Additional parties identified in connection with Charlottesville violence
James Alex Fields Jr. was arrested on Saturday after he drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd protesting against white nationalists in Charlottesville.
Additional responsible parties have now been identified in connection with Saturday’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The additional responsible parties include Fields’ school teachers, family, friends, peers, and anyone else who failed to teach Fields the meaning of the phrases, “freedom of speech”, and “freedom of assembly.”
Like so many of his millennial peers, Fields allegedly subscribes to the idea that it is acceptable to use force to silence offensive speech. In his case, Fields used a 4,000-pound car to silence counter-protesters whose speech had allegedly offended his nationalist sensibilities.
Fields may be a fascist, but he was not alone on Saturday in his use of force to silence his opposition
The definition of fascism is the use of force to silence one’s opposition. In that context, assuming his actions were deliberate, Fields is a fascist. In the same context, however, the counter-protestors who threw bottles and sprayed urine, and the white nationalists and KKK members who fought back with their own clubs and shields, are ALL fascists.
Fields was not alone in his apparent use of force to silence opposing speech. The counter-protesters attacked by Fields were themselves using force to try to silence the white nationalists who were assembled across the street.
While the counter-protestors did not drive a car through a crowd of white nationalists, they did throw bottles and stones, sprayed streams of urine and ammonia, and ignited spray cans as crude flame throwers.
Fields’ use of force, while more extreme, was by no means unique. Both sides were engaged in fascist, un-American behavior.
Hatred and disrespect evident “on many sides”
Saturday’s violence may also be laid at the feet of Fields’ extended family, co-workers, military drill instructors, and social group, who apparently failed to instill in Fields a fundamental respect for others necessary to a civil society. It is always possible that Fields was given the proper instruction but rejected that instruction. That is for others to determine.
Blame must also be laid, however, at the feet of both the white nationalist groups and the alt-left groups who converged on Charlottesville. Intolerance and hatred was evident on both sides of the conflict. Neither side was willing to let the other side peacefully assemble, though one side had obtained a permit to do so. Both sides came prepared to silence the other side by force.
The “blame game”
As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel once quipped, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” This concept has never been more readily evident than in hours immediately following Saturday’s violence. social justice warriors and political pundits, the masters of blaming others, immediately began to beat their collective chests and point fingers at their respective opposition, whomever that opposition might be.
Anti-gun hysteric Shannon Watts naturally blamed Saturday’s violence on the NRA.
Of course, Democrat and self-proclaimed Trump-hater, Maxine Waters, blamed the violence on President Trump.
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, blamed the violence on White House advisor Steve Bannon.
The fact is, by using Saturday’s tragedy as an opportunity to attack their respective enemies, these pundits are simply prolonging the conflict and setting the stage for future violence. Such “blame games” inevitably breed intolerance, bigotry, and divisiveness.
President Trump said it correctly: blame exists “on many sides”
Ironically, the one person who appears to have identified the right culprit is President Trump. Speaking about the incident, the President said on Saturday, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” repeating, “On many sides.”
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides” – President Donald Trump
When asked later for clarification about the phrase, “on many sides”, a white house official named both protestors and counter-protesters alike, explaining, “The President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter-protesters today.”
There truly are many people responsible for Saturday’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Certainly, James Alex Fields Jr. is responsible for his own actions and will be held accountable for those actions in a court of law. However, both the white nationalists and the counter-protestors who faced them, must also share a measure of blame for the violence in Charlottesville.
The beliefs of white nationalists groups such as the KKK are offensive to any reasonable person. Such groups should be ashamed of their racism, intolerance, and hate. But ALL those who showed up in Charlottesville prepared to fight, who threw bottles, sprayed urine, or swung a club, should be equally ashamed of their disrespect for fundamental American freedoms.
As citizens of the United States, we must never use force to silence speech, even speech we find offensive.
Both sides came prepared to use force on Saturday to silence their opposition.
Both sides must now share blame for the injuries and deaths that resulted from that use of force.