CHARLOTTESVILLE: FREE SPEECH IS THE ISSUE---NOT RACISM!
Antifa, a group of anti-Fascists protesters, shown attacking conservative right wing demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 13, 2017. Antifa's philosophy is to use violence against any form of discrimination: racism, sexism, ethnonationalism and more. (YouTube)
Antifa protesters preparing to administer violence upon their targets at an unidentified location (Salon.org).
"There is blame on both sides," said President Trump, and for the first time, I can agree with him, regarding the Charlottesville events of violence and deaths! The issue of Charlottesville is not about racism or anti-semitism, but is about "freedom of speech."
Even neo-Nazi's and white supremacists have a right to free speech. Free speech does not have to be accurate, fair, true or factual. In fact, it can even be biased and hateful! And the events in Charlottesville on August 12 and 13, 2017, was just that, very hate-filled. However, free speech means one's right to assemble and speak has to be free! However, in Charlottesville, it was not free!
Despite the fact that the right-wing groups were the only ones to legally register with the city government to march that weekend, they were still denied their rightful freedoms.
The counter protesters (i.e. clergy, anti-facists (Antifa), black lives matter groups, and individuals) who marched without a legal permit, got in the faces of the legally permitted marching KKK groups, white supremacists, Neo-Nazi's, and other protesting individuals. Instead of remaining away from the marching demonstrators and turning their backs on them to avoid any confrontation, the leftist or liberal groups chose to disrespect the constitutional rights of the far-right protesters, and confront them with verbal and physical attacks. Even initiating it! The result was violence, chaos, injuries and ending in a counter-protester death. Two policemen were also killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the confrontations.
Both protesting groups were filmed using baseball bats, clubs, shields, chemical spray, and both sides were even carrying guns. Thank God no one fired a lethal weapon despite the state of Virginia's permitting the public to carry such arms.
Had the leftists not confronted the right wing groups, the violence would not have happened. Ironically, one has to put partial blame on the counter-protesters, and hold them accountable for what appears to be their initiating the violence. Ironically, the counter-protestors actions contributed, in part, to the death of one of their own, Heather Heyer.
The right-wing protesters who, despite making hate-filled chants and marching with offensive and insulting Nazi armbands, KKK flags and German swastikas, were still in the right. Had there been no counter-demonstrators, there would not have been any confrontations or attacks, physically or with an automobile!
In America, registered protesters have a legal and constitutional right to freedom of speech and assembly. It is their freedom to do that---no matter how ugly and vicious the message! The counter-protesters denied that right. Thus, the President's claim that "There is blame on both sides," is quite accurate. Ironically, for all of Trump's lying and distortion of the truth, in this case, one could argue that he was fair in his assessment of what happened!
Racism and anti-semitism are the fake and false issues of Charlottesville. Everyone, from politicians, media and press pundits and reporters, to business leaders and minority groups, could only see the superficial sounds and sights of hate-filled marchers.
But, it was the loss of freedom of speech and assembly that was the real issue, which resulted in an unnecessary and sad tragedy!