By: De’Sean Markley, Columnist
The events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the second weekend of August have made national headlines as every major news program rushes to cover the incident and place blame on whoever they can: Antifa, Black Lives Matter, the Alt-Right, the Left, Conservatives, etc. At this moment, attempting to lay blame on another in order to self-empower your own political perspective is immoral, and I condemn every major news program that has informed the details of Charlottesville with such bias. However, these news organizations all have similar concerns: racism, white supremacy, and violence. As Americans, we should come together against such hate.
Several incidents have placed issues regarding racism in the spotlight, such as the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Charlottesville has further made manifest the importance of these issues and brought to light that there are people who find these issues so real that they would commit acts of violence to see their solutions realized—as we saw in videos between members of Antifa and the Alt-Right engaging in minor fights randomly throughout the protest. Despite whatever you believe, acts of violence in a civil society cannot be tolerated.
Charlottesville has garnered national attention because a twenty-year-old man from Ohio rammed his car into a group of counter protesters, injuring nineteen and killing one. I want to make it clear that regardless of whomever started the violence, it does not justify any acts of murder. White Supremacist violence has always been a part of the history of the United States, and in recent months there have been a notably higher number of white supremacist committing acts of violence.
White supremacists are becoming open about their ideologies, to the point where they can march throughout the streets chanting that they will not be “replaced,” which refers to the data that demonstrates the United States will not be a majority white country in our lifetime. The fact that they can march proudly while spewing such hateful rhetoric has indicated a change in this country that is surely not for the better. Jared Taylor is a figurehead for the Alt-Right Movement and defines the movement’s ideologies as rejecters “of the current dogma that all races are equal” and that because of this “non-whites can’t maintain Western Society.”
First, the Alt-Right is not a conservative movement, meaning that conservatives and the Alt-Right are not even remotely the same thing, despite what some news organizations will report. I have always respected the opinions of my right counterparts, even if I may not agree with them.
The Alt-Right is different. They wish to take away civil liberties from minorities: Jews, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, etc. Their central goal is to ensure that White people are politically superior in every manner and genuinely believe that because they are white, they are better than others. This is an unfortunate truth about our community. It is important for every individual to denounce and fight against the Alt-Right Movement. Because President Trump failed to do so openly, he has received an immense amount of backlash from the media and politicians alike.
We saw this during Donald Trump’s campaign, where he hesitantly stood against the Alt-Right, and it is because of his reluctance that the Alt-Right have feels empowered. He has put people such as Steve Bannon, who celebrated Breitbart being a home to the Alt-Right, into power. Trump has also repeatedly refused to denounce perpetrators of violence in vigorous terms—which Trump rarely has issues doing—he has partially mainstreamed the Alt-Right Movement. Jared Taylor, yet again, argued that Trump’s policies will slow down or even stop the dispossession of Whites in the United States. Trump has effectively pandered to some of the most bigoted people on this planet. However, President Trump has been criticized far enough for his press conference, where he even described some of the Alt-Right as very nice people. He said, “There’s blame on both sides…you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.” We cannot continue to pander to the Alt-Right or any organization that promotes ideologies which effectively argue that people of any race are superior to others because of the color of their skin.
I believe it is highly important that we, as a community—Furman, Greenville, Spartanburg, and so forth—regardless of political ideologies, denounce all evils such as the Alt-Right, because the Alt-Right stand against the very founding principles of the United States. The Alt-Right is not conservative; they are not liberal, or libertarian, or whatever political category you could fit them into. Once we, as Americans, can accept this and see them for the evil they are, and we can denounce them together. We can begin the process of melding our country back together.