A Neo-Nazi rally taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia in Emancipation Park was evacuated around 11 am today as the governor declared a state of emergency and attempted to break up the rally, which began to prevent the removal of a confederate statue from the park.
Since the rally was shut down, anti-racist protestors and Neo-Nazis have been brawling and marching in the streets. A car crashed into a crowd of anti-racist protestors just two hours later, and one person has been confirmed dead. The driver of the vehicle has not yet been identified, nor the license plate.
The rally, featuring unambiguous Nazism, saw dozens of white men chanting “blood and soil”, “Jews will not replace us”, and “white lives matter”, evoking Nazism, anti-Semitism, and fantasies of white genocide.
The streets of Charlottesville have been flooded with Neo-Nazis and anti-racist protestors, with bloody brawls and the collapse of civil society taking place in the streets of an America city.
It’s time like these when the power of language seems to have vanished completely. Political violence has now taken root in America, and there is no going back. The battle between the ‘alt-right’ and Antifa has been brewing since Donald Trump’s election in America, but the alt-right has proven it is willing to engage in actual murder to advance its cause. It is utterly unspeakable.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer was maced by police and arrested at the rally when he refused to leave the park after a state of emergency was declared.
This is no time for ‘both sides’ rhetoric or vague condemnation. Donald Trump issued a Tweet just minutes before the attack.
Trump was trying to blame Neo-Nazis and protestors equally for violence, when a car attacked the protestors and drew blood and death in the streets of Charlottesville. This is what “blood and soil” looks like. It is not a viewpoint, it is an attack on the collective soul of shared humankind. It cannot ever be tolerated.
One must avoid simply blaming this on Trump, however. The roots of American racism are bi-partisan and have been with us for centuries. Neo-Nazism has never died, but today, Neo-Nazis feel comfortable walking the streets with their faces bared to the public, unafraid of being fired or held responsible.
If law enforcement will not protect people from Neo-Nazi violence, then organizations like Antifa and the Black Panthers are essential mechanisms of civil self-defense. I do not support political violence, but self-defense is an inalienable right of all Americans. As we pass through these dark days, those who fear for their lives, women, people of color, and those who would be targeted by Neo-Nazis, should take heed of the Second Amendment, and not allow white fascists to be the only ones who believe in self-defense in America.
Lastly, the Republican Party, and those who tend to support the alt-right or pro-confederate movements, bear culpability for what has happened. If a radical left protestor had plowed a vehicle into an anti-abortion rally, for example, the right would surely hold the entire left responsible.
Anyone who is ambiguous in the slightest about this attack, or its white supremacist origins, is not arguing in good faith.
At least one person was killed in America today for protesting against Neo-Nazis. That fact alone is bone-chilling, and commands all people of conscience to understand what is happening before their eyes, and become faithful witnesses to reality, not wishful thinking.