You may hate it, but it remains a fact.
If we’re going to assess the disaster of Charlottesville with open eyes and reason and evidence, then our personal opinions are irrelevant. It does not matter what you think about Richard Spencer. All that matters is the series of the events that led to the deaths of 3 people on Saturday, August 12. So let’s walk through them.
Richard Spencer planned “Unite the Right”, a free speech / Alt-Right related gathering of many different disparate groups and personalities, from podcast neo-Nazis to nationalist libertarians and everything in between. The purpose of the rally was in its name — to see past ideological divisions and unite the right behind a single identity: namely, European heritage against what they call “white genocide” — the intentional depopulation of traditional European people and identities throughout the Western world. The secondary purpose was to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
The mayor of Charlottesville, Michael Signer (left) and vice-mayor Wes Bellamy illegally revoked Jason Kessler’s permit (he was the event organizer) one week before Unite the Rightwas scheduled to take place.
The ACLU got involved on Spencer and Kessler’s behalf, took it before a judge arguing that civil liberties had been ignored and that the city was not allowed to invoke a “heckler’s veto” against the rally. Kessler and Spencer won a legal injunction and the city of Charlottesville was legally responsible for protecting it.
Part of that protection was supposed to include a police line to separate the rally attendees from the counter-protesters — known as Antifa (Trump has used the popular perjorative Alt-Left — but it means the same thing). This latter group is particularly known for violent tactics against demonstrators and police alike.
But the police line never manifested. There were no protections granted. It later was revealed that the Mayor issued a stand down order to the police.
Mayor Signer illegally reneged on his legal obligation to uphold the court injunction and protect the rally. His failure to provide either police, or police barricades, caused at least one death.
But it gets worse.
Approximately 20 minutes before noon when the first speaker was scheduled, Mayor Signer illegally revoked the rally’s permit against court orders and police descended in full riot gear. After declaring the rally an “unlawful assembly”, they ordered everyone to evacuate the park and then administered tear gas.
Richard Spencer, Nathan Damigo and several others were physically assaulted by riot police for engaging in civil disobedience. From Antifa there was the usual opportunistic terror tactics that combine utilizing police and masked vigilantism. One speaker, Christopher Cantwell, was the subject of both physical attacks and false police reports. Another speaker, Baked Alaska, was sprayed directly in the eyes with a caustic mixture of bleach and mace and likely has permanent vision damage.
After the rally was forcibly dispersed and the remnants were making the long walk to regroup at McIntyre Park, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared a State of Emergency and sent in the national guard. This threw Charlottesville into a city-wide panic. Then the real chaos started.
First a driver, startled by a violent crowd of counter-protesters who were attacking his vehicle and being rear-ended by another car behind him, plowed headlong into the counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. It is not yet known if the driver did so intentionally or in panic.
Hours later, a police helicopter that was patrolling the scene crashed into the trees, killing two officers on board.
Three dead in Charlottesville.
Why? Liberals and television experts want to blame the rally and the attendees and Trump. But it makes no sense to blame Unite the Right or Richard Spencer. Both had the legal right to be there and were on foot. And Trump had nothing to do with Unite the Right.
The Alt-Right did not drive a car into a crowd that was unprotected by police barricades, and frog memes didn’t take down a helicopter. It does not make sense to blame “hate speech”, since no such legal definition exists.
A previous Alt-Right rally three months ago resulted in no deaths, as well as a rally in DC nine months ago. It is true that previous events and Unite the Right all involved scuffles between attendees and Antifa, but as persuasion expert Scott Adams noted on his “Coffee with Scott Adams” periscope the morning of: if both sides come prepared for a brawl and both sides are wearing helmets, then it’s a sport, not a state of emergency.
The only 21st century “hate rally” to result in any deaths is Charlottesville and those deaths are directly attributable to the lawless and reckless actions of mayor Signer and his vice-mayor Wes Bellamy, ignoring both the court and the recommendations of the ACLU in an effort to spitefully deny Richard Spencer his civil rights using the power of the militarized police.
Spencer himself claims that he will “make Charlottesville the center of the Alt-Right universe” over this incident.
I am not worried about the Alt-Right in Charlottesville. But I am worried about how many more people will die because of a rogue mayor trying to score political points with his virtue-signalling donor class.