From 2008 to 2016 violent White Nationalist incidents in U.S. totaled 115. In the same time frame there were 63 Islamic Radical Terrorists incidents.
– The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting
Fight the real enemy.
– Sinéad O’Connor, October 3, 1992
Donald J. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving. Our game-show president has become this nation’s ipecac. He extracts the poison from the body politic through our social esophagus inducing needed projectile vomiting. And an astonishing pile of puke was on display this past week during a white nationalist coming-out party in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which dozens were injured and a young woman was run down by a car, and then later in the lobby of Trump Tower when El Douche went off the rails to defend it in what will forever be known as the Tuesday Afternoon Meltdown. But without his gift for ignorant revelation, the poisons that flooded the streets of the otherwise sleepy southern town would have continued to sit undetected in our system and slowly rot it from the inside.
Thanks to a few hundred pasty bigots and our dung-brained president it has now bubbled to the surface where we can no longer ignore or explain it away. Trump’s spectacular streak of stupidity mixed with the world’s most effective promotional tool for abortion has revealed much about America.
Admittedly, up until the most unhinged press conference by a major politician since Richard Nixon’s “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” diatribe against the press, the Eastern Liberal Establishment and Martians, I had planned to write that as usual the response to this president’s “role” or “non-role” in the insane events in Charlottesville was a bit hyperbolic. Beyond his faux tough-guy approach and a preternatural inability to knock anyone who digs him (Vladimir Putin, David Duke, etc) the issue at hand should have been Neo-Nazis, the Klu Klux Klan, something called white nationalists, the city’s day-late-dollar-short police force and the genius who issued a permit for these nuts to openly threaten everyone who was not in the WASP club.
But it was hard to ignore that for days afterwards, Trump repeatedly placed treasonous marauders on the same moral plain as those who admittedly fought back violently against them; symbolically ringing the opening bell for an all-out street fight for the soul a nation.
Of course, to be fair, a bunch of privileged and lazy Duck Dynasty fans deciding to whip out the Swastika flags they ordered on alt-right.com so they can get on TV to shout “Jews will not replace us!” does not a war make. But it is refreshing to see the kind of monsters in broad daylight that usually hide behind the vagaries of “those people are tearing down our culture” and “those people are diluting our history,” while usually lounging around dinner tables or hosting Fox News shows or skulking through the halls of congress or acting all tough masked in fake names on blogs and Facebook posts and spitting banal propaganda in Breitbart News or the Drudge Report.
This is why the First Amendment is first, bubba, and is the niftiest part of our Constitution; it provides those the blessed right to get it all out there, unfiltered, so we can take better aim at picking them off one by one.
As the ugly rise to the surface, we can now know their names and see their faces; the same cretins who attempted to halt marriage equality and deny women reproductive rights, blame their personal failures on outside forces and press voter suppression laws under the ambiguously self-righteous guise of God, tradition, national security, and all the other well-worn buzz words that have been used as oppressive weapons for decades.
We already knew icky things about Trump’s dealings with race from his outlandishly pathetic public performance in the 1980s Central Park Five case to the really weird birther shit against our first African American president, and it is noteworthy that Trump’s daddy, for whom he yearns to please even in death, was busted at a 1925 Klan rally in Queens. It was Fred Trump’s real estate practices of keeping people of color and Jews from queering deals over the “lowering of property values” that trained his son to think that anything that aides Trump business is fine and anything that threatens is bad. Thus those he blithely calls the “alt-left” would be in the bad category and the white nationalists, well, his supporters.
To wit: I can confidently state that if a mob of hate mongers were running around the street in broad daylight evoking my name as inspiration, wearing hats with my name while carrying Confederate and Nazi flags and telling news organizations that they were fulfilling my promises, I would immediately run out onto the White House lawn to push out a statement that gets me as far away from that as possible. Trump did not.
But what Trump did accomplish was to inadvertently reveal the undercurrent of fear that leads to statements like, “these people are trying to erode our way of life”; the same theory that convinced generations of politicians to decide that the African American uprising against oppression (more recently Black Lives Matter) and the campus marches against Viet Nam (more recently marches against asinine foreign wars) must be the product of communist intervention (more recently radical leftist political figures like George Soros) and not a deeper problem within American culture and our damaged institutions.
You see the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, for which the thugs in Charlottesville were (wink-wink) “protesting”, represents to these people, and the people who defend them, which the president clearly did in both his original remarks and his wig-out at Trump Tower, is a classic American “save the culture” argument that is at the root of our tarnished history. It helped lead to the Watts Riots (more recently Ferguson), the violent horrors of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention (see Ferguson again), Kent State (recent militaristic police presence in black neighborhoods), the flaccid War on Drugs (Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent return to Draconian drug sentencing), the Religious Right (Trump pandering on LGBT military ban), and on and on and on and on and on.
It is this kind of “thinking” at the core of this nation’s original sin and what prompts the “nice people protesting a statue” commentary from a man who cannot tell the difference between Thomas Jefferson and an institutional insurrectionist that led an army to over-throw the United States to perpetuate the owning of human beings (which they masked – and still do – in a weak “states’ rights” argument).
And as for Trump’s specious defense of “peaceful protesters”; if I decided I loved statues and felt it unfair to take them down and joined a rally that eventually puts me in the middle of that putrid rabble, I might re-think things before continuing or risk guilt by association. You see, a “peaceful Nazi” exists in the same mystic Trumpian netherworld as the wall Mexico is paying for.
But this all pales in comparison to Trump’s most telling and teachable-moment when he blurted, “They want to change our culture and alter our history.”
This phrase is the tipping point for a new and more direct and far overdue street fight on the irrational resentment of progress, intellect and evolution that has permeated the first years of this twenty-first century; what this space has been writing about for twenty years now this month. (No kidding. It will be twenty years next week I started this lunacy! I have never done anything for this long. And for that I need to be committed.)
But I digress.
No one is altering history. Here’s the history: The Confederacy was wiped out and so were the Nazis. They lost. And you know who beat them? The United States of America. They had their shot, they were crushed. That’s the history. The reconstruction of this history is erecting monuments to the vanquished that were strategically placed in public places like parks and in front of government buildings for intimidation during the birth of the Jim Crow South during the turn of the century. Look it up, history buffs. This kind of nonsense is the age-old loser’s lament. If someone tried to erect a statue of the treasonous Robert E. Lee in 1864, instead of 1964 during the Civil Rights movement (another period where these abominations were erected) they would have been taken to a firing squad. Imagine a statue of Osama bin Laden put in your town square next week and you get the picture; except 600,000 people died during the Civil War, the equivalent of 200 9/11’s.
Also, culture is change. That is what cultures do; otherwise they go the way of the Confederacy or the Nazis. Trying to preserve an aborted, self-aggrandizing myth is not preserving culture. It is madness. Madness leads to things like Civil and World Wars. I get it, the movement of culture is scary, and for the uneducated it is threatening. Sorry. We have therapists and fancy drugs for that now. Put down the comic adaption of The Turner Diaries and go get laid.
Trump has done us all a big favor and taken this bile and poison, hidden under a cloak of innocuous posturing, and puked it everywhere this week. As it should be – out in the open, to get the best view, to see and smell and understand fully what we’re dealing with, instead of dressing it up in the drag of patriotism and religion and statue fetishes.
Yet, there was one thing that puzzled me about the Tuesday Meltdown; Trump’s ridiculous assertion that people fighting back against treasonous rhetoric makes them equally guilty; as if he would be affronted by this. It has long been obvious that this president advocates violence when he feels he or his followers are being provoked. Remember the most heinous outburst of his provocative campaign rallies in Chicago when he pointed out, quite rightly, that agitators had provoked his people to physically fight back and oft times openly asked his audience to beat on protesters?
Now he’s all politically correct.
Everyone knows who reads this space that when it comes to bigots we openly advocate beatings. Last year I personally challenged my congressman (now ex-congressman thanks to the brave Americans of the fifth district of New Jersey), the ultra-bigot, Scott Garrett, to a fist-fight. He refused. This is because bigots are wimps. But that still does not mean that Garrett did not need a beating, as Nazis and the KKK need beatings; several and varied. Why? Because they want it.
You don’t get to be in a terrorist organization like the KKK and bitch about getting a beating. By their very nature, beatings are mandatory. I fully and confidently support dragging David Duke and Richard Spencer from their homes to provide them a helping of the stuff they claim to openly support; a little of those fancy Gestapo tactics they’re so fond of. Let’s see if they’re serious about their “radical agenda” and if they’re more than chants and Hitler tee shirts and “Make America Great Again” hats. You want old-Time to call this what it is and face it and wipe it out; Radical Caucasian Terrorism, because like Radical Islamic Terrorism, which according to statistics has outperformed the former two-to-one, once you take up arms and rhetoric against the rule of law and mark your territory as a combatant, then you abdicate your rights and call for violent retribution.
My guess is these posers would beg for mercy once the hell-rain they want comes a-callin’, like terrorists who want to destroy the system suddenly finding civil rights and asking for lawyers. Well, I say, they trade in all that and take the beatings they have coming.
And so I praise Donald Trump’s idiocy, for it placed on the table what is really wrong with this country and where its real enemies lie; from within. They used to bloat the police force and run states and fill our churches, but it’s getting more difficult to see them. Now we do, and they must be rooted out and dealt with.
Stick that in your jack-boot and kick it.
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.