Analysis by Reporting San Diego.
August 11, 2017 (San Diego) there has been violence, as people who purposely have come to defend the Robert E Lee Statue at Emancipation Park, have clashed with counter protesters. We even had a car run over counter protesters, and there might be deaths. That incident should be called terrorism.
On one side we have well known white supremacist groups, and leaders, like David Duke as well as Richard Spencer. On the other, we have Black Lives Matter and other groups such as Antifa.
President Donald Trump finally tweeted after Duke said that people like him voted for Trump because they are going to get their country back, implied, a country for whites. We are including the Tweet since it is important.
We think that Duke’s Twitter response is also worth looking at.
Or that the President refused to denounce the Far Right again when speaking to the press.
But what is the deeper context of all this?
Now let’s examine this in detail. When Richard Spencer used the terms “Hail Trump” before the president was sworn in. When they march around screaming “blood and soil,’ a central tenet of Nazi ideology. Meaning blood, pure white blood, and soil for the farmers; When they march around with torches, all that is missing is burning books.
We think the video is relevant here.
When they stand giving Nazi salutes, and they carry around Nazi blood flags, they are not Alt Right. That is an attempt at linguistic diversion from the reality. It is marketing. These people are Nazis,. And let’s be clear. They are not alone. The gathering included the Klu Klux Klan, the White Knights, and others with a long history of pushing a white supremacist ideology in this country. Groups that were emboldened by Trump’s election. Some are also Neo-Confederates, like the KKK. The difference in ideology is one of degree at best, though.
As to the proximal cause, removing statues (Robert E Lee to be specific) honoring that Confederate past. Let’s be brutal here. Many of these symbols, including the Stars and Bars flag, were adopted as symbols of resistance against the civil rights movement. They came hand in hand in with the rise of the segregation academies, where many white parents sent their children. In some places in the south, these academies are still going strong.
One participant of the march was interviewed by Unicorn News on the stream last night. He said that his culture and his people were under attack and that he was there to defend his people. By that he means pure whites. This sense of being under assault by the larger culture is a common element for these people. We will have a fuller list below. It goes hand in hand with a feeling that a mythic past they believe is real was better.
This is what the KKK, and any fascist movement, have in common. This past had an order and things were better. So it is time to call them exactly what they are…in general White Supremacist will work. But if you march around holding blood fags, tattooing yourself with 88, meaning Hail Hitler, swastikas, or a slew of other symbols. You also use Nazi salutes, and scream “blood and soil,” you are a Nazi. There is no quibble, no room to doubt this, or any new linguistic cuteness. Alt.Right was a marketing slogan, we get it. Nazis bring way too many bad memories and quite frankly are not popular.
We also know the end game for these people. Either secession into a white ethnostate, which I bet is not their preferred result. Or a return to the pre civil rights era, where covenant deeds were common, red lining was legal, and suppression of whole groups of people was allowed, not just in the South. Let’s disabuse ourselves of that idea, that it was limited to the Old Dominion. We had those issues across the country. In some ways some of these issues do remains, and segregation, especially in school and housing is back with a vengeance, across the country.
We have written this in the past. Why is this story dominating the news cycle? The far right revels on two things. One of them is linguistic prowess, but the second is violence. They need that violence. It is two fold. Part of this is ideology. They believe they are the strongest “race,” where the blood comes from. And they need to spill blood.
The second, quite frankly, is that while the right hates the media, they need the media. They also know that most Americans will slow down at the freeway for a car wreck, so a nice race riot is a good way to dominate the news cycle. They also count on a race war starting sooner or later. It is a core part of the ideology.
The Southern Poverty Law Center pointed to this. These people want a response they can control. One where they can fight you. This does not mean that you should not have a response. However, what happened this morning is exactly what hate groups want.
So what are they?
These are the things that these groups have in common:
• They want to limit the rights of certain groups.
• They want to divide society along racial, ethnic or religious lines.
• They believe in conspiracies.
• They try to silence any opposition.
• They are anti-government and fundamentalist.
Understanding this is very helpful, in planning a response. Become familiar with the symbols of hate. Myself, I consult the Anti-Defamation League guide often. Why? Some symbols are perennial, like 14 (standing for 14 words, and a slogan coined by David Lane) others are not.
The next part of the response will go against your most basic instinct, I understand this.
Do NOT attend a hate rally to counter protest. You are helping the people organizing the rally and feeding their intent. You really must do all you can to make the rally’s goal, to be on the news, fizzle. Trust me when I say this. We in the media want those photos and videos of confrontation. Remember the reference to the car wreck on the freeway? Please, ruin my marketing scheme and deny the traffic to my site. Chiefly, ruin the intent of the organizers to be on the news.
If you do, however, for the most part the students at the University of Virginia last night behaved admirably. They were surrounded, but for the most part they did not engage in violence. They were attacked however, because the right needed those violent clips.
Organizing an alternative community event, AWAY from where these people are holding their rally is a strong symbol of unity for the community. When you do that, please call your local media. Try to get as many cameras on site as you can. Granted, if there is any violence at the hate event, yours will likely not make it to the news. But the idea is to have yours on the news, not theirs. In other words, show that love trumps hate.
Do not get in a word of words with these people. They are not going to change what they believe. But a war of words will become fodder for media. It is not that you are not acknowledging them. You are. You are just denying them the oxygen they need to both recruit and grow their movement. This is very strategic thinking.
I hear it often, but Nazi Germany. Yes, Nazi Germany is very relevant. The Brown Shirts got all their practice fighting left wing groups, including their version of Antifa, in the streets. Once the Nazis came to power, they used that street violence as an excuse to shut down all protest in the name of law and order. That is the history. So consider this carefully. We live at a moment in time when the fascists among us are pushing all kinds of buttons to get that violence. They want to give the government the tools they need to shut down all protests.
Oh and language matters. Do not fall into the cute linguistic games they play. Call them exactly what they are. They are white supremacists, they are Nazis, They are Klan. They are Proud Boys. They are Fascists. Do not play the games. They are toxic and they will resort to terrorism if need be. Incidentally, ramming a vehicle into a crowd of people is exactly that, terrorism.
If I may address the Associated Press at this point, I beg of you to issue a new standard. No reporter should ever again refer to these people as Alt.Right. Enough of that. They are exactly what they are, and using terms that they want us to use is only helping them.
Edited to add some relevant information, including David Duke’s tweet.