Opinion by Kyle A. Lohmeier
As I get older, I realize more and more that there isn’t much that’s great about getting older. One of the very few advantages age has is that it affords one afflicted by it with a longer view of history than younger people have. This, if the aged person has been paying attention, can enable him or her to notice the patterns that form over time and how they change, usually for the worse.
This aspect of hurtling toward the grave has been brought to mind a lot of late as the nation continues to react to the shocking absurdity of the violence that happened in Charlottesville over the weekend. To eyes that have been around since before the Internet, there are patterns to be seen in Charlottesville and the national mood that’s led up to it.
At its heart, Charlottesville and other white nationalist type demonstrations are nothing new, nor are the movements behind them. There have always been racist people. There have always been people with a persecution complex. There have always been people with both maladies and there have always been organizations, both loose and formal, that serve to reinforce racist senses of persecution. And, they’ve always held rallies. In public. None of these things are new.
What is new, however, and disturbing, is how portions of the population are choosing to respond to these demonstrations as of late. Back in the old days, when people were wiser and generally more civil, there was a typical way good people went about counter-demonstrating a KKK rally being held on the steps of the state capitol or county courthouse or city hall or wherever. They’d simply wait for the time allotted on the event permit the KKK had to pull for their little rally to expire and the klansmen to all dutifully leave. Then, a team of volunteers armed with mops, deck-brushes and buckets filled with soapy, sudsy water would descend upon the steps and give them a good ceremonial scrubbing down, washing away the stain of the filth that had just been there. Then, they’d go home. Maybe the local newspaper sent someone to take a few photos; maybe the local network TV news affiliate would have a crew on the scene, but that would be about it. No fights. No M-80s inside bottles. No sap gloves. No douchebags with sticks and shields. No stupid tiki torches.
The psychological and philosophical reason why the old way of counter-demonstrating hateful speech is superior to the current trend of initiating violence and vandalism against it and everything in its general direction is because the counter-protesters didn’t make the same fundamental mistake as the racists and bigots they’re protesting against – they didn’t cross the line and stop minding their own shit.
The reason why the ideas advanced by white nationalists are so irredeemably vile is because they are each examples of the sort of notions possessed by miserable busybodies who don’t know how to mind their own shit. The entire concept of “white genocide” they worry about so much is rooted in caring about whom other people choose to procreate with – as if anything could be less one’s own shit than that! It’s also likewise none of their shit whom companies hire, what god(s) anyone else believes in or how anyone else chooses to peacefully live their lives. Yet, these are the primary motivators of white nationalists of yesteryear as well as now.
Sadly, however, the ideas the counter-demonstrators have rationalized in recent years are themselves examples of profound non-own-shit-minding, thereby making them no better than that which they seek to protest. Regardless of how little a U of C Berkeley student likes Milo, it’s still none of their shit whether or not another group of students invites him to campus to speak. Period. And, no amount of self-fellating self-righteous indignation at what Milo says or represents gives anyone any right to hurl a Molotov cocktail at anyone else. Ever.
And yes, just as awful white nationalists and other assorted statist filth have the right to assemble and blather on at the poor passersby, so too do those who disagree have the right to set up next to them and hurl insults back and forth. Thing is, at that point, they’re ignoring the fact that it’s really none of their shit if a bunch of idiots want to stand in public and proclaim their idiocy and, worse yet, that shouting at them isn’t going make anything better.
In fact, confronting white nationalists is giving them exactly what they want. See, for decades, white nationalists have been convinced they’re fighting a war. But see, it’s a culture war, and culture is shaped by the Jewish controlled media, and therefore the cause of white nationalism can’t win because liberal propaganda makes it look so distasteful while liberals are also pushing their multicultural agenda – to paraphrase their basic paranoid core beliefs.
So, for decades, white nationalists have been waging their uphill battle to capture the hearts and minds of people much smarter than themselves and who therefore have little time for such foolishness. This leads to a buildup of impotent rage. This rage occasionally manifests itself in the incidents of white supremacist terror attacks that happen in the USA. Now, however, in their infinite wisdom, Leftists are giving these white nationalists a real, physical, tangible thing they can lash out at and do damage to: themselves. So, they are. This really shouldn’t surprise anyone.
There are reasons why, in the good old days, those with the mops and buckets would hang back and wait for the klan rally disperse and THEN go clean off the steps rather than rush the klansmen, wielding the mops and deck-brushes like quarterstaves. First and foremost, they understood that initiating violence is always wrong, regardless of whatever awful shit a person is saying about you. As an extension of that, they realized that they wouldn’t deserve to be seen as terribly sympathetic figures if they got beat up by klansmen who fought back when attacked. Now, if the klansmen returned and attacked the volunteers as they cleaned the steps, that would be different, the klansmen would be rightfully denounced as monsters. I’m not sure that such a thing ever happened though.
Yet this simple logic and philosophical truth is now either unknown to the members of the far Left who feel compelled to give credence to these awful white nationalist rallies by loudly counter-demonstrating them, or if they simply have decided that objective morality no longer applies to them and they somehow have a right to initiate violence. I still can’t believe that they haven’t figured out the best way to cripple the alt-right/white nationalist movement is to starve it of attention. The media would be more than happy to ignore every rally they hold, but that becomes awfully difficult when they all devolve into fiery donnybrooks that make for amazing ratings.
Yet, for whatever reason, Leftists are more and more often compelled to counter-protest ages-old white nationalism with increasing amounts of violence. This new pattern is far more disturbing than the old pattern of mostly ignoring such rallies and responding, if at all, with only a muted, symbolic gesture that was always more powerful than the hours of verbal sewage that preceded it. For one, it represents a failure on the part of Leftists to mind their own shit, which makes them objectively little to no better than the white nationalists they’re raging against. Secondly, by spending so much energy on the existence of the silly white nationalist movement, they only serve to give it power – not more power, really, but the only power it has.