With much of the news cycle dominated by #UniteTheRight rally and subsequent protests which led to the deaths of several people, these events deserve some critical attention.
It seems that on such an angry, divisive occasion, no- one (aside from extremist agitators on either side of the spectrum), was able to benefit from such a tragic day.
After hearing of the events which took place and reading headlines such as ‘Nazi’s rally in Charlottesville’ I initially thought: “Here the mainstream media goes again by lying about Nazi presence to deningrate conservatives”. However, it does appear indisputable that some genuinely extreme elements were present in Charlottesville among #UniteTheRight. Additionally, reports suggest that the deranged man who drove a car into the ‘anti- racist’ protesters, was a white nationalist terrorist.
Although, as ANTIFA was present and they are renowned for their Black bloc, thuggish tactics, we can probably assume that this organization was as culpable for the violence as were the #UniteTheRight crowd.
Considering this, it appears intellectually dishonest to blame one side in particular for the violence that took place.
In the aftermath of such scenes, it is difficult to imagine a peaceful path forward. Talk of revenge or a blame game may commence, but either response would be insufficient in ceasing the interminable divisions gnawing at American society.
But when people feel so aggrieved that they resort to violent means (whether justifiable or not), these frustrations clearly should have been relieved at a much earlier point.
Therefore, whether we politically affiliate with the Left or Right, we should all stand united in supporting freedom of speech so that open discourse remains available even to those who hold grotesque views, so that perhaps next time such tensions emerge, violence can be avoided.