Letter to the Editor: Reasons why Bryan Hyde is wrong about Charlottesville and identity politics boogeymen

Notes and flowers form a memorial in Charlottesville, Virginia, Friday, at the site where Heather Heyer was killed. Heyer was struck by a car while protesting a white nationalist rally on Saturday Aug. 12. Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 18, 2017 | AP Photo by Cliff Owens, St. George News

OPINION — On Aug. 12 Heather Heyer was murdered when a car plowed into a crowd in Charlottsville, Virginia. I consider this not only murder but also domestic terrorism and I am proud to hear the nation’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, describe the event as such and open an investigation into the violent incident.

Ultimately, a court of law will be the legal venue for charges against the alleged actions of James Alex Fields Jr. We can hope that justice is served.

On Monday, St. George News published an opinion piece by local radio personality Bryan Hyde (see ed. note). The title of his contribution – “To the proponents of identity politics, the violence in Virginia is the fruit of your labor” – is just the first of many provocative and misguided allegations leveled in the polemic.

Read more: Perspectives: To the proponents of identity politics, the violence in Virginia is the fruit of your labor

His accusation is directed at a broad group of folks that aren’t united or consistent in strategy. Let’s call his strategy what it is: a straw man manufactured as a fatuous distraction that avoids the nuance it takes to discuss diverse political views.

Reasonable discourse encourages rejection of these types of fallacious arguments because they fail to discuss the realities at hand. Sadly, this type of rhetoric is all too common in our society at the moment and has intensified a flawed binary logic that has pushed citizens into ideological bunkers. Why listen to other viewpoints when we have so easily dismantled a caricature of their ideas? It’s a powerful tool that needs to be called out and countered each and every time.

A line from Hyde’s opening statement is worth quoting in its entirety: “To you, I say congratulations. The weekend’s events in Virginia would seem to indicate that you’re finally getting exactly what you’ve wanted.”

The unsupported allegation that citizens who practice identity politics wanted violence is bolstered with comparisons to “barbarians and savages.” He then ironically states that many citizens will no longer be shoe horned into “labeling others to marginalize them,” that “name-calling has no power over us” and that they “won’t bother playing your ideological games.”

His entire article is an example of the notion he discredits, that citizens like us are confronted with a “false dilemma that tells us that our choices are limited to one of two despicable belief systems that thrive on creating conflict.”

In Hyde’s argument we are either with identity politics or against it, and who wants to align with “barbarians and savages?”

But, in fact, there are a myriad of other political choices that Hyde’s column ignores and they are the ones most people across the wide-ranging political spectrum take every day, including citizens like me who value the discourse about racism, sexism, intersectionality and how they disproportionately affect people. We can disagree about the root causes, their effects on society or how to solve them without succumbing to the “word magic” of marginalizing broad swaths of our society.

Bryan Hyde’s column is a prime example of how pundits and their public discourse are failing our society. It only took days for individuals like him to move past the criminal case against Fields to attack an imaginary group of people united behind the practice of “identity politics.” To solve problems requires nuance and thoughtful investigation that transcends ideology.

Bryan Hyde utterly failed to provide such analysis and curiosity. Bryan Hyde didn’t discuss the white supremacists and white nationalists that attended the “Unite the Right” rally who clearly adhere to and practice extreme definitions of identity. He didn’t discuss the fact that James Alex Fields Jr. was aligned with those views and is alleged to have executed his beliefs with extreme prejudice. That is the topic at hand and Hyde ignored it.

Don’t be distracted by his vague accusations of boogeymen when last Saturday an individual and several organizations made direct threats to civilian life. We have known for centuries, and witnessed last weekend, that these fanatics can and will act on those beliefs.

Educate yourself about this national issue. Get to know the organizations that these individuals willfully join. Get to know the names and lives of our fellow citizens that die from the hands of such prejudice every year. Steel yourself for the reality that these white supremacists and white nationalists are empowered, vocal and politically active. Counter their hate and vitriol at every chance you get.

This is not the time to equivocate and wait. We are challenged to be better citizens at moments like this and I have hope that we can.

Written by PHILLIP RHOADES, Cedar City, Utah.

Ed. note: St. George News columnist Bryan Hyde has been a popular radio personality in Southern Utah for more than 30 years. He is, however, currently not broadcasting but serving as the director of development for Libertas Institute.

Letters to the Editor are not the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

 

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33 Comments

  • statusquo August 19, 2017 at 10:22 am

    The left wants the government to pick a side in the free speach debate. CNN (the left) will condemn the government (Trump) for his failure to condemn those the left condemns. But this is exactly what the first amendment protects, the interference of government from the freedom of citizens to speak freely. I agree that murder is evil, but this has been confused with free speach in the public dialogue concerning the charlottsville incident. The people should not expect the government to pick sides in issues of free discourse (either approving or condemning) since that is exactly what the first amendment protects.

  • comments August 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    The leftists incited extreme violence. As distasteful as it was, those “white supremists” (is supremist a new word the media has concocted?) had legal right to go thru with their little parade. We see every other race marching for whatever kind of race-pride nonsense, but whites aren’t allowed to? There will come a day when these brainwashed leftists will wish they’d have stood up for their own people, because all those others are always going to put their own before you. The multi-cult is a twisted little ideology and fairytale, nothing more. A lot of big words in this letter here, but it says nothing but the typical leftist spew–utter garbage.

    • jaybird August 19, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      Sorry anyone who marches under or with the flag of Nazis and confederates are NOT GOOD PEOPLE. Speak understandable Enlish and stop bigoting racist ideology through you vague stupid language.

      • ladybugavenger August 20, 2017 at 11:34 am

        What in the world is Enlish? Lol just plucking your feathers bird…have a blessed day

      • Henry August 20, 2017 at 12:19 pm

        “Speak understandable Enlish”? “stop bigoting racist ideology”? “you vague stupid language”? Enroll in ESL.

        • comments August 20, 2017 at 2:56 pm

          he’s adorable. doesn’t even realize how dumb he is. typical brainwashed leftist.

  • desertgirl August 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    People who identify with ‘identity politics’ pretty much just want their own way and to hell with everybody and anybody. Do it their way and agree with them or else. The or else is violence, tearing apart the constitution, destroying lives, brain-washing our children via school programs that push social agendas. Many of them don’t have a job, however, collect checks from leftists and totalitarian billionaires like George Soros. Since when does being a woman, a minority, or a supporter of any ideology mean you get to kick all others in the teeth for disagreeing and rule the country. No matter how trite the remark it is appropriate: Go Iive elsewhere. i.e. Russia, Cuba, the Middle East, Germany, NOKO, you live by their lack of standards and respect for liberty and personal freedom and be happy as you hate America so much.

    • jaybird August 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      Many of them dont have a jobs? You loser. Look up Robert Mercer you double speak dog. America is built on protest against methhead slogs like you. You identify with Nazis and white supremists who blubber because they think others are taking their jobs when in fact they dont have the smarts to get educated and well paying jobs.

      • ladybugavenger August 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

        “The first amendment wasnt meant for you two idiots.” Says jaybird. Throw yourself in the bunch of idiots lol did you read what you wrote? Your terms of affection are uplifting: loser, double speak dog, methhead slog like you….. lmbo! You’re killing me smalls

  • Kilroywashere August 19, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Henry Lee, R.Lee’s father, is my direct ancestor. My gut feeling is General R. E. Lee wouldn’t care about any statue in his image, especially 150 years after his time. I am saddened by the death of an innocent person. If the leftist / anti-racist protestors had not shown up and violated a legally sanctioned protest (regardless it was a group of KKK / neo Nazi nuts) none of this would have come to fruition. This entire event was set up from the beginning to be a clash. The media is to blame for sure, but this is what they have been waiting for. The world is a stage and we are merely players, too badly “Shakespeare . I’m sorry nothing has changed for me in context to this event. It is the current meme, and sadly a soldier died in Afghanistan today, unnoticed by the silent majority, and a 5 second blurb in the media.

  • jaybird August 19, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    The first amendment wasnt meant for you two idiots. Let diversity rain and you both will go away. Cowards..

    • Henry August 20, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Who is the First Amendment meant for? Let diversity “rain”? How about let diversity snow? LOL You have the intelligence of a sea slug.

  • jaybird August 19, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    http://verifiedpolitics.com/white-supremacy-rally-boston-just-backfired-epic-fashion/
    Look it up. Racists have no place here. Its unAmerican fools.

    • Henry August 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      You’re celebrating “Anti-Fascists” shutting down a “Free Speech” rally? George Orwell is smiling at the irony.

  • dodgers August 20, 2017 at 9:04 am

    The 1st Amendment is meant for “all” Americans. Understanding and accepting that right is a very big challenge for many on the left. We saw this in action in Boston, where ANTIFA was intent on shutting down a Free Speech rally.

  • leigh August 20, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Excellent analysis, Phillip. Thank you.

    Let’s get this straight. The First Amendment guarantees that the government will not interfere in free speech. It doesn’t prohibit others from objecting. To respectfully listen to the same hateful bigotry we fought a war against is tantamount to agreeing with it. Yes, the Nazis had permits to march. But the protesters had permits too, which the Nazis’ apologists conveniently ignore. Those of you who want to argue that this was just a free speech issue need to understand that framing it that way doesn’t fool anyone. This was a march organized by people who were quite open in their fascist beliefs and who freely talked on camera about their hatred of Jews and African Americans. They carried white supremacist flags and swastikas and shouted Nazi slogans. They showed off their guns and knives and talked about being ready and willing to kill. No one who showed up to march with them could possibly have misunderstood who they were. Make no mistake about it. There’s no middle ground where Nazi ideology is concerned. If you can’t or won’t express your opposition to these people and everything they stand for, then you place yourselves squarely on their side. Even if you think you don’t mean it that way, that’s how they will see it. You legitimize them, and that’s exactly what we cannot afford to do.

    • Henry August 20, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Let’s get this straight. You provide no sources to support your justification of Antifa’s actions. Let me provide you a couple observations, from some definite left-leaning organizations:

      – New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, was on the ground in Charlottesville and live-tweeted: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding ‘antifa’ beating white nationalists being led out of the park.”

      – The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the organizer of the white supremacist rally, Jason Kessler, is a former Barack Obama supporter and Occupy movement activist.

  • leigh August 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Interesting, Henry, that you want sources to justify my opinion that Neo Nazis are dangerous or that there is no middle ground with this group. If you’d like to see more of what happened, watch the VICE video. Yes, I expect the left-wingers were angry, considering who they were up against. If you have to demand proof for why we should hate and oppose neo-Nazis, well, I don’t really know what to say to that. Their own words and actions and their adamant belief in and adulation of Adolph Hitler should be enough to condemn them. Clearly that’s not enough for you. If you have to be convinced that Nazis are not good people and not people with whom we should seek compromise, there really is nothing more I care to say.

    • Henry August 20, 2017 at 8:47 pm

      Non sequitur argument Leigh. NO credible person is defending the beliefs or actions of the neo-Nazis.

      What is being debated are the violent actions of the fascist leftists. Antifa, BLM, et al have a track record of intimidation and violence against ANYONE that doesn’t align with their views. Why are you condemning neo-Nazi fascists, but excusing leftist fascists?

  • leigh August 20, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Henry, speaking of checking sources, you might want to look into your claim that Kessler was an Occupy movement activist. Providing false information as evidence isn’t really helpful to your cause.

    • Henry August 20, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      It’s not “my claim” Leigh. As I stated, it was reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center :

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/individual/jason-kessler

      Perhaps the person “providing false information” is you. I provided a quote from a New York Times reporter regarding the conduct of the marchers on both sides at Charlottesville; do you have any credible sources regarding your claims of the marchers’ behaviors on BOTH sides?

      • bikeandfish August 20, 2017 at 10:40 pm

        You mis-characterized the SPLC statements, Henry. They made a statement about rumors and “apparent involvement with Occupy”. The devil is in the details.

        “Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.”

        Analysis of these rumors is discussed in the snopes article:

        http://www.snopes.com/2017/08/17/jason-kessler-soros-deep-state-plant/

        “Was Jason Kessler a Barack Obama supporter?

        True. He told us (and has consistently said elsewhere) that he was an Obama supporter and voted for him. He says he began to sour on Obama and the Democrats during Obama’s second administration because of their focus on what Kessler terms “identity politics.”

        Was Kessler involved in the Occupy movement?

        Mostly false. According to Kessler, Occupy’s “anti-globalist” stance caught his interest in 2011 and he attended an Occupy Charlottesville demonstration, but found he didn’t see eye-to-eye with the group in a confrontation he described as none too friendly. (The source typically cited to support the claim that he was “involved” in the Occupy movement, a Southern Poverty Law Center dossier on Kessler’s political history, uses the phrase “apparent involvement” and supplies no evidence to indicate he had anything other than a relatively brief encounter with the Charlottesville contingent.)”

        It appears white nationalist are trying to distance themselves from Kessler after Charlottsville but plenty of the major players clearly had faith in his “pedigree” before then. Its getting into some Deep State conspiracy theory stuff which should be the first major red flag.

        And the national consensus on white supremists and nationalists is far from defined. We know the government was pressured to apologize for the 2009 Bush Report that predicted the very rise in violence we are seeing right now due to public pressure. The group responsible for its research was also functionally dismantled through the politics of public pressure. We know Trump froze the grants for the Countering Violent Extremism program that had focus on such groups and wanted to remove all funding by 2018. Just to name a few ways the country has responded in ways that shows a failure to condemn and fight these groups.

        Far from resolved but some folks seem to be in a hurry to move on.

        • Henry August 21, 2017 at 12:13 pm

          Bikeandfish – it’s rather ironic that you correctly clarify the statement that should have been that “SPLC reported RUMORS of…”, but then use innuendo to charge POTUS Trump with being a racist.

          Southern Poverty Law Center is a well known far-left watchdog organization. It was significant that they reported rumors of the neo-Nazi organizer’s original background. I should’ve stated that they “reported rumors of”; I appreciate your catch.

          That’s why you sowing the seeds of doubt about opposition to neo-Nazi organizations seems contradictory. There should be no doubt about President Trump’s stance when he said “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thus, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

          Compare that to President Obama’s remarks when anti-white bigot Micah Xavier Johnson shot 12 Dallas cops, assassinating five, during a Black Lives Matter event. It was reported Johnson told a hostage negotiator he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers. He also had social media associations with factions the SPLC designated as hate groups.

          Barack Obama’s response to the massacre: “I think it’s very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter.”

          During the memorial service for the slain Dallas officers, Obama lectured mourners about racial bias – “centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery and subjugation and Jim Crow, they didn’t simply vanish with the end of lawful segregation.”

          Who do you think had the better response to a racism-inspired massacre – Trump or Obama?

          • bikeandfish August 21, 2017 at 1:02 pm

            Thank you for accepting the cited facts and admitting the mistake. I will also ask you not to accuse me of unsupported claims, like making innuendos against Trump. I clearly concluded with a rather hedged claim that “the country has responded in ways that shows a failure to condemn and fight these groups.” I see a broader issue with the country, not a particular president. If you want to have a dialog I ask that you not make such aggressive and unfounded claims that I used ” innuendo to charge POTUS Trump with being a racist.” I didn’t, and I won’t. Please don’t put words or ideas in my mouth. I have shown you respect by engaging what you actually stated. I just ask the same of you.

            I am not sure how familiar you are with the 2009 report but it should have been clear that it was released during the Obama Administration and they kowtowed to public pressure. It was commissioned by Bush but released by Obama and Napolitano.

            I have no interest in the standard tit-for-tat who done it worst, Republican or Democrat, dialog that is so common right now. I won’t engage that strategy and I think its an intentional distraction. We are in the moment right now and are faced with an increasingly empowered white nationalist and white supremists movement. You asked “leigh” why she is focused on them and not Anti-fa. I can’t answer for her but I can for myself. I am focused on them because one of their members killed an innocent civilian. I am focused on them because of their well-documented recent history of domestic terrorism. I can discuss Anti-fa with vigor and thoughtfulness when I am not confronted with evidence of a national failure to account for and solve a real, and often deadly problem like white supremists. To be preventative against unfounded accusations, that does not mean I support Anti-fa, that I am inherently justifying their action or unaware of the violence some of their members have engaged in (Tapper and other “left-leaning” journalist have even discussed their probelmatic strategies like throwing urine at reporters, rocks at police, etc).

            With that in mind I can’t forgive any president that buries the issue (Obama) and/or defunds the organizations that help dismantle the violent prejudice (Trump) of white supremists. I would hope citizens could unite behind such a line as it seems easy and consistent with American values. We can choose to divide ourselves by party or ideology at moments like this or we can unite behind a deeper patriotism and work together to solve problems.

          • Henry August 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm

            Bikeandfish – No disrespect was intended, but I do believe you engaged in innuendo (Webster’s definition – an indirect intimation about a person or thing, especially of a disparaging or a derogatory nature) based upon what you wrote:

            – “It appears white nationalist (sic) are trying to distance themselves…”
            – “We know the government was pressured to apologize…”
            – “…dismantled through the politics of public pressure.”
            – “ We know Trump froze the grants…and wanted to remove all funding by 2018.”
            – “the country has responded in ways that shows a failure to condemn and fight these groups.”
            – “…some folks seem to be in a hurry to move on.”

            I believe you when you clarify that you “see a broader issue with the country, not a particular president”. However, I find your view one-sided.

            Yes, I am familiar with the 2009 intelligence assessment. Government officials apologized because the report was viewed as seriously flawed by both Republicans and Democrats. Here’s an excerpt from coverage at the time:

            “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said … that she stands by the report, which lists returning veterans among terrorist risks to the U.S.”

            “But the top House Democrat with oversight of the Department of Homeland Security said in a letter to Ms. Napolitano that he was ‘dumbfounded’ that such a report would be issued.”

            “… Ms. Napolitano defended the report, which says ‘rightwing extremism’ may include groups opposed to abortion and immigration,…”

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/16/napolitano-stands-rightwing-extremism/

            You state that “I am focused on them (neo-Nazis) because one of their members killed an innocent civilian.” In my reply to you above, I stated the case of Micah Xavier Johnson, who killed five Dallas cops during a 2016 BLM event. Why are you not just as concerned about leftist fascists like him?

            You also state cite the neo-Nazi’s “well-documented recent history of domestic terrorism.” What about recent incidents of mass murder or violence NOT involving neo-Nazis at Ft Hood, Boston, Ferguson, Baltimore, Middlebury College, Dallas, Berkeley, San Bernardino, Tampa, etc.?

            Rather than Antifa just “throwing urine at reporters, rocks at police”, their level of violence is closer to that employed by the Sturmabteilung (SA) and Schutzstaffel (SS) in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. How can you not be concerned by this?

            I fully concur that we should “unite behind a deeper patriotism and work together”, but in order to do that, we need to recognize the threats to our country from fascists on BOTH extremes.

  • leigh August 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I don’t believe you have understood anything I’ve said or grasped the context. I’ve been talking about opposing Nazis, whom you seem to believe are equivalent in moral character to people all over the country who are condemning them. I gave you a reference for their behavior at the march and on the Friday evening on campus. I haven’t said anything about their opponents except to note that I could understand their anger. Enough of this nonsense.

    • Henry August 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      I understand perfectly the context of your message. NO credible person is backing the motives or views of the neo-Nazis. My father fought against Nazis in WWII; I am in no way, shape, or form an “apologist” for them.

      Where we differ are in characterizing the violent actions of the fascist leftists at Charlottesville. I provided you a quote from a New York Times reporter on the ground regarding their conduct. You’ve stated twice that you “could understand the anger” of the leftist fascists.

      Why are you condemning neo-Nazi fascists, but turning a blind eye to leftist fascists?

  • leigh August 20, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Maybe not quite. Here’s a direct quote from your reference: “Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.” Hardly proof of anything other than a far-right-initiated rumor. But I only pointed out that you were mistaken about Kessler as evidence that you hadn’t checked your references carefully enough. The information itself isn’t really relevant. Who cares what this guy did in the past? The problem is with what he’s doing right now.

    • Henry August 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      See my response above to Bikeandfish.

  • bikeandfish August 21, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Henry,

    I find it rather unfortunate that you continue to assume I made “indirect” statements about Trump when I have clarified I didn’t. That would be like me reading between the lines of your statements and assuming you don’t actually want to condemn supremists. For dialog to move forward we have to trust others. I trust you are being sincere. To assume I am not acting in good faith requires significant evidence which you lack and derails any chance of understanding each other.
    You presented my ideas way outside their context. I will once again explain your accusations in the order you presented them, but this will be the last time if you continue to make unfounded claims. The white supremists were those that Kessler organized; Trump was not there. The administration that apologized was Obama’s, not Trump. The group was dismantled on Obama’s dime, not Trump’s. The statement about Trump is fact and was part of a broader accusation about this country which I supported with bipartisan examples hence the next statement about this “country”. The move on portion is in relation to the letter to the editor where are commenting on.

    You asked for context and I provided it in regards to the focus on white supremists and nationalists. I would likely be willing to share my ideas about the shooter at the BLM incident at another time but I currently consider it a distraction as it was a year ago and not relevant to the shooting in Charlottsville. Same goes for the broader idea of domestic terrorism which has occurred from individuals of multiple ideologies. I will refuse to lump protest violence and property damage into the same category as the murder of innocent civilians. They are not the same in scale or content.

    I have no interest in distracting myself with Anti-fa tactics right nor comparing to the SS and SA as I have already stated. You have not provided me a compelling reason why I should not differentiate between an innocent civilians murder and the tactics of Anti-fa. If you can show me where Anti-fa has murdered someone recently I will kindly back off of the line.

    There is no “both sides” argument to be made. Anti-fa and their tactics are not morally, historically, legally or ethically the same as the murder in Charlottsville. We are also not limited to two sides no matter how often folks want to perpetuate that myth. False equivalency is a dangerous tool that indirectly or directly prevents society from solving a specific problem.

    Even mainstream RNC leaders are calling for an end to the false equivalency rhetoric. It should not be difficult or controversial to call out the singular problem of white nationalism. That should be an easy issue of patriotism that all Americans can unite behind. But that conversation takes longer than a few hours or days no matter how schizophrenic the 24 hour news cycle behaves. And that conversation needs to result in concrete action to reduce the impact of their existence.

    I ask you to please stop putting words in my mouth and making inflammatory assumptions (i.e. I reserve the phrase racists for the most overt of actions) about my statements and motives. You are caIpable of critiquing my ideas without resorting to reading between the lines. If not, please just say so and I will graciously move on to a different conversation.

    • Henry August 21, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Bikeandfish – I used your own words to demonstrate why I came to the conclusion that I did. I then said that “I believe you when you clarify that you ‘see a broader issue with the country, not a particular president’ “. I don’t understand why you say that I assume that you aren’t acting in good faith – I just said that I believe you are!

      The quotes that I provided regarding the 2009 intelligence assessment were to demonstrate the widespread view that the report was viewed as seriously flawed by both Republicans and Democrats. The “political pressure” against the report was broad and bipartisan.

      Quite frankly I am aghast that you find the year-ago murder of five individuals by a leftist fascist “not relevant to the shooting (murder of one individual) in Charlottesville.” Multiple innocent civilians WERE murdered in Dallas (5), in Ft Hood (13), and San Bernardino (14), due to an extremist ideology. I don’t understand why you consider it “false equivalency” to compare their murders to the one in Charlottesville.

      As I pointed out before, President Trump DID call out the racists, and specifically named the white supremacist groups, after the Charlottesville murder. President Obama refused to call out the racist follower of a hate group after the Dallas murders. I don’t understand why that is so hard to recognize and acknowledge.

      If you do not wish to honestly yet respectfully debate your position on the issues, then perhaps you should find a forum in which the preponderance of commenters share your political views.

      • bikeandfish August 22, 2017 at 9:26 am

        You chose not to posit that I consider Trump a racist again so I’ll answer some of the questions. I will clarify my stated positions, not your interpretation of assumptions.

        First, what is the point of only visiting online communities that primarily share a similar view? I don’t see much value in that as I think we already spend too much time in our bubbles. That is why I am here.

        I’m not getting into the score card tit-for-tat who is worse. I have made that clear. I recognize your statement about Trump v Obama and clearly understand you seem to think Trump is the winner and Obama loses in this comparison. I see know value in that as I think its a much bigger issue than the executive.

        Sounds like we disagree on the 2009 report. I think the report contained accurate information about right-wing extremist that was historically true and sadly continues to come to fruition. The same can be said about similar findings about left-wing extremist, especially in their deployment of electronic terror. I think that report was politically uncomfortable but accurate and our politicians rarely have the resolve to spend political capital in those moments.

        I fully recognize extremist exist in a myriad of ideologies. I support federal targeting of them. But right now we are immersed in a specific situation which requires specific, unique tools and knowledge. And in this case the federal government has intentionally gone backwards in its willingness to deal with white nationalist.

        Condemning all extremist right now serves no purpose other than rhetoric. Its a counter argument that distracts us from the details of the real work. When we know a attack on American soil is done by a particular group or individual follower of that group then it seems fair to discuss that reality explicitly. How beneficial would it be right now to condemn the previous violence of the Basque group ETA when we know the Islamic State is responsible and laid claim to the attacks in Barcelona? I posit there is no benefit.

        Its hard work talking about white supremacy. I know as I have experienced its presence and influence in multiple places. It may be “fringe” but they are powerful and larger in number than people give credit. Just look at how much the alt-right, a term and worldview coined by white nationalist Richard Spencer , has gained traction in the last year. They exist all across the US and are employing savy techniques all the while maintaining extremely dangerous worldviews. Is that worth explicitly talking about?

        • Henry August 22, 2017 at 7:57 pm

          Continuing to reframe a stance, rather than openly debating its merits and faults, is an indication of an impasse. Interesting exchange.

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