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CHARLOTTESVILLE – WHAT WAS THAT? 13 Aug. 2017 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

CHARLOTTESVILLE – WHAT WAS THAT?

 

13 Aug. 2017

 

Dear Friends and Patriots,

 

          Yesterday I sat and watched scenes of violence and mayhem on the streets of Charlottesville, VA.  I watched intently and listened to the words of news commentators to try to understand the totality of it all.  The scene was rich with conflicting emotions with an overlay of endless and mindless babble.

          The advertised intent of the day was to hold a demonstration against the removal of an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee that stands today in a city park in Charlottesville.  The demonstrators were a motley mix of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Southern heritage advocates.  On Friday the spokespeople for the assemblage had defended their activity by invoking the First Amendment.  A federal judge agreed and paved the way for the city to allow the demonstration. 

          It was apparent early in the day there would be trouble.  The rhetoric of the media was rife with commentary about white nationalists, racists, white separatists, Nazis, KKK, and other attributions solely aimed at the side with the court-upheld right to hold their demonstration.  Known white rights advocate, former Klan member, and former Louisiana Congressman David Duke was to be the principle speaker.  What could go wrong?

          The “anti-” crowd showed up in significant numbers.  If you examined the signs you would have seen Black Lives Matter, Code Pink, assorted LBGTQ groups and several other identifiable leftist organizations represented. And, yes, there were average citizens, too.

          It’s sort wasteful of time to get into specifics of what happened yesterday.  Fights?  Yes, brawls even.  Shouting and spitting?  Of course.  Flying objects?  Naturally.  All the hallmarks of a 60’s street riot were present except there were no fires and no looting.  But, there was death.  Three deaths, to be exact.

          The objective of the original demonstration appeared to be forgotten rather early in the day.  Do any of you think anything that happened during the day promoted the cause of that historic statue and all it represents?

          Let’s delve into the question of who was at fault.

          I assign blame to both sides.  There were no clean hands present, except for the citizens of Charlottesville who were true victims of the entire scene.  And, let no one forget the lives of the three who died.  The young lady who was run down in the street was a citizen of the town.  The two state policemen who died in the helicopter crash were protectors of the citizens of the state.  Those deaths are tragic, and while it might be easy to place the sole blame for the young lady’s death on the 20-year old fool who ran people down with his car, he was just the most guilty of the hundreds who should be ashamed of themselves today.

          The First Amendment was designed to protect peaceful protest.  The truth is, the original demonstrators violated the sanctity of the First Amendment as soon as they showed up on site with weapons.  It’s true (as far as we know at this moment) no one pulled a gun and shot anyone, but that’s not the point.  The point is the presence of instruments of death in the context of the demonstration constituted provocation. So, yes, I accuse the original demonstrators, however you wish to characterize them, of provoking by adopting a battle-ready demeanor.

          The other side - that of the left - was no better.  They showed up with their own weapons.  They also showed up in greater numbers.  They should not be allowed to claim any high ground for what they did.  If one side can be described as hoodlums and scum, the other side can as well.

          When it becomes evident that two sides of a disagreement show up to do battle instead of engage in substantive dialog, why try to paint either side as having high ground?  Some demonstrators showed up early with sidearms evident. Why?  To intimidate?  That’s some high ground, huh?  They also showed up with shields, goggles, helmets, body armor, gloves, and sticks of various lengths and thicknesses.  The other side, the leftist anti-demonstrators, showed up with their own battlefield equipment.  I’m not certain any of them had guns, but eventually I determined they had all the other offensive and defensive gear just mentioned.  Again, why paint either side as having high ground?  They were both in the wrong.  Quibbling about degrees of wrong seems sort of useless, doesn’t it?

          When contemplating this event, I encourage all to open your mind to the possibility that we’re all being used.  Consider that this entire event may have been staged and funded by one entity in an effort to promote disunity and chaos.  If that is ever proven it means everyone we saw yesterday were useful idiots, staged and scripted by powerful and evil interests.  Will we ever know?  Probably not.  Just don’t be so certain you know what went on.  Maybe you do and maybe you don’t.

          This event raises obvious questions relating to demonstrations and protest.  Our First Amendment specifically covers peaceful protest and free speech, but not any form of violence or intimidation. So, the First Amendment may have been a backdrop in Saturday’s events, but very early on it was abrogated and rendered null as a protection for any action that followed.

          Traditions of non-violence underlie the creation of the First Amendment.  Over 400 years before Christ the Indian nobleman known as the Buddha preached non-violence to all his followers.  To Buddha there was almost no scenario that could justify violence or aggression.  Jesus, the Christ, taught his followers that self-sacrifice was a holier position to take than any aggression.  He admonished those who were struck for their beliefs to “turn the other cheek.”  Jesus gave what may be history’s most spectacular demonstration of non-violent resistance when he allowed himself to be crucified.  In more recent times Mohandas Gandhi adopted Buddha’s and Jesus’ lessons in his own fight for civil rights in South Africa and India.  He preached total non-violence, believing the more powerful political position to be in was the one that appeared the weakest.  Even more recently Rev. Martin Luther King adopted and adapted from Buddha, Jesus, and Gandhi and worked tirelessly to promote and teach the power of peaceful protest.  It’s in the histories of those four people and countless others we find what was ethically, tactically, and strategically wrong with the events of Saturday.  Those histories inform me that both sides of the clashes were guilty.  Both sides violated the intent and spirit of our First Amendment.

          There should be a question raised now.  Is there a way to demonstrate peacefully in today’s charged atmosphere, or are we doomed to repeat the events of Charlottesville over and over, like some perverse version of the movie “Groundhog Day”?  I say there is.

          No demonstration with a peaceful intent should include weapons of any kind.  Words are all that’s needed, and even words need to be carefully determined and controlled.  Never demonstrate with anyone or any group that hints at an advocacy for violence.  It’s just not a winning strategy.

          Demonstrators need to be conditioned before taking to the streets.  They have to be psychologically able to withstand any abuse by adversaries without reaction.  When faced with anger a trained demonstrator must react by becoming passive.  When spit upon or struck the reaction should be to turn away, not to spit back or attempt to strike. 

          If you watch videos of the Selma march where Martin Luther King and his supporters lead thousands of marchers you’ll see evidence of the kind of discipline a good protestor needs.  No matter what happened in Selma the civil rights marchers took no offensive actions.  The cameras caught it all, and within hours the name “Bull Conner” became reviled by all who considered themselves civilized humans.  King and his marchers walked into Selma on the high road, were assaulted by those abusing their official power, and walked on.  The high road was theirs and they never ceded it.  Everyone who wants to own the media message needs to study and understand the kind of discipline it takes to control fear and natural impulses in order to ensure that high road is never abandoned. 

          Demonstrations and protests have to have a marketable theme.  Marching for the sake of marching does little good.  Your time must count for something.  The event must have a justification that people of your own inclination can relate to and support.  That’s how you get turnout.

          You may have some fear of going into the streets with no protection to face a potentially angry and violent opponent.  It’s a rational fear, but if you’ve been cursed at before, spat upon, or even hit in the face with a fist, you know any damage done is usually very slight.  The objective is to avoid confrontation, but if you are to be attacked, you can deal with it far better than you might believe.  Humans are actually pretty rugged.  It might not be fun, but whatever the other side might visit upon you is ultimately tolerable.  In other words – don’t fear meeting violence with peace.  Owning that high road makes it all worth it.

          The first year of the Tea Party movement was its best.   Demonstrations and public gatherings were fun, informative, and universally peaceful.  Tea Party people marched, waved signs, sang, and listened to patriotic music and speeches.  Yes, we were activists, and yes, there were provocative speeches given at rallies.  But, we maintained a positive, non-violent demeanor and concentrated on demonstrating our patriotism and love of America and American history. 

That time, that first year, was a great template for how we need to be now.  The playing field is different today.  The progressive left is on that field, almost unopposed.  If we all do what we should, we won’t sit in our houses and let them execute their plan to restore the Democratic Party to power so the progressive plan can proceed.   Instead, we’ll find creative and public ways to oppose them.  But, we always need to ensure what we do is completely non-confrontational.  We all need to find our high road, and learn how to keep it.  Eventually we will prevail.

A positive demonstration by one sends a message.  Eventually the one is joined by another.  Then, perhaps after a while, a third.  If the cause is just and the messaged is understood and shared, one day there are many.  Our country can be reclaimed from the left, but it has to be done one heart and mind at a time.

Charlottesville demonstrated all that we don’t want.  We don’t want violent confrontation.  We certainly don’t want blood and death.  We want the high road.  We want a universally positive message.  We want the media to see who we really are and to hear our messages of positive change.   Let the other side own the low road.  Each of us can help them find it by refusing to participate in their provocations.

 

In Liberty,
Steve