Monday, August 14, 2017

Roger L. Simon on Charlottesville

You may have heard about how an initially peaceful "white nationalist" demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned into a riot and ended, on the second day, with at least one death when an angry driver, James Fields, rammed into a crowd of demonstrators. Fields turned out not to be someone of the left, but rather someone of the far right. The demonstration featured rhetoric expressing a desire to preserve white culture, but also featured swastikas and Nazi salutes. The violent group Antifa ("anti-fascists," supposedly, but the group uses fascist tactics) showed up, and that's when the fighting started and the local police failed to do their duty. Ed Driscoll's take is here. Fields's act of vehicular manslaughter was, in a sense, just the icing on the violence-cake.

Roger Simon, in this PJ Media article, writes that what we're seeing isn't a reflection of the country at large, given how small a slice of the population consists of white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis, etc. This is an important point that will be forgotten in the furor.

Meanwhile, since the 1920s, our population has more than tripled to some 325 million. Using the figure of 100,000 white supremacists (not many of whom made it to Charlottesville fortunately), this puts the percentage of white supremacists in the U.S. at a puny 0.03%. Terrible people, yes, but no epidemic by any stretch of the imagination. By way of comparison, an estimated 3 billion pizzas are sold every year in the U.S. There's an epidemic.

More to the point, are there more of these white supremacists than members of the equally violent and disgusting Antifa movement? Again statistics are hard to come by. (Both sides like to wear masks.) But I tend to doubt it. If anything, Antifa has been far more active, until Saturday.

Obviously, none of this is to exonerate in the slightest the human excrement that descended on Charlottesville. It's just to put them in perspective. For the next week or two -- assuming we're not at war with North Korea -- we will hear non-stop geschreiing from our media about what a racist nation we are, how we have to come together, rend our shirts, investigate this and that and endlessly discuss how bad we are until we're finally forgiven at some undetermined point in an ever vanishing future that seems never to arrive.

Neither the left nor the right came out looking angelic in this latest incident. The right certainly isn't advancing its cause by allowing swastikas and Nazi salutes to gain free air time. The left, of course, resorts to violence far more than the right does by several orders of magnitude these days; Antifa is a prime example of that. But now there's James Fields, and while I understand Roger Simon's desire to minimize the significance of a Charlottesville-style incident, I do have to wonder whether Fields's act is the first of many retaliatory acts to come as the right's patience finally cracks. The specter of civil war is always looming in the background. Can large-scale disaster be averted?

Styx sees all this as primarily the biased media's fault:

ADDENDUM: more Antifa violence in Seattle.

ADDENDUM 2: the right, at least on, isn't distinguishing itself when it uploads morbid humor like this:

That's one sample of many such posts that I see on Gab. People are cheering the death of the woman who got mowed down by Fields. I'd love to say that we're talking about only a small minority, but the preponderance of such images and posts on Gab isn't reassuring. There's a very large, very angry group of people that is beginning to feel it's been pushed around enough, which is why I fear this kind of incident is merely a foretaste of what's in store.

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