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freemanjud
Boston, US
Posts: 246


View: Charlottesville: Race and Terror (2017), a VICE video. (Run time: 22:04) A warning (TW): this video contains offensive language, references to violence and hate speech, and may well be upsetting and hurtful to many viewers.


Charlottesville and the events there on a weekend in August 2017 were shocking to many who witnessed it both in person and via the many media outlets that covered the story.


In class, we have begun our look at how so many societies, both historically and today, divide people into those who are identified as “us” and “them.” We do this in a whole variety of ways and the identification of an “us” and “them” are often changing and have a certain fluidity.


That said, what happened in Charlottesville takes any notion of “us” and “them” well beyond a version 2.0 of the concept.


Reporter Elle Reeve (then of VICE News) covered the story and took us inside the thinking of some of the perpetrators of the violence in Charlottesville. To say the least, this clip (which I asked you to watch in connection with this post) is both eye-opening and terrifying.


So here’s what I’d like you to address in this post:

  • Why? Why is this happening now? And what does it portend for the future? (Yes, 2017 was a few years ago now but as you might imagine, it’s easy to draw a line from Charlottesville to what happened on January 6, 2021 and the ongoing polarization in this country.)
  • How would we describe the phenomenon that seems to be at work in Charlottesville? What’s motivating the different folks protesting there and why do they see the world as they do?
  • Finally, how is this phenomenon connected to what we were doing in class this week—that is, looking at the phenomenon of “bubbling” and categorizing?

Just in case you were not in class on Wednesday, we watched nearly all of a documentary on what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. The documentary was from PBS’ Frontline and was titled Documenting Hate, Charlottesville. Run time was 54 minutes.
Yiddeon
Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 5

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?: Ruminating on the disquieting messages of Charlottesville

From the time of the emancipation of the slaves through the reconstruction, through the civil rights movement up until today there has been a war going on in our country, multiple actually. Some of these wars have been quiter than others and they fluctuate in there intensity.

Nobody knows why it is so hot right now, and why the events of Charlottesville took place. If I had to guess it is becasue people are scared. White Nationalists, New Nazis, and the Alt Right, names that were repeated in the videos we watched, are all afraid. They see their power slipping. They think that this coutry is no longer controlled by white men, which of course is inacurate. As long as people are fighting for equality and fighting to make the world a better place they will keep fighting. Think of the times in history when this conflict has been like it is today. The reconstruction and the civil rights movement were rife with attacks and beatings. The people then were the KKK now it is the same but under a new name. They are growing more desprate and it is probobly going to get worse before it gets better but I truly think that it will get better, and it might not happen in our lifetimes but it will get better.

This war in the united states is all about catigorization of people. Putting people into boxes. The white supremasits there think that every person that is not them is the same, which of course is not true. They live in a world that is devoid of any curiosity and devoid of ever asking questions. They are indoctirnated to think that all others are evil and in the end people being arrested will not solve it. Like a weed it has to be ripped from the ground root and all and without every part of it being taken out of the world it will never go away.

dollarcoffee
Boston, MA
Posts: 10

I think the rise of white supremacy in the USA is directly related to the presidency of Donald Trump. Trump’s open support of white supremacists while in the Oval Office, like during the Presidential debate when he was asked to condemn white supremacy and stayed silent, has emboldened white supremacists to come out from behind their computer screens and take to the streets. Having the leader of the free world support white supremacy changed the political culture of this country, and helped white supremacists and neo-Nazis spread their sick views. The culture of misinformation and "us against them" spread as far as the Oval Office on January 6th 2021 when Donald Trump attempted to stage a coup for the presidential office and said: ““We’re going to the Capitol, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” His hatred and open support of white supremacy directly led to events like Charlottesville.

The phenomenon at work here is basically an us and them mentality. The white supremacists at Charlottesville see themselves as these golden gatekeepers who are preserving “white culture” and that everyone else there protesting against them is trying to oppress them and silence them. They see the world as they do either because of how they were raised, like Derek Black, who was raised in a prominent white supremacist family and only changed his views after pursuing higher education or because of their life circumstances, like Robert Rundo who came out of prison a white supremacist.

This phenomenon is connected to what we learned in school because people want to categorize themselves and other people. Although it may start out harmless, like a little kid calling themselves a kid and their parent an adult, and it may continue to be harmless, like an adult categorizing themselves as a night owl and their friend an early bird, it can sometimes be bad. The white supremacist pipeline is a big problem in America, and it sucks people in by praying on their categories or differences. It targets mainly young white men who are desperate to fit in and find a place, and it tells them that they fit in here, and that they’ll find people like them there. Then it radicalizes them and turns them into the white supremacists we saw in the documentaries today.

augustine
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?: Ruminating on the disquieting messages of Charlottesville

White supremacy is a concept that is deeply rooted in our society- it is something that has been present for a very, very long time. So the fact that this march happened is unsurprising, but the timing of it and others like it (and later January 6th) have one cause, and that is Donald Trump being elected president and being given an international platform. Like dollarcoffee said, Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacist groups, and his blatant support for their actions was what made the alt-right comfortable enough to continue with their horrifying actions. Several people in the riots mentioned their support for Trump, and David Duke even thanked him for the support. It was also made clear at these rallies how reluctant police are to intervene in situations like these. At Black Lives Matter protests, people were being tear gassed and beaten for protesting peacefully, but when violent Neo-Nazis actually killed a woman, and viciously beat several people, nothing was done. This apathy towards their actions emboldened the white supremacists even more.

I am not entirely sure how to describe this phenomenon, except for white entitlement. It was mentioned in many different ways several times in the video that the main goal of all these Neo-Nazi groups was to ‘take back their homeland’. One even stated that the US ‘was a land built by the founding fathers and that they (white people) deserved it back’. Aside from the blatant incorrectness of this statement, it is so clear that these white supremacists feel so entitled to this land, to being in power, that anytime someone ‘threatens’ this by standing up for equal rights, they react with violence. This is where the ‘us vs them’ mentality comes into play, any non-white person is automatically included in the ‘them’ category, (it is worth noting that Jews are viewed as non white by white supremacists) and the white supremacists see this as a threat to their appalling goal. This hatred is motivating their every action. I try to rationalize this in my mind by explaining it as an extreme white entitlement issue, but I fundamentally cannot understand why they see the world the way they do. To describe another human being as filthy, vermin, or animals and want to actually murder everyone who is not like you is something I cannot comprehend in any way. I have seen so many videos of what happened in Charlottesville, but seeing this one where a literal Neo-Nazi white supremacist was being calmly interviewed and given a platform was probably the most disturbing thing I have ever seen.

As I mentioned before, the ‘us vs. them’ mentality is a very similar concept to what we discussed in class. It begins with putting people into categories, and then making yourself separate from those categories. We like to think that categories are harmless, just simply stating that you are a certain race should be no big deal. However the fact remains that the very idea of race was created to enforce systems of oppression already in place. So making ourselves different from others, and making everyone have a certain label can end up being incredibly harmful.

no-one
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Watching these videos was enormously powerful and also extremely difficult. I think this is happening now because of a new trend in the right wing (at least in the U.S. and some other Western countries, I'm not very well educated on the current political situation in other parts of the world). As was mentioned in the video, they have taken on the sort of change-oriented mentality that used to belong mostly to leftist organizations. It's not traditional conservatism that wants to uphold the status quo: they want to overthrow global institutions they perceive to somehow be oppressive through violent revolution (sound familiar?). In my opinion, people are driven to radicalism because there is something in their lives they believe to be wrong that they wish to change. For the more rural members of this group, maybe this is economic devastation or a failing job market in mining, manufacturing, etc. for which they blame immigrants from Latin America or workers in China that steal "their" jobs. For young people who reached this movement through the Internet, it is the generally socially liberal culture that (at least outwardly) doesn't cater to white male anger, melodramatic dreams about being a warrior for some kind of cause bigger than themselves. Obviously, these ideas are both incorrect in many ways and come from a place of enormous privilege, and I have absolutely no sympathy for the people who do such horrible things: nonetheless, I think it's very important to see what makes these people tick. Just like in the 1920s, the failure of capitalism has driven people to radical action, like the fascists in Germany and Italy who attempted to solve the Depression through their militancy. The right-winger who ironically said "the left, who are the boot boys of the capitalist class and the bourgeoisie and the status quo" clearly illustrates this mentality. It is rightism through the methods, techniques, and ethos of leftism.


I believe that people have been hateful throughout U.S. history, and there have been horrible racist demagogues who have spread rhetoric in the way Donald Trump has. However, the world of late-stage capitalism puts this in a different light. People feel hopeless, desperate, and fed up with the status quo: regardless of possible election fraud and electoral college, there's a reason that the purportedly anti-establishment firebrand Trump did so well against Hillary Clinton, about the deepest into the establishment one can get. Furthermore, the Internet allows such ideas to spread non-geographically, expediting organization and dissemination of racist and fascist ideas. I was truly shocked when I saw how many people were openly present at the rally, and even more so to hear that one of the attackers was a PhD candidate and had a government security clearance; undoubtedly there are many others with similar positions about whom we know nothing.

This connects with what we talked about in class because racial classifications endorse ideas of racial purity and provide a scapegoat to avoid attention toward the real cause of these problems. Corporations and the elite ruling class ARE the problem, but they are not a hidden organization of Jews that have conspired to replace and destroy the white race. Donald Trump, billionaire and crony of big corporate money officials, was never going to be the one to destroy the establishment and usher in a return to traditional pre-industrial, perhaps even pre-Christian values. However, the rhetoric he used allowed the pent-up anger at the present situation to be combined with a legacy of virulent hatred and made it an extremely powerful and dangerous weapon. Charlottesville was neither the first nor the last of these gatherings and murders, and I believe there will be, terrifyingly, far more. There is no solution so easy as "seeing past our differences".

Blue terrier
Posts: 10

First of all, it is important to note when answering the “why” of how these horrible acts of violence and domestic terrorism occur that these issues are multicausual and multifaceted. In my opinion, there is not one thing to point to when discussing the causes of events like Charlottesville in 2017. Instead, there is an indefinite list of causes and effects that can be discussed and evaluated in the extent to which they lead to a group of individuals making the decisions that they do.


With that being said, I believe that the main cause of events like the one in Charlottesville in 2017 is the rise of the internet, social media platforms, and social media chat rooms. This may seem far fetched, but hear me out. When the internet first took hold of the United States and the rest of the globe, people viewed it as a revolutionary tool of communication, with the potential to bring groups of various political, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic statuses together with the click of a few buttons. However, as recent years have shown, quite the opposite is true. In the past, gathering masses of people was incredibly more difficult and arduous of a task than it is now. Today, as the internet has made the organization of people seamless and effortless, white nationalist groups like the one in Charlottesville can gather hundreds or thousands of people in the matter of weeks or days.


Another direct cause that is correlated with social media and the internet is the rise of technological echo chambers. Social media has made it so a person can strictly interact with people who share the exact same attitudes and ideas as themselves. In this case, these echo chambers are breeding grounds for white nationalism, neo Nazism, and alt right militant groups. This is where radical groups such as Unite the Right, The Proud Boys, and Qanon have the most freedom, and where they are able to unite people across the country and in some cases the world. This is best illustrated by the fact that several white nationalists drove up to 12 hours for the event in Charlottesville. On top of this, social media platforms’ algorithms which are designed to strictly feed people information and suggestions that they regularly consume and enjoy have the same effect. This also causes the phenomenon which was referred to in the documentary as “hiding in plain sight” as a white nationalist or a neo Nazi. People can quite literally go from their well paying desk job during the day to a white nationalist Face Book group chat by night with not a single person in their circle knowing. The man in the PBS documentary with the very high up business administration job is a prime example of this phenomenon.


With the means of communication only developing stronger and peoples’ political opinions becoming more and more polarized, I think we can see a lot greater divisions and disasters like the one in Charlottesville or the January 6 attack in the near future. Especially with the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine, people were stuck in their houses for nearly a year, consuming media and interacting with people only on their side, leaving them more disillusioned, more radical, and more hateful towards the other side.


I would describe the phenomenon in Charlottesville as a violent schism of political ideologies and opinions on race and ethnicity. What I see motivating the different people protesting there is largely each other. More so on the right than the left, but both groups do protest largely in response to one another. They both affect each other’s opinions, main messages, and beliefs.


I see this situation responding to the idea of bubbling and categorizing because on the right, the idea of white nationalism and neo nazism would not exist without this social construct of race that we have started in the world. White nationalists place their beliefs in completely ridiculous, inaccurate, and racist attributes with various groups of people, completely based on their race, ethnicity, or religion, also known as the bubble that they fill out. This hatred and racism based on the categorization has left a tense, violent, and a couple hundred year old division that still presents itself in this world, and in my opinion, is unfortunately not going anywhere.

poptarts
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 8
I agree with other classmates' points, I think that Donald Trump rising into presidency gave these groups a gateway to take action for what they believe in. Both while he was running and during his presidency Trump has given these neo-nazis and white supremacists his support; he has condoned and supported their violent behavior and refused to reprimand them even if they had ended up being extremely violent and killing people. It's this support from such a high power figure that gives these groups their motivation because they know that while that person in power supports them, many of them will be able to assault and kill innocent people protesting for equality and not get in trouble for it. If no strong consequences are given and no strong action is taken against these groups then we'll only end up seeing more in the future. For example, we could have started by identifying these neo-nazi and white supremacist faces who are shown and attacking the other protesters who are non-violent. Why just stand there and let them work in positions where their extreme opinions can influence many around them and ultimately cause further unrest? Take action immediately to show them that they need to stop and unless they do, they will be punished.
The phenomenon at Charlottesville is two opposing sides trying to fight for what they think is right, except one side is very obviously racist, anti-Semitic, and violent, while the other is trying their best to just demand for equality, white supremacy, and neo-nazis.
What causes these people to believe in what they believe in and fight for is how their surroundings along with exposure to certain things impacted them. If a 6-year-old white child is raised in a family where their father is a part of the Klan, they're probably going to believe in the same things as their father unless another extremely influential force comes in and manages to change their mind. These ideas and opinions being spread to people during times where a lot of the information they retain sticks with them for the rest of their lives; it can cause them to look at the world differently.
What we've been discussing about bubbling and categorizing is actually really prominent in this context. It's relatively easy to categorize and be categorized by the people involved in this phenomenon. If you're fighting on a certain side, like those fighting equality, then you will probably be categorized as an enemy, or (with the words of a white supremacist) as an animal
dollarcoffee
Boston, MA
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Blue terrier on October 06, 2021 20:51

First of all, it is important to note when answering the “why” of how these horrible acts of violence and domestic terrorism occur that these issues are multicausual and multifaceted. In my opinion, there is not one thing to point to when discussing the causes of events like Charlottesville in 2017. Instead, there is an indefinite list of causes and effects that can be discussed and evaluated in the extent to which they lead to a group of individuals making the decisions that they do.


With that being said, I believe that the main cause of events like the one in Charlottesville in 2017 is the rise of the internet, social media platforms, and social media chat rooms. This may seem far fetched, but hear me out. When the internet first took hold of the United States and the rest of the globe, people viewed it as a revolutionary tool of communication, with the potential to bring groups of various political, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic statuses together with the click of a few buttons. However, as recent years have shown, quite the opposite is true. In the past, gathering masses of people was incredibly more difficult and arduous of a task than it is now. Today, as the internet has made the organization of people seamless and effortless, white nationalist groups like the one in Charlottesville can gather hundreds or thousands of people in the matter of weeks or days.


Another direct cause that is correlated with social media and the internet is the rise of technological echo chambers. Social media has made it so a person can strictly interact with people who share the exact same attitudes and ideas as themselves. In this case, these echo chambers are breeding grounds for white nationalism, neo Nazism, and alt right militant groups. This is where radical groups such as Unite the Right, The Proud Boys, and Qanon have the most freedom, and where they are able to unite people across the country and in some cases the world. This is best illustrated by the fact that several white nationalists drove up to 12 hours for the event in Charlottesville. On top of this, social media platforms’ algorithms which are designed to strictly feed people information and suggestions that they regularly consume and enjoy have the same effect. This also causes the phenomenon which was referred to in the documentary as “hiding in plain sight” as a white nationalist or a neo Nazi. People can quite literally go from their well paying desk job during the day to a white nationalist Face Book group chat by night with not a single person in their circle knowing. The man in the PBS documentary with the very high up business administration job is a prime example of this phenomenon.


With the means of communication only developing stronger and peoples’ political opinions becoming more and more polarized, I think we can see a lot greater divisions and disasters like the one in Charlottesville or the January 6 attack in the near future. Especially with the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine, people were stuck in their houses for nearly a year, consuming media and interacting with people only on their side, leaving them more disillusioned, more radical, and more hateful towards the other side.


I would describe the phenomenon in Charlottesville as a violent schism of political ideologies and opinions on race and ethnicity. What I see motivating the different people protesting there is largely each other. More so on the right than the left, but both groups do protest largely in response to one another. They both affect each other’s opinions, main messages, and beliefs.


I see this situation responding to the idea of bubbling and categorizing because on the right, the idea of white nationalism and neo nazism would not exist without this social construct of race that we have started in the world. White nationalists place their beliefs in completely ridiculous, inaccurate, and racist attributes with various groups of people, completely based on their race, ethnicity, or religion, also known as the bubble that they fill out. This hatred and racism based on the categorization has left a tense, violent, and a couple hundred year old division that still presents itself in this world, and in my opinion, is unfortunately not going anywhere.

I completely agree with your point on the internet increasing white nationalism and hatred. I think the ease in which people can find like minded people is crazy, and the fact that white supremacist hate groups are able to thrive on popular social media platforms, like Facebook, is crazy. I think social media has also emboldened these people into thinking that their views are okay and deserve to be shared because they’ve been able to connect with so many other people who hold the same values, and it normalizes radical ideas and hatred.

caramel washington
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 5

Charlottesville Protests

This is happening now for a number of reasons, in my opinion. First of all, with widespread access to the internet, people are having an easier time connecting with others than ever before. This has a number of positive benefits, but it also means that people with extremist views can find each other. Additionally, social media algorithms reward posts that lots of people are interacting with, whether that interaction is positive or negative, and since posts about white supremacy often lead to major reactions, they get spread far more than other kinds of posts, which exposes more people to these beliefs.


Additionally, the Trump presidency and the growing reactionary faction of the republican party has made these beliefs far more acceptable in the mainstream. People have always held these beliefs, but because the president was sharing them on national television, more and more people felt comfortable sharing their beliefs out in the open.


I think in the future this is most likely going to continue getting worse. The neonazis in the video were talking about how they believed that their movement was only going to get bigger, and that seems to be the current trajectory. Although Trump may have left office, the hateful ideas that he spread are still very much entrenched in our government, and his movement is still a prominent faction of American politics. There have been white supremacist politicians before, and there will almost certainly be more.


The people who were protesting in Charlottesville seem to be driven by fear and hate. They cling to old fashioned racist beliefs about how white people built America, and they don’t want to see their “culture” harmed. These people are inherently close minded and refuse to accept change, even if it is clearly for the better of society as a whole. This is evident in the chants that these people were using, especially in the phrase “You will not replace us.” Although this idealized white civilization that they so heavily praise has never truly existed, they still feel that it is being threatened, and they must defend it.


The white supremacists here are taking the ideas of categorizing people by race to the somewhat obvious next step: placing people of one race above another. This slippery slope that occurs when we are asked to bubble in our race has in this case turned into a bit of a cliff towards conspiracy theories and fascism. White supremacists want to see a world where everyone would fit into the same category, and they fail to accept any benefits that come from a diverse society.

poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

That's a question I'd like to know as well. Why in the absolute hell is this happening? This isn't a just now thing. Racial discrimination has become deeply ingrained in our nation and society. From when this country first become a nation, slavery became so hard to abolish because many just couldn't imagine Black Americans integrating into society. Our country was BUILT on the backs of the slaves, and yet we give them no credit and refuse to remove statues of slaveholders. In the 1950s and 60s, Black Americans were fighting for equality and the abolishment of segregation. In its simplicity, they were fighting for their natural human rights. And presently, Black Americans continue to fight everyday for their rights of an American. With the presidency of Donald Trump, the incidents have seen a dramatic rise. During the incident of Charlottesville, he said that they condemn the hatred that was displayed "on many sides". Many sides?? You're telling me that the civilians, who had repeatedly made it clear that they did not want these white supremacists in their city, the group of people that suffered casualties because a white supremacist chose to floor his car into the crowd, you're telling me that THAT group was showing hatred. This is happening now because of the president's (as well as our government's) failure to acknowledge, condemn, and punish the acts of violence that are displayed in our nation. Our country's president working as a passive promoter of a group of hate. The way people thought that the acts of violence that we saw in 2020-2021 were new things, and they wondered "why is this happening now?" This has ALWAYS been happening. Our future is grim if we cannot eradicate the hate that is so prevalent in the US.

The civilians of Charlottesville protested because they needed to protect their city. What the civilians saw was an incoming threat of hate that they combatted, wishing to keep the hate out of their homes. These people from out of state had NO RIGHT to riot in this city. The civilians understood that they had marginalized people in their cities. Black residents, Jewish residents, LGBTQ+ residents. The residents together protested because they felt the duty to protect each other. To each other, they are just residents. Neighbors. Friends. And people protect the people they know. This unity and sense of community between them is the phenomenon that happens.


The difference between the residents of Charlottesville and the white supremacists is the way they view others. The residents of Charlottesville don't see their neighbors and other residents as Black or Jewish or gay. They are neighbors. The white supremacists have so much hate for people who are not like them, holding onto these stereotypes for dear life. The supremacists bubble people just by their skin color. One of the leaders of the white supremacists talked about how he didn't understand why we remember Black individuals who were killed because "they were acting up" and they "got what they deserved", categorizing Black individuals as being violent.


poutineenthusiast
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by caramel washington on October 06, 2021 22:22

This is happening now for a number of reasons, in my opinion. First of all, with widespread access to the internet, people are having an easier time connecting with others than ever before. This has a number of positive benefits, but it also means that people with extremist views can find each other. Additionally, social media algorithms reward posts that lots of people are interacting with, whether that interaction is positive or negative, and since posts about white supremacy often lead to major reactions, they get spread far more than other kinds of posts, which exposes more people to these beliefs.


Additionally, the Trump presidency and the growing reactionary faction of the republican party has made these beliefs far more acceptable in the mainstream. People have always held these beliefs, but because the president was sharing them on national television, more and more people felt comfortable sharing their beliefs out in the open.


I think in the future this is most likely going to continue getting worse. The neonazis in the video were talking about how they believed that their movement was only going to get bigger, and that seems to be the current trajectory. Although Trump may have left office, the hateful ideas that he spread are still very much entrenched in our government, and his movement is still a prominent faction of American politics. There have been white supremacist politicians before, and there will almost certainly be more.


The people who were protesting in Charlottesville seem to be driven by fear and hate. They cling to old fashioned racist beliefs about how white people built America, and they don’t want to see their “culture” harmed. These people are inherently close minded and refuse to accept change, even if it is clearly for the better of society as a whole. This is evident in the chants that these people were using, especially in the phrase “You will not replace us.” Although this idealized white civilization that they so heavily praise has never truly existed, they still feel that it is being threatened, and they must defend it.


The white supremacists here are taking the ideas of categorizing people by race to the somewhat obvious next step: placing people of one race above another. This slippery slope that occurs when we are asked to bubble in our race has in this case turned into a bit of a cliff towards conspiracy theories and fascism. White supremacists want to see a world where everyone would fit into the same category, and they fail to accept any benefits that come from a diverse society.

AH YOU ARE SO RIGHT!! Somehow I completely forgot about the internet aspect of this. The internet is great because it connects us, but it also connects messed up people like white supremacists. It makes it easier to coordinate and plan for things like this and it's honestly absolutely disgusting that people would use the internet like this. The internet also allows for the spread of these ideas, as well as the spread of misinformation.

stylishghost
Roslindale, MA, US
Posts: 10

The videos we watched today were both eye-opening and petrifying. The rise of these displays most likely increased with Trump's presidency, as he found himself in support of white supremacists, even after the Charlottesville protests.

The phenomenon at Charlottesville and Huntington beach is that of unity, but also an extreme divide. On one side there is uneducated hate from white people, which at first confuses me. Why hate others so much? It seemed like hate towards the "other" bubble, but also as a grouping of "whiteness" with Americanism, with power, with "cleanliness," with supremacy, and with freedom. On the other side, people were met with hate for existing as Black, as Jewish, and as any "other".

The motivation for these demonstrations came not only from strong hate, but from the sense of security white nationalists felt from online forums and propaganda. The phenomenon of "bubbling" applies directly to this occurrence because separation by race would not occur without it, and therefore the connection of "white" with America, and with purity, would not be formed.

Winters2
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 4

Who is the "we" and who is the "they"?

The first big question to begin is why, everything has a why and this one happens to not be so simple. A big reason it is happening is because there are more and more ideas or aspects of life that have become a conflict or more people disagree about. Many people and groups are also a lot more outspoken about their beliefs. There are increasingly more and more issues or ideas that are widely debated on and a lot of people agree and disagree about. A big reason I think that this is happening now is because of the access of social media. In the more modern and more technologically advanced world that we live in, communication and notifications are a lot easier to get out. By this I mean that if there is a specific group of people on either side of an argument or issue that are trying to organize or meet up then it is a lot easier to spread information and get the word out to as many people as possible. This can be a positive and a negative, whereas in some cases it is a good way to bring people together. It can be used in a way to bring together people with not so good intentions like we saw with the hate groups in the film. Also if certain groups are trying to get the word out to people who would be supportive of their cause there is a good chance that it would also make its way to people who would not be so supportive and who might try to find a way to interfere.


Charlottesville is a hard event to classify because there was so much that went on and so many different things that went on. There were murders and assaults and beatings and protests and so many other things that unfolded. I think a big part of it was it bubbled down to roughly two groups that were protesting/marching for their cause, however it became two groups against each other. It was something that was slowly building up and started with marching, then pushing, then some small and large fights. However this escalated into vehicular manslaughter when a member of one group drove his car straight into a group of protesters of the opposing group. I say opposing because it was not two groups both individually in support of their own cause but mostly in opposition to another belief. Both groups saw the other as an enemy and saw themselves as those who know best and were intent on demonstrating their opposition.


This whole event was based off of the bubbling and categorizing and from what we have been discussing in class it was very reflective of our society. These were not domestic calm acts of demonstration but crimes and murders and beatings and countless injuries. It is one group seeing the other in one way and throwing every member of that group under the same umbrella and seeing them and treating them as such. Which in turn escalated these demonstrations to a disastrous event that will not be forgotten and still has lasting effects.

goldshark567
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 8

White supremacy was at the root of what happened in Charlottesville. The ability of openly racist, hateful, white supremacist groups to cause destruction and violence such as they did in Charlottesville, and face no consequences is due to the rise of people who share those beliefs in positions of power. I agree with dollarcoffee that Donald Trump is a key example of the way that openly supporting these cruel groups give them the confidence to organize publicly and cause damage. We saw this in effect again in January 2021, when Donald Trump once again incited white supremacists, this time to attempt a coup on the Capitol.

As far as the phenomenon at work in Charlottesville, I do not have a singular word or phrase to describe it. It was two groups of people with completely contrasting beliefs, who both believe the other to be in the wrong. Of course, the white supremacist groups were and always are in the wrong because of their ideals that people who are not white are inferior, dangerous, etc. An activist interviewed in the Vice video said that “Right is right and wrong is wrong. So many people stand for the wrong things happening,” which I think sums up the “phenomenon” pretty well.

On one side of the protesting, there were people that believe that white people are the superior race of human beings and that all other races and ethnicities are inherently “bad.” To quote a white supremacist from the Vice video: “we’re talking about the ethnic cleansing of America” in terms of what their ultimate goals are. These white people are not threatened in any way and have so much privilege and entitlement in society that they have nothing to be protesting for.

On the other hand, people protesting against these alt-right groups are fighting for simple humane treatment of BIPOC. They have a reason to be calling for something to change, to be making demands, because people are actually threatened by these white nationalist views.

This topic is related to the phenomenon of “bubbling” because the type of people that caused so much violence in Charlottesville are those who believe that only people who fit into the bubble of “white” (as well as fit into bubbles of being cis-gender, Not Hispanic/Latino, able-bodied, etc) are those who are deserving of being treated like a human. They think that black people, Latinx people, Asian people, LQBTQ+ people, the list goes on.. are somehow different from them based off something that can’t be controlled.

Racism has been around as long as we can remember and it does not appear that it will be out of sight anytime soon. Society is gradually making strides but when you look at events like this, just one example of an egregious act of violence that has happened in previous years, it emphasizes how static society is in some ways.

GullAlight
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

Who is the “we” and who is the “they”?: Ruminating on the disquieting messages of Charlottesville

There has always been a war against racism in this country, and I believe that Charlottesville happened in large because our former president gave them the support they needed to become overconfident. A movement that had been in the shadows until then was revitalised by Trump's silent endorsement of what they were doing. The concept of white supremacy has been here since the founding of America, with attitudes and biases carried over from Europe. The silent sympathising of the police at the rally was truly disquieting and highlights the negative aspects of the bystander effect and the limited training and selection process one has to go through to become a law enforcement officer. It doesn't bode well for our future, as extremism, especially extremism which uses violence, is dangerous for this country as a whole.

They are motivated by their difficulties, and the fact that they apparently need a scapegoat, and the easiest one is thinking that black people are to blame for everything going wrong in their lives. It definitely doesn't excuse their actions, but difficulty often can make people believe that everything going wrong in their lives is due to something outside of their own actions and random misfortune. By projecting these biases out, they don't have to consider that maybe they are the ones at fault, and as such can escape the uncomfortable feeling of being inadequate. I think all damage is done because of fear or pain, and as they can easily develop an us vs them mentality due to humanity's tendency to enjoy filing people into neat little boxes, they lash out against those they fear or cannot understand. Of course, as others in the class have said, it likely could also be an issue with entitlement and ignorance. I agree, but I think it is still important to not develop the same mindset of filing them away as irrational or inhuman or as people we could never understand. After all, we are all human, and under different circumstances, that could totally be us. By trying to separate us and them, we are falling into the same trap and denying their inherent humanity, which of course, still contributes to them being so dangerous. Very long winded here, but I think it's very important to not separate us and them, so as to not fall into the same trap and deny them the possibility of change.

The phenomenon is connected to what we were doing in class this week because placing people into categories is what got us into this mess. I don't want to deny the importance of cultural heritage and nationality, but in the end, we are all humans, and trying to fit everyone int neat little boxes is dangerous and may lead to the exact same issues as we currently have with white supremacy. Although yes, diversity and everything is important, placing people in somewhat arbitrary groups enables humanity's predilection towards categorising and forming an us vs. them mentality.

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