I wish I were shocked by Charlottesville. I wish I were. I wish I didn’t see this coming, but I did. Warning: I see a lot more of this happening. The Alt-Right is emboldened, in part by Trump – who definitely gave this group permission – but this group has been bubbling to the surface for quite a while.
First, let me say that these groups/people have always been around. Reagan courted them with his “strapping, young buck” and “welfare queen” comments. The Civil Rights Act brought them forth, complete with their Civil War reenactments. Busing, Affirmative Action, Unions opening their ranks to women and minorities, etc.. These people have always been with us.
Today they are united under several themes: Racism, Misogyny, and Bigotry – which includes the LGBTQ community. This is the Conservatives three-legged stool. This is why this group wailed that McCain and Romney “weren’t conservative enough”.
We saw racism roar into the open when Barack Obama was elected. It wasn’t subtle. Donald Trump was one of its leaders, meaning he was saying what these “protesters” in Charlottesville always thought. Trump didn’t create them, but he definitely emboldened them.
Did you watch this video? Deandre Harris is lucky to have escaped with his life, because that sure looks like attempted murder to me.
Meanwhile, on our very own NextDoor app (private social network for your and surrounding neighborhoods) we have people freaking out over someone posting the date and time for the Stand In Solidarity with Charlottesville vigil in Rockford Park. You could play racist bingo with the comments. We have “All lives matter” and “I don’t care if you’re black, white, purple, polka dotted” and “Where are all the vigils for police killed in the line of duty?” (Hello? The vigil was for the two officers as well!) and the assorted outcry over Black Lives Matter. BTW, if you haven’t watched “Get Out”, especially the garden party scene, you really need to. Jordan Peele has got our number.
The bigotry leg of the new three-legged conservative stool is flexing its muscle as well. Mosques are being bombed, Holocaust Memorials are being vandalized, hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, Jews, Muslims, etc. have dramatically risen. This is not a coincident. These groups are being fed a steady diet of hate and are acting out (following directions?).
The third leg, and one that has grown rapidly – so rapidly that I hear its ideology parroted by men I wouldn’t believe feel this way, but, alas, they do – is the overt misogyny. Women on the internet were well aware of what was going on inside Mens’ Rights Activists (MRAs) sites, Sub-Reddit the Red Pill, PU Artists, and everything behind Gamergate. There latest hero is James Darmore, the Google letter writer. (Note: I didn’t care if he was fired or kept his job.) Meanwhile, the Daily Stormer is planning to send people to Heather Heyer’s funeral. They refer to her as the “fat skank”. But their language is all the rage on these sites. Meaning, they are not the exception. They are not an outlier.
None of this is shocking. If you’re shocked by the events in Charlottesville, you haven’t been paying attention.
I’ll leave you with this…
Look familiar? Yeah, it made me cry, too.
Also, we’re really going to have to discuss what’s going on with young, white men. Just like we discuss how ISIS gets its recruits, because I’m not seeing much of a difference between these two radicalized groups.