Below are two responses to the Charlotte terror attacks on August 12, 2017.
By Dennis O’Neil
August 14, 2017
As we mourn Heather Heyer and wish the other victims full recovery, we owe it to her, and to them, to continue the work they were engaged in.
Here are some rather rough first thoughts on what needs to be done in the days and weeks to come.
Sum up and understand what has happened.
I argue that Charlottesville is shaping up to be a catastrophe for the storm trooper wannabes of the New Confederacy. They lost three ways:
- First, they were outnumbered and frequently outmaneuvered by the various forces which mobilized against them, despite their being organized on quasi-military lines.
- Second, the killing of Heather Heyer and the attempted mass murder by automobile of many additional peaceful protesters has become the focus of progressive rage and broad national opprobrium.
- Third, let’s not forget that this was heralded as a “Unite The Right” rally to strengthen their unity, their numbers and their influence, which is now looking like a massive FAIL.
Keep pushing the fascists back.
We have to be mobilizing, right now, to follow up with the fash. The popular forces are fired up and when the boneheads, nationalists and whatnot pop their nasty little heads up, they can and should be greeted with massive numbers.
As much as possible, different forces within the movement should develop working understandings about the role different sets of people are willing and able to play, and should try to keep those intact even in the heat of an immediate action. Those whose instinctive response after Charlotteville is to stay away will have to pull up their socks and step up, while working with others who feel the same way, in order to carve out a role.
And it should go without saying that folks going to mobilizations away from their own turf should respect the leadership of local people and especially the Black community, the people most likely to face racist reprisals from locally-entrenched white supremacists.
When we do encounter them, we should also be systematic about photographing them and exposing them. Twitter pioneers in this field like @YesYoureRacist have already cost a few of yesterday’s bullyboys their nice guy fronts and even their jobs.
I had hoped that particular opportunities for out mobilizing them would be various court proceedings in the case of murderer James Fields. He will have to be arraigned, have bail hearings and other proceedings.
But now I don’t know. It looks like his Aryan brothers are abandoning him wholesale. The Vanguard America group whose little cardboard shield he was photographed sporting in a group shot earlier in the day, is suddenly all we-can’t-help-who-takes-one-of-the-shields-with-our-symbol-on-it. Fields is, they say, “in no way, a member of Vanguard America.” Such manifestations of extreme wussiness would seem to do little for their pretense of being the US brownshirts.
Aim the spearhead up.
Many of those angered or perturbed by Charlottesville, especially liberals, will want to denounce and protest against bigotry, racism, fascist militias, but let’s realize that this provides us with a splendid opportunity to target the Trump regime for all the legitimacy it has given to these little fascist dirtbags, and to actually undercut the ties between them.
A number of Republican elected officials have already tried to jump ahead of the curve, denouncing Nazism, white supremacy, violence, etc. They sound much like those Democratic politicians who have piped up. As people ask “What can I do?” in the coming days, let’s not forget what Indivisible and other mainstream left Democratic-flavored outfits accomplished in blocking the Affordable Care Act repeal.
People should try and organize systematic calling of politicians from both parties at the national and at the state level and get them to speak out publically against white supremacists in the White House, especially Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka. Maybe Sessions, too.
As their mentor/protectors are driven to distance themselves from the stormtrooper wannabes, or are even forced out, the Fash’s influence will start to dwindle and they may lash out at those they see as betraying them. Should this approach be taken up now, it would be happening at a particularly favorable juncture.
The six Republican Senators who have spoken up so far are freaked out by Trump, but they are also glued to him. Bannon and his little crew of tinpot pseudo-Leninists they hate. They are not alone. The Republican Party, the political home of the New Confederacy, is in disarray and riven by infighting and jockeying for position. Any and all damage done to it will create favorable new conditions for struggle.
While I have emphasized the national political arena in these remarks, we should try in every sphere of society to expose the bond between the racists in the street and the New Confederates who currently hold power in the Federal government and in much of the country at the state level, expose it and hack away at it.
No, Mr. Trump, It’s not about bigotry on all sides: It’s about white supremacists
by Bill Fletcher Jr, originally posted on billfletcherJr.com
12 August, 2017
I sat here listening to Trump’s remarks in connection with the violence carried out by neofascists in Charlottesville this afternoon, violence which has resulted in the death of at least one anti-fascist. He condemned bigotry on what he called all sides.
Once again Trump obscures reality. He either ignores the violence and terrorism carried out against traditionally oppressed groups, e.g., attacks on mosques, or he uses evasive language in order to avoid pointing the finger at the real perpetrators of racist violence.
Some will act as if this is a sign of incompetence on the part of Trump. While Trump clearly lacks competence in so many aspects of his life and presidency–as we are witnessing in the sabre-rattling with North Korea–Trump’s attitude towards race is not about incompetence. This represents a long-standing feature of who he is and the politics that he represents. This is someone who spearheaded the Birther attack on President Obama’s legitimacy, raising unsubstantiated suggestions regarding Obama’s citizenship. This is someone who led the charge against the Central Park 5. This is someone who has been quite comfortable aligning himself with right-wing populists and neofascists.
We should not expect anything better or clearer from Trump. What we must do is rip the cover off of every effort that he undertakes to obscure white supremacist and xenophobic violence and hatred. Progressives should stop using the term “alt-Right” and recognize that what we are witnessing are neofascist movements, movements that are interested in provoking violence and are, in many cases well-armed.
Trump is prepared to remain silent about such movements. Many liberals are hoping that the neofascists will simply go home and shut up. What we must understand is that they will not go home and shut up. They must be defeated. They cannot be tolerated. They are a cancer in the system of democracy. They seek not to create a more conservative system but to radically eliminate democracy and with it many populations that they believe to be antithetical to the openly white republic that they believe that the USA must return to being.
They shall not pass!