Tag Archives: white nationalists

‘Fine people’ among the neo-Nazis?

The president of the United States has provided so much grist for us out here in Flyover Country, I almost don’t know where to start.

OK, I’ll start with this: Donald John Trump Sr. said the Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists comprised “many fine” individuals who had gathered in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the removal of that statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Does the president believe anyone who belongs to a well-recognized hate group would qualify as a “fine” person? Is that what he believes?

Well, yes he does. He said so today while launching into that amazingly stupid, ignorant rant about how “both sides” were to blame for the riot in Charlottesville.

Oh, sure, Trump paid tribute to the counter protesters, too, saying they had some good folks among their ranks. That was his way of equivocating, I suppose — kind of the way he used the “many sides” dodge in his initial response to the Charlottesville violence.

Mr. President, I don’t know any white supremacists, or neo-Nazis, or Ku Klux Klansmen. It might be that I refuse to associate with those of that particular ilk. Why? Because I set a pretty high standard for those with whom I associate.

They are “fine” individuals. None of those hate group members is anything of the sort.

Reason required cancellation of A&M rally

Reason and sanity have prompted an eminently wise decision in Aggieland.

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp has cancelled a white nationalist rally that was scheduled for the College Station campus.

Gosh, what do you suppose prompted the cancellation?

Oh yeah! It was that hideous riot at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the one that resulted in the deaths of three individuals. Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Nazis and assorted white nationalists gathered there to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. All hell broke loose when counter protesters showed up.

Texas A&M was set to step into the crosshairs by agreeing to play host to its own white nationalist rally set for Sept. 11.

Then the chancellor intervened. Sharp cited safety concerns in ordering the rally canceled. According to the Austin American-Statesman, several Texas legislators urged cancellation of the rally that had been organized by a group promoting the event as a “White Lives Matter” protest. Read the rest of the American-Statesman story here.

The Charlottesville tragedy has ignited a rhetorical firestorm. Donald J. Trump threw a load of flammable liquid on it Saturday by initially declining to condemn the racists/bigots whose protests provoked the response they received. The president had a chance to lead, but then he failed to do so.

Today, the president called out the racists by name. It’s likely not enough to quell the uproar.

To that end, the A&M System has done the profoundly correct thing — given the national mood of the moment — to cancel a rally that well could have turned into another riot.

Good call, Chancellor Sharp.

There are Klan rallies, then we have what happened at UVa

I feel as though I’ve dodged a bullet or two, having watched the tragic events unfold in Charlottesville, Va.

Now for the explanation.

My former life as a full-time journalist enabled me to two attend two Ku Klux Klan rallies. The first one was in Orange, Texas, way down yonder on the Gulf Coast, just west of the Louisiana state line; the second was right here in Amarillo, Texas.

Why the feeling of relief? They both were peaceful. Unlike the pandemonium that erupted in Charlottesville, the rallies in Orange and Amarillo were tame — although one was far tamer than the other one.

The Orange rally occurred without incident of any kind. Some Klansmen showed up to protest the racial integration of a federal housing project in nearby Vidor, Texas, a community full of fine folks but also a town known to be a sort of KKK haven. There were no counter protests; just a lot of fiery and ignorant hate speech coming from the podium.

The Amarillo rally was a bit different. A Klan chapter sought permission to gather at City Hall; the city granted it. The head Klansman started to speak, only to be drowned out by a large procession of cymbal-bashing, drum-beating, horn-blaring and shouting counter protesters who marched onto the City Hall parking lot. They drowned out the KKK speakers.

There was no physical confrontation. There were no fights. No violence. Indeed, the Amarillo Police Department, the Potter County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety were out in force to ensure a peaceful outcome … although they couldn’t guarantee a quiet one.

I’ll stand by my previous posts in asserting that the “white nationalists” who gathered in Charlottesville were the provocateurs. They instigated the violence merely showing up. Then to have someone mow down counter protesters with his motor vehicle? I believe I would call that a terrorist act.

We well might have witnessed a horrifying symptom of a deteriorating national mood.

I never want to see anything like that again, let alone up close.

Trump fails leadership test with tepid response to violence

We hear it all … the … time.

Someone takes the heat for a political error or for acting badly and they seek to deflect the harsh negative light by saying, “Yes, but both sides are guilty of it, too.”

Both sides do it. All sides do it. Don’t blame me. Or the people on my side. Look at the other guys, too.

It’s a dodge. A ruse. A rhetorical escape hatch.

So it was just like that when the president of the United States spoke about the violence in Charlottesville, Va. Three people are known to have died in the violence. The president’s remarks came before the death toll had risen to that level.

But he did that equivocation thing. He condemned the violence that was provoked by the presence of white nationalists/supremacists in Charlottesville; they were there to protest the taking down of Confederate monuments. All hell broke loose.

Did the president condemn the hate mongers? Oh, not precisely. He watered it down by saying “many sides” are to be condemned.

Many sides? Are you bleeping kidding me?

Compare that with what Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. He told the white supremacists to “go home.” They have no place in Virginia. He belittled their claim to be “patriots,” saying they are “anything but” patriots.

An equally strong and unequivocal statement should have come also from Donald J. Trump. It didn’t. The president has failed yet another leadership test.

POTUS becomes ‘equivocator in chief’

I was delighted to learn that the president of the United States would comment on the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Va.

And for a moment, Donald Trump had me riveted to his statement. He talked about the need for us to unite as one nation, that “we’re all Americans.”

Then he went off the rails. Big surprise? Not really, I’ll concede.

The president talked vaguely about “all sides” being responsible for the violence. All sides? Let’s see: White nationalists, including some Ku Klux Klan members, started marching to protest the taking down of Confederate statues. You know what kind of response KKK members evoke, correct?

Then came the counter protesters who despise what the Klan stands for, not to mention the white nationalists who essentially stand for the same thing.

“All sides” are responsible? I’m still waiting for the president to issue a full-throated condemnation of the “alt right” movement and the white nationalists/supremacists whose presence at the rally provoked the response in the first place.

Then, during his remarks, he launched into another one of those nonsensical riffs about “record low” joblessness and how everything is going so darn well in the United States of America. The implication — to my ears — was that all this good news was the result of his becoming president.

Even some Republican lawmakers were critical of Trump’s response.

The president once again missed a tremendous opportunity to speak with passion and eloquence about a segment of our society that needs a serious presidential condemnation. His predecessors — all of them, regardless of party affiliation — have risen to the occasion when it has presented itself.

Not the guy who’s now sitting in The Big Chair.

If I could borrow a term we hear so often via Twitter from the president: sad.

Enter the white nationalist in Aggieland

spencer

This is the kind of story that gives First Amendment purists — such as yours truly — a serious case of heartburn.

Richard Spencer is slated to deliver some remarks at Texas A&M University. Just who is this fellow? He’s the founder of a white nationalist group — the National Policy Institute — that’s been in the news lately.

I use the term “white nationalist” only because that’s what he calls himself. He’s actually a white supremacist. A flaming racist, if you will.

Spencer is a young man with an agenda that isn’t going over too well with a lot of us. I include myself in that category of Americans repulsed to the core by what this guy espouses. He recently exhorted a roomful of supporters with a salute hailing the election of Donald J. Trump as president that looked for all the world like something the Nazis used to do in Adolf Hitler’s presence.

Why the heartburn?

Spencer is entitled to speak his peace. He happens to be an American citizen. The First Amendment protects people’s right to express their political views freely.

Some students and I’ll presume faculty at Texas A&M don’t want Spencer to speak Dec. 6 at the student center. They’re planning a protest. Some are petitioning the school to disinvite him.

As much as it pains and aggravates me to say this, they are mistaken if they intend to ban this guy from having the floor for his scheduled 30 minutes in College Station.

A university is a place that is supposed to promote a wide range of ideas, ideologies, philosophies and theories. Yes, even those many of us find offensive.

Here’s what the Houston Chronicle reported: “The university issued a statement Wednesday denouncing Spencer’s rhetoric and sought to distance itself from the event. The university had no immediate comment on whether it would try to cancel the speech.

“‘To be clear, Texas A&M University – including faculty, staff, students and/or student groups – did not invite this speaker to our campus nor do we endorse his rhetoric in any way,’ Amy Smith, a university spokeswoman, said in the statement.”

The Chronicle continued: “Private citizens can reserve space on campus for private functions, Smith said. The event organizer will pay all rental expenses, including security costs, she said.”

Here’s the whole story:

http://www.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/White-nationalist-to-speak-at-Texas-A-M-10632460.php?cmpid=fb-desktop

Even though the university didn’t “invite” this fellow, his presence on the campus ought to some credence to the notion that all ideas should be heard within that environment, even if they aren’t welcome.

Conservative speakers have been shunned before on university campuses. I dislike that notion, even as someone who identifies more with progressive than with conservative causes.

However, if we believe in the constitutional protection of free speech and expression, then we need to adhere wholly to it.

Richard Spencer’s message no doubt will disgust and enrage many who hear it. Let the young man speak … then show him the door.

How about ignoring these ‘alt-right’ groups?

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I have a suggestion for those in the so-called “mainstream liberal media.”

It is to ignore the idiots who gather to cheer the election of someone they believe has endorsed their “alt-right” political world view.

I refer to the white nationalists. These are the bald-faced racists of the world. They comprise a small, but vocal minority of Americans who are cheering Donald J. Trump’s election as president of the United States.

I get that you want to keep the evil elements of society in plain view. You want to keep your eyes on them. You want them exposed for the moronic evil ideas they espouse.

But I struggle with this idea of giving them more media coverage than they deserve. A group gathered this weekend in Washington to cheer Trump’s election. They numbered a couple hundred individuals. The founder of a group called the National Policy Institute spoke to his followers, some of whom stood and cheered his remarks.

Oh, and then a few of them hoisted their arms in Nazi-style salutes.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/richard-spencer-speech-npi/508379/?utm_source=fbb

They love the coverage. They lust for the attention they’re getting.

The founder of this group, Richard Spencer, said this, according to The Atlantic: “America was until this past generation a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity. It is our creation, it is our inheritance, and it belongs to us.”

A white country? Really?

The term “alt-right” has become a euphemism for the hate groups forming on the fringes of the American political spectrum.

I guess I am left to ask: Do those on the “fringe” deserve the kind of media coverage reserved normally for those in the mainstream?