Vice News Tonight on HBO well documented the hatred that incited the violence between the neoNazis and antiNazis in Charlottesville. It's worth watching--if you can stand some of the shocking and scary things said by one of the neoNazi leaders.
I want to be careful here, because I can't read what's in the hearts and minds of all the marchers and counter marchers. But there is this:
- The interviewed neoNazi leader is a dangerous man, fully armed not just with ugly and provocative rhetoric, but also with an array of guns and a knife. He's someone who says that "people die all the time" when asked about Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed. His demeanor was so unattached to human emotion that some experts might call him a sociopath. Nearly everything that vomited out of his mouth violated everything that Americans should hold dear.
- What many of the marchers were chanting and the words of their leader invoke a horrible vision of 1930s Nazi Germany and ethnic cleansing. Anyone marching with them who didn't realize the depth of this group's hatred ought to disavow themselves from the "movement."
- Evidence of incitement was visible on both sides. One can even reasonably suggest that elements of both sides intended to provoke the other side to show everyone how "dangerous" their opponents were. Both sides engaged in taunting and the kind of verbal abuse that could lead to violence.
- The neoNazis had a right to protest. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to march in similar instance when neoNazis planned to march in Skokie, Ill., the home of many Holocaust survivors. Counter protestors who blocked their way were wrong. It only gave the neoNazis the opportunity to claim victimhood.
- It's time for the politically moderate to assert themselves, to not let America be defined by the wild, wild left or the hateful right.
The person that I ended up admiring the most after viewing the Vice documentary was the reporter, who managed to keep her cool in the face of the sickness and hatred that surrounded her. Here's the documentary: