I’m Not Shocked

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.

Heart breaking.

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.



25 comments on “I’m Not Shocked

  1. cassandram

    I’m not surprised, either. I am angry about it, though. And angry about all of the people who dismissed all of this white grievance set out to hurt us. This President specifically ran on pandering to this crap and here it is. Yesterday, the FBI grabbed up one of the 3 Percenters looking to blow up another Federal building in Oklahoma, but who settled for a bank. The FBI caught him before he could blow up his van, but still.

    The people I am most angry at though are the “both sides do it” crowd. I note that several of my friends who are quick to retreat to this have been laying very low. Perhaps this incident is too difficult to pretend that you can’t tell who the players are. But it is well past time for these folks to pick a side. Because they are going to be the first casualties if this gets any worse.

  2. Wondering

    I’m sad to say that Trump’s “both sides” are equally to blame resonates too much with many people. The fact that the moral ground these two sides were expressing were no way equal seems to be ignored. Sad day for America!

  3. snewton929

    We need to place this in context, i think. There is a global swing toward the hard political right/authoritarianism occurring just now, the likes of which has not occurred since the swing the hard left/authoritarianism in the 1930s. The reason Sinclair Lewis wrote “It can’t happen here” in the mid 30s was because it was all too possible to envision it happening here. If you want a bad chill, read Lewis and compare his “League of Forgotten Men” to the Charlottesville crowd.

    We are, as of today, a hair’s breadth away from Trump declaring that people need to organize their own militias to protect their communities from the violence of agitators. And, yes, I know that people will think I am too far down the road, here, and I’m really not concerned about it. This is going to happen, just like you will begin to see the calls for a Federal Police Force in the near future, even though that would seem like the furtherest thing from the mind of the white supremacists possible.

    The truly chilling thing is that tens of millions of people are still not paying attention. Yes, Trump is a little mercurial, but isn’t the press really too mean to him? Well, I’ve always suspect that too many illegals vote, but I don’t pay attention.

    And before I forget it–for Pandora, and Cassandra, and all of us who kept telling you it was not Hillary Clinton’s failure to offer an effective economic message to potential white Democratic voters–we told you so.

    There. I feel a lot better.

    • And I feel worse! 🙁

    • “…it was not Hillary Clinton’s failure to offer an effective economic message…” – Prof. Newton

      Her on-and-off support for the TPP was not, to put it mildly, an effective economic message. And it was not just the so-called “alt-right” who thought so.

    • @SNewton: For you to be right about “telling us so,” you would have to be able to show that these Nazis did not previously vote for the GOP. Got any?

      You don’t know why the deciding votes were cast, but don’t stop patting yourself on the back.

      • Steve didn’t claim Nazis were the deciding vote.

        • And yet he still said “I told you so.”

          This just in: Racists prefer the GOP to the Democratic Party. Stop the fucking presses.

          • The reason I find you such an objectionable blogger is that you parse every word to discredit anyone who infers something from the stated words — yet you do it yourself frequently. Pick a standard and stick to it.

  4. snewton929

    Thank you. I’m what is known as the epson salts (taken orally) of political blogging.

    • LOL! Just read your comment to Mr. Pandora. He said, “Yep, sounds about right.”

  5. RE Vanella

    So Trump’s opponent was irrelevant. Even Roosevelt couldn’t have won because there were enough are fascists and racists and were just waiting to be rallied. Any Dem nominee would have met the same fate?

    Mark me down as unconvinced.

    • Back in the spring of 2016, my husband made a statement about the Dem primary. He said, “We have two equally flawed candidates.” That chilled me to the bone, because I had never viewed it that way. He was correct, btw. The Dem party is split, and we had better figure out a way to unite because if we don’t no candidate of ours will win.

      Also, what happened in Nov. 2016 was bigger than Hillary. I addressed this several weeks ago when asked: “Where your analysis consistently fails to explain is why white resentment lost twice to Obama, the actual black guy, but defeated Hillary.”

      I replied: “Why do you insist on talking about this in a vacuum? There are a lot of moving pieces. Obama won, in part, because we were hemorrhaging jobs, the Iraq war was a complete disaster and the American people no longer supported it, Katrina, etc.. Republicans ran McCain, viewed as not a conservative by the base – and a staunch supporter of surging in Iraq. However, the writing was on the wall when he picked Palin and the base went nuts. That was a big hint as to what was brewing. Then they ran Romney, another “moderate” and a Mormon – the religious right had a big ol’ problem with that. The base wasn’t happy so they stayed home. Basically, McCain and Romney weren’t rabid enough. My guess (since we’re both guessing) is that Trump would have won in 2012 if he had run.

      White resentment existed with Obama. Bigly. In fact, Trump’s win, imo, had just as much, if not more, to do with Obama than Hillary. Republicans just didn’t run candidates that addressed that resentment. Imagine if they had. (Hey, they were running classes on how not to talk about rape, tho. Bet the base loved that!) So it isn’t as simple as, “Welp, the black guy won.” The mantra of the GOP base was “not conservative enough” and that had nothing to do with the economy.”

      Basically, “Not conservative enough” meant not racist, bigoted, misogynistic enough. Obama didn’t win because he overcame white resentment. He won because the GOP didn’t run candidates that openly catered to white resentment. If they had I have doubts Obama would have won two terms. Like I said, all of this hate/resentment has been bubbling under the surface for a long time – just waiting for the opportunity to burst free.

      And I’ll repeat. We had better get our act together. And if we really care about the issues we claim to care about, we will.

  6. Yes, I’ve seen it all, and I find none of it surprising. What none of it can do it truly tease out the strands of Republican thought, though, because those strands are all wound together. All that data has to be sifted to find these trends, using this or that action as a stand-in for some corresponding motivation. In other words it’s arbitrary, and to accept it fully you have to agree with their choices of what acts stand for what motivators. For example, I have little doubt that some of the”immigrants taking our jobs” anxiety is just a fig leaf for racism.

    A point I’m not sure you appreciate is this: To analyze the results and find economic anxiety is not the same as saying we should therefore tailor our message to appeal to those people. That’s one option, but I think a losing one, because as you have pointed out those people want a flat-out return to conditions that aren’t coming back. They don’t want new jobs, they want their old ones, the way a baby wants its mama.

    What is beyond debate is that the election brought these feelings of racism out into the open. I believe these feelings existed all along, and you might be right about Trump’s embrace of these people bringing some of them out to the polls, probably replacing the 10% of Republicans who didn’t vote for him.

    Your position on Trump’s win boils down to “Republicans turn out only when they’re sure their candidates share their racism,” which again may well be true. None of that counters the proposition that if Clinton had had a better appeal to self-pitying white people she might have won. We see the same elephant, but I look at what we did wrong, not what they did right — I tend to look at what Clinton could have done better instead of blaming Trump for appealing to racism. As I said, racism is always there. In other elections we were able to counter it better. “Stop being deplorable,” as an electoral strategy, wasn’t a winning message.

    Yes, she won the popular vote. So did Gore. So, for that matter, did Tilden, whose inability to gain the White House ended Reconstruction and set the stage for all this. The Electoral College was set up to hobble democracy, and it has done its job well for 230 years.

  7. cassandram

    My position is that when a Republican shows up with an overtly racist appeal that syncs up with the overtly racist appeals Republicans have been fed for years, that those Republicans will vote for it. They’ve been doing it for years at more local levels. Lee Atwater started this with institutionalizing racial dogwhistles and ends with GRIFTUS who no longer needs them, because he explicitly promised his voters a pre-civil rights era where white people had the first bite at everything, including government services. She might have won if she had a way to connect with self-pitying white people. But there’s no better connection to self-pitying white people than telling them that they’ve always been right.

    • This might have been the fateful miscalculation by white people like me and Hillary — that they couldn’t win with that naked appeal any more. I admit I have been stunned by the acceptance of this illegitimate presidency by my Republican friends.

      • cassandram

        I failed to reckon with just how many self-pitying white people there are. And now I am reckoning with how much work there is. Still, this is one of the big reasons why I think that Dems need to be speaking routinely so people can see what a possibly rational alternative to governing might look like. We really can’t wait until the starting gun fires for 2018.

        • I think it fired a while ago.

          I know we have our disagreements, and you might not want my help, but if you ran for office I’d happily volunteer for you.

          • cassandram

            Thank you and I would absolutely call you if that ever happens!

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