Most of our dear readers have heard about the sad turn of events in Charlottesville. With the KKK and Neo-Nazis on one side, Antifa and Black Lives Matter on the other, and a police force unprepared for violence, the rally was opportune for chaos. Mirabile auditu, the police needed to evacuate the scene and return with proper riot equipment! Gavin McInnes avers that this ineptitude was by design: mayors cite disorderly conduct in other rallies and assemblies as both a means to deny permits to rally and to accrue more power to restrict free expression. The end result is a “right” of peaceful assembly with more red tape than a license to purchase fully automatic weapons. Future rally organizers need to be wary lest they unwittingly give ammunition to politicians wishing to impose restrictions like “hate speech” (i.e. anti-Leftist speech) laws and the like on American citizens.
The most offensive persons at the Charlottesville rally numbered among the far-right and alt-right. (I made this conclusion from all the information I have: I know well Antifa is essentially the Democrats’ new KKK.) During the recent presidential campaign, I often wished to defend the alt-right. Yet, the alt-right has consistently moved from the legitimate domain of defending white cultures into the white nationalist camp. Perhaps, they were always there, but so much confusion over just the definition of alt-right made me and other conservatives think that they were lumped together in the same boat. But, the alt-right has appeared prominently and without shame besides the KKK and Neo-Nazis. I, a philosophical adherent of classical liberalism, can’t make common cause with any of these three groups.
At the same time, I feel sure that hundreds of protesters were there because they wished to protest the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue: ordinary Southrons wishing to protect their heritage. Their side of the story has been drowned out by the presence of so many extremists. I wish that they had not shown up to the rally, because the media has lumped these persons with the KKK and Neo-Nazis in order to bolster the impression of their numbers. The truth is that only a very, very small minority of whites belong to groups like this. The time when the will of the KKK could be conflated with the will of all white Americans–if such a time ever existed–is far in the past.
But, why should the KKK be so prominent in defending Confederate monuments? These monuments represent the military and cultural heritage of all Southerners whether they have ancestors who fought in the Civil War or not. People estimate that as many as 30,000 Civil War reenactors exist. Surely, these groups care about the destruction of Civil War history and can assemble a large rally from which extremist groups are barred?
Still, the truth is that rallies are becoming increasingly dangerous. Most are now essentially invitations to battle. It was fun in the beginning: Leftist organizations were busy shutting down events and destroying property; so, it was right for them to meet a comeuppance. Yet, one senses that forms of violence are escalating, and firearms were conspicuous at this rally. People on the right and left should hold a moratorium on rallies until people calm down: otherwise, it would make more sense and be more civilized to simply prepare tourneys instead of rallies.