ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

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Ernie
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ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Ernie » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:55 am

http://www.plainnews.org/2017/08/25/ana ... -violence/

ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE
Posted on August 25th, 2017

Recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, has attracted much media attention. As usual, mass media outlets have put their particular political spin in their reports. This article is an attempt to find the roots of the issue.
CHARLOTTESVILLE EVENTS
Several so-called “Alt-Right” (meaning, strong “conservative” or “right-wing” political ideology) groups planned a rally for August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia. One goal of the meeting was to protest the proposed removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Some groups of African Americans and others feel that such statues glorify men who fought to maintain slavery in the US, and therefore the statues should be removed, rather than adored.
The day before the planned rally (which organizers say was to be the largest White-Nationalist rally in 20 years, in the US) some of the participants marched through the University of Virginia campus carrying torches and shouting “White lives matter!”, “Blood and soil!”, and “Jews will not replace us!” The White Nationalists feel that white people are being blamed for too much in America, citing, for example, that black Africans were responsible for most of the selling of other black Africans to white slave-traders in Africa. Africans and Native Americans practiced slavery long before the use of black slaves by white people, yet whites are blamed for promoting slavery in America (according to White Nationalist groups).
Meanwhile, the so-called Alt-Left (meaning strong “liberal” or “left-wing” political ideology) knew of the planned rally and organized a counter-rally. On Saturday morning, the 12th, the two groups encountered each other in a park in Charlottesville and violence ensued. At about 2 p.m., after most of the Alt-Right protesters had dispersed, a car driven by a White Nationalist rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters, leaving one woman dead and several others injured. The City of Charlottesville had earlier declared a local state of emergency because of fighting between the two sides. Some feel that the police and city officials did not do enough to keep the two groups separated.
THE BACKGROUND
Both sides of the protest knew beforehand that things could turn violent. Therefore some on both sides came to the event armed. Some carried guns, while others carried sticks and wore helmets and carried homemade shields. Bags of human waste, 2X4s, bricks, mace, frozen water bottles, and sticks were all used in the foray. This was not the first confrontation between the two groups. While the “Alt-Right” has been organized online (with Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, and White Supremist websites), the “Alt-Left” does not have a central organization. Included in the “Alt-Left” counter-rally were groups such as “Black Lives Matter,” which is not necessarily on the extreme “left” political spectrum, but rather concerns itself with issues surrounding oppression of black people.
ANTIFA
The “Alt-Left” is represented by a group known as Antifa (pronounced ON’-ti-fa). Antifa is short for “Anti-fascist.” A Fascist is a supporter of a strong nationalistic movement, such at Hitler in Germany and Mussulini in Italy during the early 1900s, political movements that tried to build a nation around a particular ethnic group (in Hitler’s case, Germans). Antifa supporters have no central leadership and are “organized” into local cell groups in various cities. Each local group may have a specific agenda that may not exactly match the next group. As such, one cell may be promoting communism, the next may promote gay rights, and the next may be anarchists (no government), and the next anti-capitalist. One thing Antifa groups have in common: they oppose the Alt-Right political movement. In a general sort of way, Antifa could be said to be a reforming of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests from a few years back, with some taking a more violent position.
Antifa has a reputation of violence. During Donald Trump’s inauguration, they smashed and burned a limousine. In California, they have become violent in protesting against political speakers who represent the political right. They openly acknowledge that they use violence, but say that since the government does not stop the “hate speech” of the extreme right, they are forced to use violence to stop it. While claiming to support “free speech,” they say that “hate speech” is not “free speech” and therefore must be stopped … even if it requires violence to do so. So even though the Alt-right groups had official permits to hold their rally in Charlottesville, Antifa felt that they had a moral duty to stop the rally, even if it needed to use clubs and mace to do so.
Antifa members sometimes prefer anonymity, dressing in full black with covered faces at rallies. This may be a way for them to use violence without being recognized.
THE CAR INCIDENT IN CHARLOTTESVILLE
One incident in the Charlottesville violence receives a lot of attention: a White Supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. Media outlets that promote a “liberal” or “left” political view were quick to say that the driver was from the “Alt-Right” and plowed into the group of “peaceful” counter-protesters.
Only God and the driver knows what the intentions were, but details have surfaced that make it unclear exactly what may have been the man’s reason for driving into the crowd. Video captured by bystanders show the car proceeding down the narrow one-way street. A reporter from the Los Angeles Times says it was proceeding at a normal speed. Someone on the sidewalk then struck the rear of the car with a baseball bat as it passed (for reasons unknown). At that point the car suddenly sped forward. It it thought that perhaps the driver reacted in fear or panic (the baseball bat smack may have sounded like gunfire to him), then drove into the crowd ahead of him, rear-ending another vehicle. The approaching counter-protesters were only dozens of yards ahead of him when his car was hit with the bat and he sped forward.
As soon as the car plowed into the vehicle vehicles in front of it (two cars were slowed/stopped because counter-protesters were coming up the middle of the street in front of them), video shows several people dressed in black jumping out of the crowd, trying to bust the windows out of the car. Immediately the driver went in reverse at high speed, running into a few more people as it left.
In summary, many media outlets reported that the incident was a purposeful ramming into a peaceful crowd of counter-protesters. The fact is that some of those “peaceful” protesters were armed with sticks. While the driver of the car may have had evil intentions, video from the scene indicates that he may have drove innocently into a situation where he felt trapped and then panicked. And when counter-protesters started beating out his car windows, he very likely felt his life was in danger.
IN SUMMARY
The Charlottesville violence was a clash between two “extreme” political agendas. Both sides knew in advance that there was likely to be a confrontation and came armed. Most major media outlets have condemned the violence and views of the “Alt-Right” while being initially quiet about the “Alt-Left” violence. A day or two after the events, as the presence of the relatively-unknown Antifa and their tactics were exposed, the major media outlets have published some information about the movement.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of Americans do not support the political agenda of either two sides who proceeded to use violence on each other in Charlottesville. Yet major media outlets attempted to use the events to muddy the reputation of whichever political ideology they stood opposed to, instead of reporting that the violence was the work of two radical opposing groups who planned in advance for a confrontation. A few hundred radical people on each side have been used to stigmatize or blame one political party or the other.
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Bootstrap
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:20 pm

I agree with much of this, but I think it misses something important.

The Charlottesville violence was a clash between two “extreme” political agendas.


No, the rally was an event meant to threaten and intimidate the citizens of Charlottesville in order to draw media attention. It's important to keep that focus.

There is no mention of peaceful protesters or of the prayer meetings or Christian involvement in the protest. I think a lot of the people were protesting peacefully to say that the streets of Charlottesville belong to the citizens of Charlottesville, not to those who shout "whose streets? our streets!" while waving Swastikas and KKK symbols. Your article implies that most of the protesters represented Antifa and came for a fight. I really doubt that this is true. Your article gives no evidence for that view.

Donald Trump coined a new term, "alt-left", to describe all of the protestors and imply that they were all potentially violent extremists. Your article adopts this term and this perspective uncritically. To me, that isn't as neutral as you are trying to be.

The bottom line is that the vast majority of Americans do not support the political agenda of either two sides who proceeded to use violence on each other in Charlottesville.


So far, so good. Except for the failure to see this from the perspective of people who live in Charlottesville, or to even mention the many peaceful protesters.

Yet major media outlets attempted to use the events to muddy the reputation of whichever political ideology they stood opposed to, instead of reporting that the violence was the work of two radical opposing groups who planned in advance for a confrontation. A few hundred radical people on each side have been used to stigmatize or blame one political party or the other.


If you want to be neutral, I think you might be better off leaving this out. You can't fairly declare who is guilty and who is innocent without a trial. And when it comes to the media and the parties, any fair trial is going to take years, and lots of information that you and I do not have. Better to focus on the Kingdom.

Donald Trump invited the lead organizer of the white supremacist rally to his inauguration party, and is uncomfortably close to many alt-right figures. There are lots of interesting things that might be worth investigating here. If you want to stay neutral, it might be best to simply stay out of the whole question, rather than say that this is not a concern. Otherwise, you are taking sides.
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GaryK
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby GaryK » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:36 pm

Bootstrap wrote:I agree with much of this, but I think it misses something important.

The Charlottesville violence was a clash between two “extreme” political agendas.


No, the rally was an event meant to threaten and intimidate the citizens of Charlottesville in order to draw media attention. It's important to keep that focus.

I read this to say the violence, not the rally, was a clash between two "extreme" political agendas. Are you equating the two?
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Hats Off
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Hats Off » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:28 pm

Ernie wrote:In summary, many media outlets reported that the incident was a purposeful ramming into a peaceful crowd of counter-protesters. The fact is that some of those “peaceful” protesters were armed with sticks. While the driver of the car may have had evil intentions, video from the scene indicates that he may have drove innocently into a situation where he felt trapped and then panicked. And when counter-protesters started beating out his car windows, he very likely felt his life was in danger.
IN SUMMARY
The Charlottesville violence was a clash between two “extreme” political agendas. Both sides knew in advance that there was likely to be a confrontation and came armed. Most major media outlets have condemned the violence and views of the “Alt-Right” while being initially quiet about the “Alt-Left” violence. A day or two after the events, as the presence of the relatively-unknown Antifa and their tactics were exposed, the major media outlets have published some information about the movement.
The bottom line is that the vast majority of Americans do not support the political agenda of either two sides who proceeded to use violence on each other in Charlottesville. Yet major media outlets attempted to use the events to muddy the reputation of whichever political ideology they stood opposed to, instead of reporting that the violence was the work of two radical opposing groups who planned in advance for a confrontation. A few hundred radical people on each side have been used to stigmatize or blame one political party or the other.

Bootstrap, In my opinion, Mike did a very good job of attempting to explain to a conservative readership what the Charlottesville violence was about. Perhaps the "alt-right" came to Charlottesville to draw media attention but the "alt-left" came with the intent of combatting the "alt-right" and as Mike points out, both groups came armed. It was never expected to be a peaceful rally. So in all probability there were three sides in this rally, but only two that became involved in violence. I think if you reconsider the article and especially the title, Mike is not talking about the issue that brought the "alt-right" to Charlottesville but is focusing on the violence that erupted when two radical opposing groups planned in advance for a confrontation. I can't see where Mike is judging between the two sides; although he does mention a media bias. And he is very careful to indicate that "alt-right" and "alt-left" are not his terms by using quotation marks.
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Bootstrap
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:19 pm

Hmmmm, I think Ernie gives two very different definitions of alt-left, and suggests that the counter-rally was organized only by them. I don't think he meant to confuse things, but I think this does confuse things.

Ernie wrote:Meanwhile, the so-called Alt-Left (meaning strong “liberal” or “left-wing” political ideology) knew of the planned rally and organized a counter-rally.


To me, that seems to imply that the people who organized white supremacy did so because they have an extreme left-wing political ideology, and I don't think that's true of all of them. And it also seems to imply that they are the same as Antifa, which is the second definition he gives.

Ernie wrote:The “Alt-Left” is represented by a group known as Antifa (pronounced ON’-ti-fa). Antifa is short for “Anti-fascist.”


I think the counter-rally's organizers included people who don't fit either definition. And I don't think protesting white supremacy should be seen primarily as politics. To explain the violence, I think it would be better to simply use the term Antifa - and he does an excellent job of explaining what Antifa is. To explain who the protesters are and what motivated them, I think it's good to start with some of the descriptions that the Charlottesville clergy have written.

So far, only Donald Trump knows what Alt-Left means, it's a term he invented, and he hasn't been very precise. But I think there are a lot of liberals and left-wing people who are probably more or less equivalent to your average Donald Trump supporter, more extreme than your average Republican but not a white supremacist. I would not call those people Alt-Right, and I would not call a civil rights protester on the Democratic side Alt-Left. Since Richard Spencer coined the term Alt-Right, and it is used by extremists who talk about white genocide and advocate a homeland for whites, I don't think we should apply that term to every conservative. And I don't think we should apply the equivalent to everyone who protests white supremacists. That makes it look like everyone was Antifa and everyone was looking for a fight, and I don't think that's true.

Honestly, I think it's better to avoid both terms. A white supremacists with a college degree is still just a white supremacist, even if he looks good in a suit. We don't need a new term for that. But there is a group that calls themselves Alt-Right, if we are going to use that term, we should reserve it for the people who use it. Donald Trump invented the term Alt-Left, and no group uses it to describe themselves.
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GaryK
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby GaryK » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:51 pm

Bootstrap wrote:Hmmmm, I think Ernie gives two very different definitions of alt-left, and suggests that the counter-rally was organized only by them. I don't think he meant to confuse things, but I think this does confuse things.

Ernie wrote:Meanwhile, the so-called Alt-Left (meaning strong “liberal” or “left-wing” political ideology) knew of the planned rally and organized a counter-rally.


To me, that seems to imply that the people who organized white supremacy did so because they have an extreme left-wing political ideology, and I don't think that's true of all of them. And it also seems to imply that they are the same as Antifa, which is the second definition he gives.

Ernie wrote:The “Alt-Left” is represented by a group known as Antifa (pronounced ON’-ti-fa). Antifa is short for “Anti-fascist.”


I think the counter-rally's organizers included people who don't fit either definition. And I don't think protesting white supremacy should be seen primarily as politics. To explain the violence, I think it would be better to simply use the term Antifa - and he does an excellent job of explaining what Antifa is. To explain who the protesters are and what motivated them, I think it's good to start with some of the descriptions that the Charlottesville clergy have written.

So far, only Donald Trump knows what Alt-Left means, it's a term he invented, and he hasn't been very precise. But I think there are a lot of liberals and left-wing people who are probably more or less equivalent to your average Donald Trump supporter, more extreme than your average Republican but not a white supremacist. I would not call those people Alt-Right, and I would not call a civil rights protester on the Democratic side Alt-Left. Since Richard Spencer coined the term Alt-Right, and it is used by extremists who talk about white genocide and advocate a homeland for whites, I don't think we should apply that term to every conservative. And I don't think we should apply the equivalent to everyone who protests white supremacists. That makes it look like everyone was Antifa and everyone was looking for a fight, and I don't think that's true.

Honestly, I think it's better to avoid both terms. A white supremacists with a college degree is still just a white supremacist, even if he looks good in a suit. We don't need a new term for that. But there is a group that calls themselves Alt-Right, if we are going to use that term, we should reserve it for the people who use it. Donald Trump invented the term Alt-Left, and no group uses it to describe themselves.

It seems you are completely overlooking the whole point of the article Mike Atnip (not Ernie) wrote and are trying to turn this into something it's not meant to be. The point of the article is to analyze the violence that happened between the "extremes".
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Bootstrap
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:26 pm

GaryK wrote:It seems you are completely overlooking the whole point of the article Mike Atnip (not Ernie) wrote and are trying to turn this into something it's not meant to be. The point of the article is to analyze the violence that happened between the "extremes".


Possibly - we seem to be reading it differently. Can you tell me how you are reading it, giving me an outline of the article as you see it?

I think the main issue I have with the article is that it doesn't seemed focused on that. I suspect that another round of editing would be helpful. For instance:

Several so-called “Alt-Right” (meaning, strong “conservative” or “right-wing” political ideology) groups planned a rally for August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


I'm sure he doesn't mean to make conservatives look bad, but surely "strong conservative" and "right-wing extremist" are not the same thing. I see quite a few statements that imply things that are not true, and don't seem related to the main point you say he is trying to make.
Last edited by Bootstrap on Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby joshuabgood » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:37 pm

I do think there is a good chance James Alex Fields is acquitted based on an argument that fear for his own life...was the driving fact for what he did.
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Bootstrap
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:59 pm

joshuabgood wrote:I do think there is a good chance James Alex Fields is acquitted based on an argument that fear for his own life...was the driving fact for what he did.


I have no idea. I have only seen a few videos of this, and I was surprised by the description in the OP. This is best left to juries, who will have better evidence than we will, and will spend more time considering the evidence, looking at footage from all sides, etc.

And they will also know the law and rules of evidence better than we do.

I was a little concerned by this:

In summary, many media outlets reported that the incident was a purposeful ramming into a peaceful crowd of counter-protesters. The fact is that some of those “peaceful” protesters were armed with sticks. While the driver of the car may have had evil intentions, video from the scene indicates that he may have drove innocently into a situation where he felt trapped and then panicked. And when counter-protesters started beating out his car windows, he very likely felt his life was in danger.


It doesn't tell me what video they are talking about, the media reports were based on videos too, which they included. Facts are going to be dribbling in for a while, as they do for most violent events. I think we would be wise to avoid jumping to conclusions in any direction.
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Re: ANALYZING THE CHARLOTTESVILLE VIOLENCE

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:35 pm

Incidentally, here's the best source I can find looking at the claims made by all sides on whether the driver was acting in self-defense, listing the charges, quoting the relevant law, etc.

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/08/driver-acting-self-defense/

That might suggest further changes to the article in the OP, which doesn't seem accurate on the current level of evidence. Better yet, avoid taking sides, since evidence is certainly going to be dribbling in over time.

Incidentally, does the Plain News list the sources it draws on for an article? I am not a subscriber, so I could not see the online version.
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