Tuesday, August 15, 2017

After Charlottesville: some very interesting responses


There have been a large number of comments and developments following last weekend's violence in Charlottesville.  Here are a few that I found particularly interesting.


1.  The ACLU questions whether law enforcement was deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation.
"It is the responsibility of law enforcement to ensure safety of both protesters and counter-protesters. The policing on Saturday was not effective in preventing violence. I was there and brought concerns directly to the secretary of public safety and the head of the Virginia State Police about the way that the barricades in the park limiting access by the arriving demonstrators and the lack of any physical separation of the protesters and counter-protesters on the street were contributing to the potential of violence. They did not respond. In fact, law enforcement was standing passively by, seeming to be waiting for violence to take place, so that they would have grounds to declare an emergency, declare an ‘unlawful assembly’ and clear the area."

2.  It looks very much as if the political leaders of Charlottesville were actively interfering in law enforcement activities.  Fox News reported that "officers were instructed to make no arrests without the explicit approval of the Charlottesville mayor".  Given the politics of that council and its leaders, this should give any objective observer pause for thought.  For more information on that, read the section 'Bonus: Report from the Field' at Stilton Jarlsberg's place (scroll down at the link to find it).


3.  This political interference appears to have stretched all the way to the head of the state government.  City Journal reports:
Almost at first contact, Charlottesville mayor Michael Signer and Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and cancelled the demonstrators’ permits, whereupon police began funneling the alt-right protestors away from the designated demonstration site—and, some reports have it, toward the counter-protestors. The carnage followed in short order. Whether the breakdown in police protection was purposeful—that is, intended to quash a constitutionally protected demonstration and provoke a violent confrontation—is a question unlikely to be pursued in Virginia’s present political environment. As partisan eye-gougers go, Governor McAuliffe, a Democrat, is near the top of the list; Mayor Signer, also a Democrat, seems to be cut from the same cloth.

But deliberate or not, the effect was the same: when the sun went down over Charlottesville Saturday, the First Amendment was lying in the dust, and the civic ties meant to bind all Americans were just that much weaker.

4.  Brendan O'Neill summed up the situation very well, IMHO.
"It's becoming so clear now why the war of words between SJWs and the new white nationalists is so intense. It isn't because they have huge ideological differences -- it's because they have so much in common. Both are obsessed with race, SJWs demanding white shame, the alt-right responding with white pride. Both view everyday life and culture through a highly racialised filter. SJWs can't even watch a movie without counting how many lines the black actor has in comparison with the white actor so that they can rush home and tumblr about the injustice of it all. Both have a seemingly boundless capacity for self-pity. Both are convinced they're under siege, whether by patriarchy, transphobia and the Daily Mail (SJWs) or by pinkos and blacks (white nationalists). Both have a deep censorious strain. And both crave recognition of their victimhood and flattery of their feelings. This is really what they're fighting over -- not principles or visions but who should get the coveted title of the most hard-done-by identity. They're auditioning for social pity. "My life matters! My pain matters! I matter!" The increasing bitterness and even violence of their feud is not evidence of its substance, but the opposite: it's the narcissism of small differences."

5.  Lawdog summed up the heart of the matter in his usual inimitable way.  Here's an excerpt.

Gentle Readers, free speech is messy.  It is ugly, precisely because free speech that everyone agrees with does not require protections.  Why would you protect speech that upsets no-one?  Why would you need to?

Even worse is the call for the government to declare that certain speech is "hate speech" -- because getting the government involved always works out so well -- and to give the government (and the flawed, flawed humans who make up that government) the power to declare bans on certain speech.

To put it in simple language even a college student can understand:

Do you really want President Mike Pence deciding what is protected speech, and what speech should be banned?

Because that is what you're going to get in the future.

How about President Greg Abbott after Mission Creep gets into the mix?

 How would you feel about President Ted Cruz deciding what speech you should go to jail for?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what you're setting yourself up for when you start yick-yacking about the government banning speech.

"But, LawDog," I hear you snivelling, "Some speech is an incitement to violence, and should be against the law."

You know what?  Let's look at that.

I have heard folks chanting, "What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want it?  Now!" rather recently.  About me, and those like me.

Is that not an incitement to violence?  Ask Dallas PD, and their dead brothers.  Should it not be "against the law"?

No.  It is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

I can show any number of YouTube videos of imams calling for jihad, for the slaughter of Westerners, for the genocide of an entire people.

Is this not an incitement to violence?  Ask the dead in San Bernadino, at Ft Hood, at Orlando, at the Boston Marathon.  Should it not be "against the law"?

No.  It is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

"But, LawDog, Nazi-related speech is banned in Germany!"

I don't give two hoots in hell about how they do things in Germany.  You like their restriction on free speech -- move.  Delta is ready when you are. Scram.

So.  To break it down Barney-style:  your calls to ban speech -- even Nazi speech -- is un-American.  And once you've begged government to pass that first law banning speech, it's a simple amendment to expand those bans.  Think about the absolute worst politician you can think of in the White House.  Worse than Trump -- because they're out there, and they've got as good a chance at the Oval Office as Donald J. Trump had -- think about that politician being able to amend a law banning speech.

There's much more at the link.  Recommended reading.

Peter

15 comments:

roadgeek said...

A civil war is coming. Cold now, it's going to turn hot very soon. And it's going to be a bloodbath. I hope it can be prevented, but I'm not holding my breath.

rws said...

So, as I understand it, one group of Marxist scum, antifa, is confronted by another group of Marxist scum, nazis, and I'm supposed to care?

freddie_mac said...

"I'm supposed to care?"

Yes, and this is why: if we truly have free speech in this country, then both groups should have received the same consideration when pursuing permits for their assemblies. They did not; one group was denied due to content, the other group was not.

Look at the (strong) possibility that police protection was manipulated/withdrawn in order to provoke a violent confrontation between two groups (how is that different from dogs or fire hoses?).

Look at how government forces are aligning behind violent factions (BLM, Antifa) and denying counter demonstrations; look at how violent thugs from the preferred groups are allowed to run wild in the streets, including damaging public property, and ask yourself if this is the country you want to live in.

Old NFO said...

Bellamy is complicit in this whole farce. Apparently the 'pusher' behind getting rid of the statue, and playing the race card to do it.

Randy said...

"The increasing bitterness and even violence of their feud is not evidence of its substance, but the opposite: it's the narcissism of small differences."

That really describes the problem with most of the protests we see lately. Well said sir.

housefitter said...

I'm just over here tightly adhering to 'Ol Remus' advice: "Stay away from crowds".

Feather Blade said...

I'm with RWS on the indifference to two groups of socialists getting together on the weekends to kill each other.

On the other hand, when the government takes sides and supports one group of socialists against the other... yeah, that's a problem. If only because they will use it as a justification to burden all of the anti-socialists with restrictions on speech, assembly, and weapons.

Uncle Lar said...

Predictably the left and the media, but I repeat myself, have jumped on to condemn Trump for failing to immediately himself condemn the white supremacists for the violence. Now he did very quickly decry the violent act and all those responsible, but apparently was criminally negligent for waiting to have the actual identity of the perpetrator verified.
Well excuse me, but I've watched for eight years while we were told don't rush to judgement, wait for the facts. Shootings, bombings, car attacks, in all those cases anyone who even voiced the possibility of terrorism was shouted down as racist. Of course in the vast majority of cases it eventually turned out that the criminals involved had consistently middle eastern names and were immigrants or first generation citizens with a history of anti US government activities.
I'm sorry, but the attack could just as easily have been carried out by one of the antifa goons who were obviously there to stir up a conflict. As were the white supremasists from outside the area. The legitimate local protestors just wanted to voice their objections to the destruction of a historical statue.
And of course anything Trump says or does will be cast in the worst possible light by the usual suspects. The good news is that the public is fast learning that none of their fake news can be trusted.

Jay Dee said...

The real disagreement between the International socialists and the national socialists is who gets the spoils. As Shakespeare so aptly said, "A pox on both their houses".

BadFrog said...

If the SJWs believe they are under siege from the Daily Mail, they must be talking about a very different paper from the one published here in the UK. At every opportunity possible, the (the DM) have sided with the left, be it Anti-Fa in the USA or the Labour party and Momentum here.

Their moderation chokes any comments that do not toe the papers party line although left-wing and anti-white comments are published seemingly at will.

Alphonse said...

One of the most disturbing things we're seeing is police succumbing to political pressure to deny protection to a particular group based on what political leaders decide about that group's position.

Just as free speech - as enumerated in the First Amendment to the Contitution, and as confirmed above by Lawdog his own self - applies in equal measure to everyone as fairly and equally as it can be humanly administered, government-provided police protection similarly applies equally to everyone.

When that changes it means police have chosen sides and prostituted themselves to political pressure; that's something police should think very long and very hard about. It's much bigger than the Chief of Police worrying about keeping his job, it's a foundational responsibility of a police agency that, if shirked, will have a detrimental impact on every single member of an agency.

Because when sides get picked one side will categorize the other side as an enemy and operate in that manner. That will benefit no one.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the antifa instigators, counter protestors, were required to have a protest permit to assemble in the same area as the others?

Dave

The Overgrown Hobbit said...

First the sour reality.

Okay, scratch that. I went on was way too long. TO:DR the good news is that some places in the U.S. even with Dems UN charge, get it right:
https://amgreatness.com/2017/08/14/tale-two-cities-charlottesville-v-seattle/

.....

Why is Mr. O'Neill playing the moral equivalence game.

The identitarian SJWs control Google (see Jake Dalmore) YouTube, most of Academia down to kindergarten, the legacy press, and nearly all of Hollywood. The Gramscian Identity competition is all-encompassing, pervading every aspect of American life, with only one scapegoat left: white men. And everyone else, as well, is made afraid of abuse by those who "rank" them on the intersectional victim scale. Some people react to fear by freezing, some by negotiating, some by hiding, and some by striking out.

The power imbalance between the two groups is huge. The one continually and relentlessly makes assaults on the civil liberties of the other's. Not to mention the courage needed to take a merely potentially racialist stand against a wrong - such as Taliban-ing heretical U.S. monuments. Statements like "(all) white nationalists are "just" fighting with SJWs for Biggest victim status" are dangerously easy "outs" for the hiders and freezers.

Maybe if we can make everyone a BigDamnVictim (TM) nobody will be.

But never cede ground to the Marxists.

TCK said...

Antifa and BLM had *no* permits, but the lefty mayor clearly didn't care about that.

JK Brown said...

We aren't hearing much about the driver. With the potential culpability of the governor and mayor if it turns out not to be terrorism, but scared panicked kid, I'd expect more news of the terrorist angle if the investigation supported it. But I suspect the investigation isn't supporting the narrative. No prosecutors or others out pontificating is a big tell.

CNN has no graphics showing the crash sequence. From what I've gathered he hit one car that hit the minivan that hit the people injured and the woman killed. But no Wolf Blitzer analysis?

Make no mistake, a woman is dead and this kid's action is a direct proximate cause of her death, he's screwed one way or another. The variable here is the culpability, political or otherwise, of the governor and mayor, assuming their interference with good policing is shown. And the matter has escaped prosecutorial discretion as a lawsuit has been filed by the occupants of the first car hit.