This interview, at least to me, was illuminating. Being from the South I thought I knew all about vile racial code words used to separate “them” from “us”. I was wrong. This subject is much more complex and insidious. In case there are others like me that didn’t give this subject the attention it deserves, I am sharing information.
Also discussed is the reaction from the police force in C’ville. Law enforcement has used harsh suppression techniques on peaceful protesters like those in Standing Rock but they did not with white nationalists and Neo Nazis. Why was a permit to rally issued to this coalition of hate groups that have stated goals of causing deaths and the denial of liberties to those of a different race or nationality? As I understand our constitution, that is not protected by Freedom of Speech. Certainly, a tax funded public area should not be the arena where hate is flaunted and others taunted.
Story by Clare Foran
A Q&A with Brennan Center fellow Michael German a former FBI special agent and counterterrorism expert
From the Article:”….I spoke with German, who is now a fellow in the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, about the violence in Charlottesville, the way police and the administration responded, and how the media covers white nationalism…
…The framing that he used endorsed a far-right viewpoint, the viewpoint of people who would self-identify as neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and white nationalists, and who see themselves as victims of multiculturalism, political correctness, or other forces. They portray themselves as victims who are simply defending what they would call their culture, and it’s important to note that the president used some of the buzzwords, like the word “culture,” that the far-right uses to describe their worldview.
This is an audience that’s used to picking up on dog whistles, subtle winks and nods. But he went further than that. He overtly endorsed their views in a way that reinforced this extremist narrative of victimization. That helps make those views more mainstream, and encourages their spread. When the president says it, it also sends the message that these are appropriate views for anyone in government to express….
…German: Trump put away the dog whistle and picked up a bullhorn, in terms of elevating these far-right movements, a long time ago. During his presidential campaign, he talked about terrorism as though it were a Muslim phenomenon, when we have empirical evidence that many different kinds of groups of people engage in violence that we call terrorism, including white supremacists. By doing that, he sent a message to neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and white nationalists, as well as a segment of the population that wouldn’t identify with any of those labels, but is nevertheless willing to look at the problem of terrorism from a racist or nationalist perspective, that he agreed with them…
It’s easy to point at the guy with the Nazi flag and say “that’s not us” without acknowledging that there are a lot of ideas and policy that have a far broader base of support in American politics than just the far-right. If you support immigration policy that is designed to keep non-white immigrants out of the country, for example, or expel them by harassing them through law enforcement, those are policies that line up with the goals of white nationalists. Just because a person isn’t attending an alt-right rally doesn’t mean that they don’t support policies with a discriminatory impact….
…In April, nearly a dozen people were injured in Berkeley when self-styled alt-right activists promoted and engaged in acts of violence and militia members showed up to tell reporters they would “enjoy” attacking counter-protesters.Violence broke out at a pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach, California, in March. And in Portland, at an alt-right rally in June, a militia member reportedly aided the Department of Homeland Security in making an arrest…
These militia groups show up saying that they are there to serve as security at these protests, and we saw that in Charlottesville too, but even in an open-carry state you can’t set yourself up as a security force or a security guard without a license to do so. …So why is the state allowing them to serve as security at these protests?
It’s also clearly very different than the way we’ve seen police react to nonviolent protests like the Occupy Movement, or the protests at Standing Rock, where we saw an extremely aggressive policing take place. We did not see that kind of a police response in Charlottesville….
… I think it’s incumbent on state, federal, and local authorities to do public examinations in the aftermath of Charlottesville to determine why was there such an aggressive response to nonviolent protests in places like Standing Rock while far-right protesters in Charlottesville adopted tactics that were threatening and confrontational and were treated with kid gloves…
.. Yes, the fact that the police did not aggressively police the protest sends a message to these far-right groups that they will interpret as, “We’re allowed to and we’re authorized to act this way in the future.” So the next time they’re likely to bring more people and more dangerous weapons and push the limits even further. I would expect to see violence escalate as a result. That kind of policing response may also attract people who are not necessarily ideologically motivated but are just attracted to violence…”