As the whole world knows by now, several hundred members of various white supremacist groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a Confederate statue from a public park. The protests turned violent, and a truly disturbed individual drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman named Heather Heyer and injuring many others.
This website unequivocally condemns anyone who hates someone on the basis of their race, and also condemns those who would seek to inflict physical harm on their ideological opponents. Both of these things are affronts to human dignity and an offense to the very concept of Western civilization.
Watching the excellent VICE coverage of the events at Charlottesville will give you a chilling reminder that malevolent racism still exists within our society. At the end of the video, an activist named Christopher Cantwell shows off an arsenal of guns (including two assault rifles and three pistols) and talks about the future of his protests;
“… the fact that nobody on our side died, I’d call that points for us… the fact that none of our people killed anybody unjustly, I think is a plus for us… because our rivals are a bunch of stupid animals who don’t pay attention, they couldn’t just get out of the way of his car and some people got hurt.
I think it was more than justified. I think a lot more people are going to die before we’re done here, frankly.
It should be obvious that white supremacists – ACTUAL white supremacists – are malevolent and have a capacity for violence that is far greater than anything we’d like to contemplate.
Although their numbers are extremely small compared to the general population (SPLC estimates 6000 KKK members in all of America), the level of violence and mayhem that these people are capable of is as much a threat to Western society as Antifa’s riots.
So how do we defeat white supremacists? We kick their asses, right?
Take any look at an “Anti-fascist” group, and you’ll see plenty of support for the idea that the best (and only) way to deal with a Nazi is to punch them.
In other words, when it comes to fascists, violence is the first and only acceptable option. However…
The labels “white supremacist”, “Nazi”, “fascist”, and “alt-right” have been given out way too liberally
People that have been labeled alt-right fascist Nazis include…
- Gad Saad (a Lebanese Jew who escaped genocide as a child)
- Jordan Peterson (a controversial professor who has spent his entire life teaching about the dangers of fascism)
- Ben Shapiro (a conservative Jew who, admittedly, is kind of an asshole… he is also the top target for alt-right harassment)
- Milo Yiannopolous (a gay provocateur who, admittedly, is also kind of an asshole)
- James Damore (the Google engineer who got fired for questioning their diversity initiatives)
- Ezra Levant (the Jewish founder of Rebel Media, which is, admittedly, an awful “news” channel)
- Jake Tapper (a Jewish CNN Anchor who is one of the top targets for harassment from the alt-right)
.@jaketapper joins the ranks of the alt-right to target me online. Welcome to the party.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) July 18, 2017
Compared to people like David Duke, Richard Spencer, and Chris Cantwell, these people don’t seem to fit the bill for being either fascists or Nazis. It’s perfectly fair to protest their views, accuse them of being uninformed/bigoted/etc., but the only thing you’ll prove by using the word “fascist” to describe them is that you don’t even know the definition of the word fascist.
Antifa has been advocating violence towards people they call “Nazis” and “Fascists” for months
Since Donald Trump got elected, Hillary supporters and Antifa members have attacked people for wearing MAGA hats, they’ve beat up a man who they assumed had voted for Trump, they’ve attacked a teenage Trump supporter, they’ve spraypainted DIE WHITES DIE on monuments,, they’ve roughed up a black homeless woman who was defending Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and smashed the windshield of a pregnant woman’s van… with her inside.
And then there’s the Antifa counter-protesters, who have attacked a young woman with pepper spray while she was giving an interview, caused $100,000 in damage to the UC Berkeley campus, fought with attendees of a Gavin McInnes keynote speech and even attacked Gavin himself with pepper spray. This list is very incomplete, by the way, there’s a lot more instances of it. But you should get the idea.
Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.
The problem: violence isn’t a wise strategy when confronting deranged people with guns
The average Antifa member is probably not a street fighter. Although they can probably hold their own when no-platforming Milo on a university campus, the average white supremacist is male, well-built, probably works in construction or manufacturing, accustomed to violence, and probably armed as well.
Over the past eight months, Antifa (and their many supporters on the left) have consistently signaled that they would prefer taking a violent approach when dealing with conservatives, Trump supporters, KKK members, and neo-Nazis. This is a VERY BAD IDEA, considering that the events in Charlottesville have shown that the truly malevolent psychopaths of the ACTUAL alt-right are just waiting for an excuse to kill someone.
Nazis – ACTUAL Nazis – are not well-dressed douchebags like Gavin McInnes. They are violent and dangerous individuals whom you would be a fool to pick a fight with.
“I’m not even saying we’re nonviolent… we’ll fucking kill these people if we have to.”
But surely violence is the only option! You don’t just get someone to renounce white supremacy through discourse!
Most people are probably skeptical when I claim that people have, indeed, spontaneously renounced their racist views. However this is absolutely the case.
Consider a former Grand Dragon of the Oklahoma KKK, Johnny Lee Clary, who was essentially trolled into realizing how ridiculous his white supremacist views were by the Reverend Wade Watts. Despite trying to burn down Watts’ church and threatening him on multiple occasions, they became friends after Clary renounced the Klan.
Or, consider former neo-Nazi Christopher Picciolini, who began to question his racist views after the birth of his son.
Or, consider Arno Michaelis, who renounced his white supremacist views after he found it too difficult to hate an elderly black McDonald’s cashier. She was was nice to him despite his racist tattoos.
Or, consider the heroic Daryl Davis, a black musician who has befriended and converted KKK members over the course of his lifetime. Ironically, he has a harder time getting along with some BLM activists than he does Klansmen.
“There are people who will go to their graves being hateful, violent, and racist. You know, they’re not going to change.
But then there are those who have that same sentiment, but they take the opportunity to sit down, one-on-one. If you spend five minutes with your arch enemy, you will find that you have something in common with him or her…
The more you build on the things you have in common, the things that you have in contrast (like skin color) begin to matter less and less.
Yes, white supremacists are dangerous and violent. Many of them are beyond all help, and violence may be inevitable in those situations.
But many of them may very well be redeemed. It seems like you are about as likely to beat a white supremacist into agreeing with you as you would debating social justice warriors into changing their perspectives.
Perhaps it’s time to take another look at the nonviolent approach. It’ll save money on mace and medical bills, and maybe… just maybe, it’s more effective.
Edit: Addressing the “We can’t tolerate intolerance” rebuttal
Yes, I agree. We should not tolerate intolerant people. Intolerance is not nice, and white supremacists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis are truly malevolent and have a large capacity for violence.
Part of the social contract we have in Western civilization is that it wrong on the deepest level to hate someone on the basis of their skin colour, sexuality, sex, and so on. From experience, we know that these types of hatred are both unfounded and usually lead to terrible outcomes if left unchecked (see: Rwanda, Nanking, the Yazidi genocide in Iraq, and Nazi Germany).
So, supremacy groups like the Nazis and the KKK should absolutely be designated as terrorist groups (this is beginning to happen and should have happened a long time ago).
However, another part of our social contract is that we shouldn’t go around punching people we disagree with. From experience, we know that normalizing this behaviour usually leads to terrible outcomes if left unchecked (see: the French Revolution, the dekulakization in Soviet Russia, the Death Squads of El Salvador, and so on).
Defeat them in the courts, defeat them in the legislature, interact them on a human-to-human level and reclaim those who can be saved from the ideology, and by all means defend yourself if they instigate violence against you, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that going out to “collect Nazi scalps” is a fun way to spend your weekend. It’s an easy way to end up in the hospital.