout downtown. Them’s the rules once a state of emergency has been declared. By that I also mean, perhaps most importantly, Virginia’s anti-masking law should have been enforced. Doing so has proven exceptionally effective at preventing Antifa violence (at Auburn University, for example). Why weren’t these things done? Keep in mind that local officials had denied Unite the Right a permit, after which the ACLU helped the group obtain a court order granting one. Regarding the event itself, the Executive Director of the Virginia ACLU has this to say:
I was there and brought concerns directly to the secretary of public safety and the head of the Virginia State Police about the way that the barricades in the park limiting access by the arriving demonstrators & the lack of any physical separation of the protesters & counter-protesters on the street were contributing to the potential of violence. They did not respond. In fact, law enforcement was standing passively by, seeming to be waiting for violence to take place so that they would have grounds to declare an emergency, declare an ‘unlawful assembly’ &
clear the area. [my italics]
How does one explain such behavior without referring to relevant authorities? Governor Terry McAuliffe is an Irish Democrat & long-time Clinton insider. Mayor Michael Signer is a Jewish Democrat. Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy (black; age thirty) stepped down from the Virginia Board of Education after anti-white, misogynistic, & homophobic tweets (show me a white guy with that career trajectory). Al Thomas, Jr. (police chief) & Maurice Jones (city manager) are also black. Do any of those details matter? In theory, no. In reality, some of them probably do. After all, Unite the Right was defending a statue of Robert E. Lee & doing so explicitly as white people. Grant for a moment the near certainty that McAuliffe, Signer, Bellamy, Thomas, & Jones are quite liberal & progressive on the subject of race. Isn’t it likely the unapologetic assertion of whiteness was unacceptable to them? If they considered it an affront, an insult, an act of defiance & disrespect, that would begin to explain the negligence & favoritism manifest in Charlottesville.
Earlier, I made reference to crossing an ontological Rubicon & described those guilty of selective framing, rapid-fire judgement, and pronounced bias as contemptible enemies. Understanding this shift in perspective requires one to grasp that my view of them stems from their view of me. Simply put, I am a pejorative. The prevalent sense of white, heterosexual, Christian man is derogatory. How often does one hear that ontological combination used with positive connotations? Adding paleo-conservative and Russian Orthodox as identifiers puts me beyond the pale. Articulating a point of view consistent with any one of these terms—never mind all of them together—is sure to draw condemnation as racist, sexist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic. The latter terminology, & its concomitant interpretive shorthand, is the lingua franca of the contemporary Western world. Writing for The Occidental Observer (another taboo website), Roger Devlin regards this social phenomenon as an ideological product. As was the case in the Soviet Union, “enmities are established a priori by the ideology. Ritual denunciation of designated enemies is an essential aspect” of the system. In the United States today, scorning white, heterosexual, Christian men is part & parcel of identity politics. I am the designated enemy, the linchpin of a political & cultural attitude that is remarkably indifferent to the pursuit of truth. Ideologues have no use for it & are impervious to its soul-enlivening charm. Theirs is a closed system with truth an intolerable interloper. Actions against “enemies of the people” are justified, period. Ethical standards do not apply. That is what happened to Unite the Right. That is what happened to designated enemies listed in my opening paragraph. They were not asked to play the part of scapegoat; the role was assigned by p.c. diktat. Going off-script, it seems to me, is increasingly both necessary and perilous.
Demographic changes wrought by immigration policies & the sexual revolution, along with the pervasiveness of identity politics, have made it requisite that white Americans & peoples of European descent around the world perceive themselves (in a positive sense) as white & of European descent. If your population share is shrinking and everyone else belongs to self-interested groups in large measure hostile to the historical majority, you best find your people. I do not think of myself as a white nationalist or white supremacist. However, I am put off when labels are used to exclude genuine issues from the public square. What do people so labeled have to say? What changes if the same people are referred to as advocates or activists, rather than nationalists or supremacists? If the adjective is “white,” does the noun matter? To ideologues, no, it doesn’t. Virginia authorities, counter-protesters, “respectable” media, & members of Congress were not responding to any objective threat. They were responding to an ontological transgression. Nothing upsets America’s ideological apple cart like self-aware, unapologetic white people. That should be the take-away from Charlottesville.