Ever since Donald Trump was elected President it has seemed to me as though a new element had been added to the usual mix that one sees at appearances by the President. Sure, there is a long history of violence at public appearances directed bit toward the President and to their supporters or to those who were against the policies of the President. So that in itself is not surprising.
What surprised me was how quickly that the mainstream media was to jump on the bandwagon of the violent protesters. They seemed to be intent on putting an anti trump spin on anything that happened. For example on Trump’s first trump to the Houston TX area after the hurricane last week the media was full of stories criticizing trump for not meeting with hurricane victims. When he returned a few days later and spent time working with volunteers to serve meals and listen to the victims of the hurricane I was waiting for the media to erupt and start saying Trump was grandstanding for the media by interacting with the victims.
It isn’t just me either, the bias has been so obvious that many people have mentioned it. This election was horrible for everyone, even people who were not for either Clinton or Trump (like me). My wife supported Trump and I went along with her to a rally and later to a post election event in Harrisburg PA. I made it plain that I was not “for” either candidate though. As a result I lost all my media/Hollywood friends on Facebook. I’m sorry but I don’t go along with the crowd against my own feelings.
After a few months of violence erupting at what should have been peaceful protests and the media more or less ignoring its importance the rally and death at Charlottesville finally brought to the surface who all of the actors involved really were. There were so many videos being taken by the parties involved, news organizations, independent journalists and just people in the crowd that it was pretty much impossible to spin things to suit a particular narrative or belief system. That is the beauty and the value of #crowdsourcednews, it brings the truth to the surface.
In this story I wanted to look at the three main groups involved in the Charlottesville riots and provide links to videos from each that allow them to tell their side of the story. I mean, why not? The media tries to not cover groups or people that are “bad” in their judgement and to some extent this makes sense. I mean there are very bad people who happen to have a charismatic personality that can lead well intentioned people into very bad places (consider cult leaders as well as political figures).
First off there is Antifa who seem to have been the main actors behind making otherwise peaceful protests turn violent since the Trump election and perhaps during the campaign. Antifa has, according to Wikipedia, been around for a long time now and their stated goal is to fight fascism. Of course this includes violence and opposition to free speech by people they do not agree with.
I couldn’t find any videos by Antifa in which they explain their beliefs and objectives by I did find what purports to be a website and Facebook page operated by the Philadelphia branch of Antifa. The organization is described as a collective of autonomous anti-fascist groups so pinning down a single information source for them may be difficult. However I offer these sites as a place to learn about them outside what the news media says and what the search engines deliver.
The next group or collection of groups is the ones that were described as far right, Nazi or Neo-Nazi by the media on the day of the rally and thereafter. They are the ones with the tiki torches lit and like the Antifa some had shields, clubs and body armor. The first group on the list of groups that attended the rally (as provided by Wikipedia) is The Daily Stormer and I was going to try to find a video that represented their views but GoDaddy has since deleted their website and Google has blocked them too.
Antifa however is alive and well on the web as noted above. There seems to be so much censorship going on these days on the big web services that it is hard to find information on a lot of these “fringe” groups any more. I suppose that it is well intentioned as a way to keep them from spreading their message. But these is that thing called Free Speech and we really have to be very careful when deliberately shutting down the ability of anyone to exercise that right on what are public channels of communication and media distribution. Personally I like to know what all the actors in an event are about and listen to their side of the story. The best thing I could find for you in the case of the alt right is the KKK website.
The KKK is so ingrained into American culture that it seems more of a brand than a bonafide hate group these days. I mean people like David Duke have made a celebrity career out of their white supremacist beliefs and affiliation with the KKK and he is regularly featured when news media needs a white supremacist to trot out in fron of the camera. So it hardly seems very radical anymore, just a bunch of disenfranchised white folk who want to blame someone for their condition. It is interesting to note that again, according to Wikipedia, David Duke was arrested in 1972 for inciting a riot over a clash with Black Panthers over a statue of Robert E. Lee. Seems we have not made much progress in the intervening years.
Finally there were groups like the Oath Keepers who are labeled as pretty far right like the Tea Party groups but claim to be the. In this video the Patriot Media group explains their views and their reasons for being at Charlottesville. I think it is interesting because they claim to support neither Antifa or the Far Right groups. Instead they say they are there to ensure that all sides get to exercise their right to free speech, to uphold the constitution. The seem like everyday Americans and even have at least one member who is black (and makes sure to be seen and heard in the video).
So, in reality there were #manysides to this event as President Trump said. Perhaps he had information on the violent tactics of Antifa when he made his statement that so infuriated the media? Now the media has finally turned their eye on Antifa. I have seen people say that Antifa did not kill anyone at the rally and that is true but at the same time the law says that if you are involved in committing a crime and someone is killed you can be charged with murder.
As proof of this I saw a story the other day about a home invasion gone wrong. Three teen males broke into a home while their get away driver, a 19 year old female, waited in the car outside. The homeowner woe up, grabbed his AK47 and shot and killed all three would be burglars. Now the get away driver is charged with three counts of murder for their deaths.
So then, if the actions of Antifa to deliberately incite violence were part of what drove a reportedly mentally unstable man to ram his car into a crowd then shouldn’t they be held accountable? Inciting a riot is a crime and to me that is potentially a factor in what caused the alleged driver to ram his car into the crowd and kill a woman. The truth of the matter is that there indeed were #manysides to this event as there almost always are.