Outright, I reject everything that Nazis, Klan members, white supremacists, and racists who insist they aren’t racist but really are stand for. The mob that descended upon Charlottesville and attacked peaceful counter-protestors represents a vile stain on American culture that has only spread thanks to the rhetoric of Donald Trump and the so-called “alt-right.”
President Trump’s continued claims that such violence comes from “many sides” is downright absurd. For one example, despite the memes spread on Facebook, Black Lives Matter has no connection, whether literal or figurative, to ISIS. BLM protestors have never held hostages, kicked anyone off of buildings, or turned whole towns into literal warzones. And those calling Ferguson a warzone clearly have no idea what a warzone is.
Yet the death of Heidi Heyer is quite telling. A part of the Unite the Right rally consciously drove his vehicle into the crowd of counter-protestors. That is an act of terrorism. Then the alt-right had the audacity to mark her as “fat” and “childless” as if either of those adjectives has anything to do with the value of her life (they don’t; also, I’m not providing a link to such a disgusting article). Considering the weight of many male alt-right members, it also seems especially ironic.
“But Monica!” One might counter, “They can’t be terrorists because they aren’t Muslims and just want to Make America Great Again!” Wrong. “Terrorism” refers to causing fear in others for some purpose, particularly through violence or threats thereof. With continual chanting of “Jews will not replace us” and overt threats and acts of violence, white supremacists are terrorists. Dylan Roof is a terrorist. The Charlottesville rioters, and only those on the “alt-right” side, not “both sides,” are terrorists. “Make America Great Again” is coded terrorism that hearkens to a past time when only straight, cisgender, white males had any rights at all, a rally cry for those who think that the rights of others somehow infringe on their own.
Donald Trump’s equivocation and coding has delighted white supremacists but shown the rest of us his true colors. An eventual condemnation came, but only with pressure, and he still insists that others are also to blame. He values the support of his core supporters—those who would view the world through the lens of fear and hate. These are people who would rather blame minorities for their problems instead looking in a mirror.
While the First Amendment protects the right to have horrible racist views, it stops as soon as threats of violence start. In fact, I’m sure that this is far from what many Trump voters had in mind, as I have met many who are reasonable people at their hearts. Therefore, I call upon Republicans, both inside and outside of the government, to reject and distance themselves from the alt-right’s violent rhetoric.
Please have the courage to call out LITERAL NAZIS for what they are instead of deflecting the blame to “many sides.” Otherwise, the whole situation seems far too familiar historically.