On August 12th, a group of White nationalists and self-described pro-white activists came together in Charlottesville for the Unite the Right rally to protest the tearing down of Robert E. Lee. From the get-go, the event was not well received and in the days before Airbnb terminated the accounts of those suspected attending. On the day of the event, it was over before it even started, with the Governor calling for a State of Emergency and the police failing to separate attendees with those who oppose the event. As a result, violence broke out, and one person died. Unite the Right was a disaster and tragedy.
In hindsight, no matter how much people will blame Antifa (with good reason) or the local government (they did nothing to stop the violence), it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Unite the Right was a terrible idea. According to a poll, 66% of attendees identified as either southern nationalist, white nationalist, or alt right. It’s not surprising that many conservatives condemned the rally before it even started. During the evening of August 11th, thousands of white men carried tiki torches lit on fire yelling angry chants like “you will not replace us,” Blood and Soil,” and “Jews will not divide us.” This display of racism and anti-Semitism was nothing like the humor and trolling that are commonplace on the internet, it was cringe-worthy and appalling. The evening march itself made those who participated in it fodder for the internet to doxx, meme, and humiliate to no end. It seems like the fringes of the right who larped for so long and confirmed their beliefs in their echo chamber online had their moment in the sunlight and were torn apart by the wider society who rejected them. As Kantbot said, “The strength of any people is located in their culture. White Nationalist larping is cargo cult mentality. Must rebuild from inside out. Telling people to reproduce for demographic warfare isn’t what motivates people to start families, without a positive culture no one will.”
It was not too long ago when the 24-hour stream of “He Will Not Divide Us” was recording live in New York City. People of all different ages and races came from everywhere with the intent to poke fun at Shia LaBeouf, support President Trump, and have a good time. 4chan had a frenzy discussing what to do next when the stream kept moving locations and reached its peak when anons (users of 4chan) stole the HWNDU flag with the use of only flight patterns and star alignments. Overall, the non-serious and humorous tone that was clearly apparent during HWNDU was severely lacking at Unite the Right. Instead of singing, dancing, and smiling, the participants of Unite the Right were much more serious, and it ultimately led to their downfall.
It is important to mention that for months now; the mainstream media has been silent about a growing collection of people who have been pushing the country in the direction of violent confrontation, Antifa. The loose collective of radical communist anarchists have been igniting violence for months now. This reality has been evident in Berkeley, where three events (Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech, March on Berkeley, and Patriots day rally) were all met with violence. Antifa’s logic is “if you support Trump, then you are a racist fascist who should have your family doxxed and your life ruined.” This attempt to umbrella every Trump supporter into one thin ideology is moronic and counterproductive. Antifa’s refusal to have a dialogue and only acting in violence only radicalizes them even more. Their idea of protecting minorities from the evil white people who voted for Trump is another destructive larping fantasy from the far left.
If there is one thing to take from Charlottesville, it is that identity politics is cancerous and destructive. It doesn’t matter if we are White, Black, Asian, Mexican, Jewish, or whoever, putting their skin color/heritage as the overwhelming defining characteristic of who we are will blind us from the insane actions to keep up that persona. The idealism of the past is an opiate fantasy for the present. I do not deny that heritage does not make up who we are, groups and ethnicities tend to look and act in similar ways, but it is merely one part. We must take in into account their life experience, personal interests, and behavior.
Instead of imagining delusions of grandeur of our past ancestors, we should take a step back to focus on our lives here and now in the present moment. What are you doing that is worthwhile and will leave a positive impact? No matter their skin color or political beliefs, do you treat them how you want to be treated? The further fracturing of America into tribalism will not only become a huge impediment to any progress but will lead to its downfall. Building something meaningful is what centers and ground us, and lord knows we need that more than ever right now.