posts 16 - 28 of 28
Posts: 21

This was happening because of extremists groups organizing and thinking their violence is justified because it was supported by politicians on their side. The extremists found in that group were not only making false, and illogically, statements about politics that they seemed to know very little about, but also were physically harming others without feeling any remorse or guilt; not even a moment of hesitation. I think that the divisions in this country will just increase along with the violence until some large political and ideological battle is fought. (Hopefully I’m wrong though because if not, many more will be hurt while being persecuted or while fighting for their basic rights.) Those divisions led to Charlottesville and the violence and outrage it caused because the extremists had gone from being hidden and in the background to materializing on the streets. They had almost come out of the shadows and were now a group that couldn’t be ignored or shrugged off. Unfortunately, I believe that events like Charlottesville and worse will occur as the polorization in America increases. Storming the Capitol was just another way for them to violently protests what they believed to be wrong instead of using their words to discuss disagreements like mature people.

East Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 17

Who is the "we" and who is the "They

The protests are happening due to the lack of education because if they had been educated well enough they would know their place, and the lack of education probably leads them to believe whatever their household believes in too because they don't know any other option. The protests in Charlottesville demonstrate how split the United States is, which is ongoing to present day.

Violence, is sought after by many of the protesters and they are just trying to spread their ideas but since everybody discredits their ideas they feel that the only way to get people's attention is by violence. Then the people that are being discriminated and hated against because of their identities and their faith want to put an end to these protests which are wrong. People are just expressing their opinions but only they do it in the most aggressive way possible.

Yes, there is definitely another possibility for this to happen or worse because as long as America is split up there is no limit to what can happen and because of present day news and how fast information gets passed around it's like a bomb ready to blow because all it takes is one incident.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 26

Assignment: The Dilemma of the Bad Samaritan

1. Taking a more in depth look, a groups of Neo-Nazi white supremascists believed that their voices were slowly but surely being shut down by the liberalizing agenda of our society and believed that they would make their voices heard through protesting and rioting. On the scene of the Charlottesville riots, the police aimlessly watched as tension grew between the Neo-Nazi protestors and anti-facist protest groups. If only they did their job and intervened in the situation that eventually would get very violent and cause many injuries and deaths. Although these rioters did not come together in the thousands, further research found that there were hundreds of white supremacists organizations around the world that wished to return to the ideals of the old America. Seeing this can only lead me to believe that there will become a polarization of far left and right political groups, and inevitably leading to a civil war level situation.

2. This Phenomenon seems to be captivating the young-adult white male audience that has not found a groups to latch onto. These majority white groups seem to feel like they are the majority that is loosing it's voice in politics and culture. Having the archaeic belief of being superior to all races, these groups are uniting together to protest smaller things, like the excavation of American war-heroes statues in respective southern states, because of the simple fact that they owned slaves. Giving an excuse to unite together and protest against the excavation of statues (small protest= bigger message)

3. As the political parties gradually become more polar opposites of each other, the likelihood of something worse happening is very probable.

Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 23

Ruminating on the disquieting messages of Charlottesville

I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these sorts of riots occurred in Charlottesville, the site of a major research university, and Washington D.C., both fairly “blue” areas. These “protests,” or riots, seem to be based on a desire to trigger further conflict, and heighten the already growing divide between the conservative and the progressive parts of our population. Based on what the reporter in the Vice video was told by one of the spokespeople from the alt-right groups at Charlottesville, one of their main goals is to create situations in which more progressive counter protesters will behave in a way that reinforces the alt-right’s perception of them. He also mentioned that he believes “these people want violence,” which, while from my perspective is clearly untrue, does point to the fact that they are focused on creating situations where destruction and violence can be blamed on any of the segments of our population that they are opposed to.

Outside of Charlottesville and January 6th, I definitely believe that this can happen again, and, tragically, already has. For example, there was another inflammatory protest led by an alt-right group in Massachusetts quite literally down the street from my house this past summer. It was, nominally, to protest a LGBTQ+ history-based story time being held for elementary schoolers at my local library. They set up in the main intersection (if anyone is familiar with the Monument in JP, that’s where it was), and basically harassed passersby, trying to provoke an outburst in one of the most consistently “blue” neighborhoods in an already fairly liberal city. There is video footage of one of the ringleaders of that group being arrested in front of one of my favorite restaurants. It was definitely completely shocking to see and hear something like that happening in the neighborhood that I live in.

One thing that I have always wondered was how someone could come to have all of these misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, etc. views held by the members of these alt-right groups. While I can’t know for sure, I would hazard a guess that much of it seems to be based in a fear of “losing” the power that these, primarily, white men already have. Many of the chants heard in the video (e.g. “you will not replace us”), do suggest this fear of powerlessness, or loss of control. If we note the fact that many of the areas that are consistently most “red” are largely more rural, and the fact that the rural poverty has become a growing problem in recent decades, there could be an economic component to this fear as well. No one likes feeling inferior, and, as completely horrible as their messages and actions are, one can try and figure out where this viewpoint is coming from. I like to think that life is not a zero-sum game (in that others do not have to be negatively impacted for me to be successful), but obviously this opinion is not shared by many of the alt-right groups in our country.

Posts: 13

Charlottesville was caused by both the white supremacist movement in America and also by the ignorance of police officers who did not participate in stopping the violent protest. This was happening because white supremacists felt that their power is being taken away as more and more people of color come to the United States in hopes for finding a better future. Charlottesville has set the precedent for the January 6 coup at the capitol. Both events are similar because it was an organized effort, and many of the members in the capitol riot had similar ideologies, for example, displaying Nazi signs which show their beliefs.

The phenomenon at Charlottesville is one group, the white supremacists, who are protesting for white lives matter and carry guns as forms of intimidation. Their motivation is cast in fear - they fear that they will be replaced by people of color and that they would lose their privilege as white people in America. The other group was its counter-group, and they protest at this Charlottesville protest to counter the white supremacists, protesting that black lives matter. It's a very deep question to ask why someone sees the world the way they do, but the white supremacist groups are comprised of many young adult boys. They may have felt that there was nowhere else to seek comfort and did not have supportive friends or family back home. They might have even grown up in these ideologies and never learned more about them in our education systems.

I do definitely think something like this or worse could happen again. As of right now, not much has been addressed to educational systems about teaching students about certain ideologies and what it means in the context of society. Also, the mental health support systems at schools have not been going super strong, and nowadays the rate of mental health has increased every year. We're also not holding the police as accountable as they should be because billions of dollars go into funding the police, but at the same time they're not doing their job. Especially in such dire situations like Charlottesville, we'd expect that the police would have done something.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Charlottesville Discussion

I think that what happened in Charlottesville was partially a result of Trump's election as president, as well as the furthered development of social media and private messaging. Although Trump never directly supported these extremist right wing groups, he never put any blame on them for events that occurred at different rallies, and even sometimes defended them. As many of these group members said themselves, they saw this as the President's support of what they were doing, since he never called them out for it and only ever brought them more publicity and made them more mainstream. I that social media also plays a huge part in this, since members of these groups who might've never been able to be in contact before social media can now reach each other from wherever in the world in a matter of seconds. This increases their reach significantly, and in turn increases the audience ready to listen. Since social media only continues to expand and develop, I think we can expect many more rallies like Charlottesville, as we've already seen on Jan 6th. The phenomenon seen in Charlottesville, the gathering of extremist groups from all sides of the political spectrum, is a result of morals, and sheer personality. These neo-nazi, white-supremicist groups clearly do everything they do for attention, and because almost all of them are obsessed with violence. Thus, I think they hold these rallies for those two purposes. To get attention, and be violent. I think the other extremist groups that arrived there, leftist extremists, were responding to their own morals. They saw what the white-supremacy groups were doing and wanted to fight back. I think something like, or worse than Jan 6th could absolutely happen again. As I mentioned earlier, with the rise of social media something like that is bound to happen again, as these groups' audiences grow and they gain more of a following.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Originally posted by green64 on September 29, 2022 21:07

In large part, we are having these huge uprisings because of social media, while there have always been extremist views in America such as during WW2 when there were nazis sympathizers in congress. Social media has connected young impressionable men with these groups who have progressively become more mainstream. These right-wing groups send out videos that cover basic things that almost everybody would want/agree with leading people to look into the site or the person and passively become pushed further down the rabbit hole. Now it is so much easier than its ever been for this to happen because 20-plus years ago you would actually have to travel to these events to be indoctrinated. Your parent and others would be asking questions to attempt to push you in the right way but now you can do things from the comfort of your own room and by the time people find out it's too late. Once the ideas latch on everybody who disagrees with you is "communism" or "Antifa" so you are stuck without a way out. At this stage, you are just following whatever is said online and that is why we had a mass group of people show up in Charlottesville and January 6th.

I would describe it as social media it validates a feeling that they have had stuck deep down inside of them and uses that to control people.

I definitely think something like this could happen again. But I think I was watching a 60 minutes documentary on January 6th and it described the best thing that ever happened to these groups was Covid because people were stuck inside and left to scroll through Facebook all-day which had large numbers viewing their ideas leading to indoctrination. This is ironic because a large part of their main point was covid isn't real and we should go back outside in saying that they are actively taking their followers away from the screen they use to control them. So I think we probably have 1 or 2 years until we get another Charlottesville because the extremism will probably simmer down a bit due to less people being on social media.

I completely agree with how you connected these events to social media, it definitely plays a huge part in connecting these groups of people, allowing them to unionize as a "community" and have a space to plan events and rallies like we saw at Charlottesville and on Jan 6th.

Posts: 8

Fear as the motivation for Domestic Terrorism

The events in Charlottesville, and on January 6, 2021, while seeming to be motivated by politics, immigration, and people loving fighting too much, really just boil down to one singular thing: fear. Yes, there are obviously other ideas involved in the psyche of the terrorists, but the core feeling is fear. Now, in the modern day it might be difficult to see what they're afraid of. After all, there aren't immigrants forming militias equivalent to the size of Unite the Right to terrorize Klu Klux Klan members. No, the reason for their fear is old- going back all the way to when the first enslaved people in the Americas revolted, and were met with violence. That response was motivated out of a fear that the power one has always held will one day be taken away completely, and that they will actually face punishment for their actions. Many of these people have been raised in far-right communities which may have harbored unrest about the outcome of the Civil War for generations, and thus they have consistently been told that they are having their right to be racist and violent away from them. However, not all white supremacists were raised that way. White supremacy and the fear that motivates it can be taught, and it is. Just look at Robert Rundo, whose time in prison turned him from a multi-racial gang member to a leader in one of the most disturbing recently formed white supremacist militant groups, through the prison system’s separation of people, according to the Frontline documentary. No matter the origin of the hate, the fear is the gas they need to move their machines of terror, and that is why Trump helped them so much, as an expert in scaremongering and promoting the terrorists’ demented beliefs. As a result, yes, there will be another January 6, another Charlottesville. As long as these groups are afraid to lose what they should never have, they will continue to be violent, likely in ways even worse than the events which have already occurred. This could happen if the fascist/ Republican candidate does not win in 2024, or for any other multitude of reasons, including rallying around another statue. These terrorists are Americans though- which means if they don’t get what they want, they will keep raising an even bigger violent response until they do.

In addition to fear, however, there are a few other factors that are also important to remember:

  1. Police negligence: Remember that these people act on the same logic as everyone else. Think of them as young children. Left unchecked, they will not be punished for behaviors deemed inappropriate and will not be rewarded for behaviors that are admirable. The police are those responsible for punishment, and currently they are failing miserably. What impression does this give to the terrorists?
  2. Trump: Aside from his fueling of the flames of neo-Nazi terrorism, Trump also provided something very dangerous: political validation for these deplorable groups. He occupied the highest office in the land and expressed to them that they were right. That’s why they loved him- not because he was likable, but because he reflected what they wanted to see. What kind of effect could another Trump-style leader have on the United States?
  3. Nazism: Consistently some of these terrorist groups end up using Nazi imagery in their violent riots. While it is easy to make the connection- the party had exactly the kind of power and influence these people want- it is doubly disturbing to imagine how far the terrorists might be willing to go to achieve results.
  4. Organization: This was the core focus of the VICE video. While everything above is still true, there are additionally members of these terrorist organizations who are using actual tactics and organization methods that work, and that are researched and proven to work due to the effectiveness of their use in previous instances in American and European history. This is representative of one of the most worrying aspects of the far right: it’s incredibly unified and organizes effectively when it matters for them. This was the case in its political campaign against abortion rights, and it continues to be one of its main strengths in pursuing its goals and acting on more violence. This is dangerous, and is another reason to worry about another instance like January 6 or Charlottesville- these people have less logic than your average three-year-old when it comes to common sense and human decency, but they are very adept at learning from other such people.
Posts: 8

Originally posted by Martha $tewart on September 29, 2022 19:10

Events like the one in Charlottesville are happening because people like to feel powerful and they want everyone to share the same beliefs as they do. Like Snailaligator said, the intention of the protesters had little to do with the statue and was more about proving that they could inspire violence and fear. I think that everyone should be entitled to their own opinions, but there’s a line you can cross between different beliefs and harmful beliefs. Neo-Nazis cross that line. But it wasn’t just the protesters that allowed this event to take place. The lack of police interference probably solidified the idea of security into white-supremists minds and made them think they were protected to hold their rallies in the future. I also agree with palmtreepuppy that the former president and other leaders did not do enough to address the situation. There is a lot of injustice in our society, a lot of people feel that someone or some group has done them wrong, so they find comfort in the extremist groups that also feel that way. These groups feed off of people who are mentally unstable or who have been hurt. Every group has their own idea on how our government should work. The inability of our government to handle issues in a timely or correct manner makes people believe that they can get more done with violence. In my opinion, violence works but only short term, we need legislation to make real change.

A lot of the people in Charlottesville seemed to be white men from Southern states. Though we shouldn’t generalize a whole piece of our country, the South tends to be more Republican, sometimes extremely so. These people were most likely raised in an environment where it was acceptable to say racist and anti-semetic things. With movements like BLM growing, they probably felt threatened that the people they thought of as “below” them were gaining their rights (that they should have always had in the first place). I think that those in Charlottesville were inspired by supremist right wing groups before them, and unfortunately they paved the way for atrocities such as January 6th. In my opinion, they must not be very educated. They say they want to make America “pure”, or back to the way it used to be. In their mind that means white and Christian, when in reality they are not ethnically American unless they are native and the first white settlers were escaping Chrisitanity for their own religious freedom. I do not understand how anyone could use Nazi propaganda and share those ideals if they truly knew about the events of that time.

Unfortunately, I do think events like this could continue to happen. As long as people keep taking these actions, they will inspire more radicals to do the same. People who have very strong beliefs towards a certain side won’t stop until their goals are accomplished because they think that they are spreading the “truth” in some way. I think that it is impossible in today’s society to find a solution that makes everyone happy, and it is sad to think about the lengths people will go to harm others.

While reading this I was just struck by the insightfulness of your remarks on the ethics and morality that are clearly not present whatsoever in any behavior any of these terrorists have ever exhibited. I think you make a good point that these groups feed off of the mentally unstable or hurt, because I'm sure many of them are led by cultish leaders who know who are going on, and make efforts to keep others in the dark and in their hold. It is really important that we do realize that there are reasons why people behave like this; they don't just wake up one day and decide to be an etho-nationalist, racist terrorist, that kind of behavior is learned and practiced by being in environments that encourage it.

Boston, Massachusetts , US
Posts: 17

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

  • There is a group that is composed of Neo Nazis and White Supremecists, call themselves “Unite the right”; and are marching saying “you cannot erase us” and “white lives matter”. Hundreds of people showed up to protest the white supremacists, The majority of the people getting physical were the white supremacists, but the police did not intervene. 20 people were sent to the hospital after a car ran down a group of protestors Heather Heyer was pronounced dead. Donald Trump thinks both sides should be blamed, and both are bad
  • White supremacists think that they are being replaced in America, and that minority groups shouldn’t be in America.
  • Something like this could happen again because the police don’t really intervene as much as they could, so other people might think it is okay to do things like this, and then the cycle would continue.
  • The “us” is the anti-racists, the “them” is the neonazis and white supremacists

Posts: 13

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

This protest was claimed to be about the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, however it was obviously about a whole lot more. There were angry people who wanted to get their points across, and many of them went to these protests looking for violence. I think many of the Unite the Right members attended with different purposes in mind but they were all there to prove their presence to the world and to make sure that people knew groups like them were real. This event warned that these white supremacist groups wanted to be heard, and that they would continue to create events that would draw attention to themselves. I think that the response to this protest also impacted what happened afterward. There was no real punishment or even reprimand, which caused people to believe that they would be protected by the government and police.

What is happening in Charlottesville is really scary and baffling. I found the Vice video incredibly interesting and alarming, as we really got to hear the members of Unite the Right speak about their viewpoints. What truly puzzled me was how these people could say these awful, extremely racist things and make threats against people, and still obviously believe that they are in the right, and doing the right thing. It is crazy to me that they could say these kinds of things, and speak in this way about Black and Jewish people, and to me it really feels like they do not either realize or believe that these are real people, who have families and lives.

I think that something like this or worse could definetely happen again, especially if as a country we don't figure out a way to stop these kinds of things from happening, however it is a complicated issue. People should have the right to hold their own opinions and beliefs, but these racist, violent, extreme views put people in danger. The police and government need to respond, instead of sitting back and watching these things happen. If people see that there is a consequence for doing this kind of thing, they might be discouraged to do it again.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

who is the we and who is the they

Honestly this is absolutely fascinating. Cantwell wants someone like Trump but "much more racist". He is literally saying it exactly how it is like he knows exactly what he wants and it's completely OK and normal to him. "we're nonviolent but we'll fucking kill someone if we have too". So not nonviolent then.

Why is this happening? I don't even know. I don't understand why. With black lives matter protests in 2020 they started because George Floyd was unjustly killed and it was racially motivated. With this they're violently protesting "Jews and communists". Who are these Jews and communists they're protesting? What happened that made them feel so attacked that they had to protest in the way they did? From the way they're talking and acting just in the beginning of the video, they're completely delusional. What are people of color doing to destroy the country? Who hurt these people to make them so hateful and so truly believe they're doing what's right and they're the victims? The car speeding through that crown of people is nothing but horrific. These white supremacists could so easily commit something like this. The police didn't do anything when people needed to be saved. No one stopped them from attacking the people peacefully protesting for equality. And it's astounding that all Trump could do was say people made mistakes and were violent on "every side". The way the group of white supremacists in Charlottesville acted is nothing but unconstitutional. and contradicts things that they say they're fighting for.

I have no words over Cantwell. "none of our people killed anyone unjustly" "that's unprovoked and you know that's not true". "these animals were attacking him and all he could do was hit the gas. since they're stupid animals they couldn't get out of the way of the car" so he thinks that cars actions were justified. The massacre in Charlottesville will be "tough to top", he says with a smile. Crazy.

I believe that a big problem was Trump having a position of power and having a voice to motivate these people. Their absurd opinions were validated by the president and it made them come out of their shell, and they created a monster. Considering the way January 6th was organized and the similar extreme radicalism and love of violence and white power and racism between people at Charlottesville and on January 6, something like either of those events could so easily happening again. It feels like there's a storm brewing that no one quite knows about yet. And if they're capable of this kind of destruction it's horrifying to think about what could come next.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 15

Charlottesville: Thoughts on the Unite the Right Rally

  • Why? Why was this happening? And what did 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.)
    • The incident at Charlottesville VA was a Unite the Right rally that initially proliferated from proposals to take down a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It soon became a massive gathering of white supremacists, White Lives Matter protesters, neo-nazis, anti-semites, Klansmen, Proudboys, and more. People from both the left and the right began to gather to protest, and it resulted in multiple casualties. I believe this speaks to a larger history of racial tensions becoming more polarized with the growth of the Internet. Granted the anonymity that the Internet provides as well as the alt right pipeline indoctrinating young men into white supremacist ideologies through use of “dark comedy” and creating idols, I think it’s no wonder that many people have fallen into this line of thinking.
  • 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?
    • I think that the mass majority of the protesters at the Unite the Right rally were white men, with some white women. I think this comes from the fact that the root of many rightwing ideologies protest the existence of other peoples, and that’s why it is so rare to find people who are ideologically opposed to their own existence. A lot of people at the rally were relatively young, which is interesting because oftentimes when people think about who has more rightwing or conservative ideals, they think of white elderly people and people from “other times” who “wouldn’t know any better”. However, the people at the rally demonstrated how this is not the case at all. With the growth of the Internet, many rightwing aligned protesters were able to communicate and coordinate their appearance at the Unite the Right rally. On top of this, many of these movements are equipped through use of the Internet to recruit other young white men, possibly those rejected from society, into their ideals through manipulation of their insecurities. The reason that things like misogyny and “alpha males” or antisemitism and racism and “dark humor” are intertwined is because of how these movements, like many violent movements in the past, target young and vulnerable people. It is easy to indoctrinate people into bigoted thinking by taking advantage of their insecurities and desensitizing them to empathizing with different people; many of the rightwing protesters at the Unite the Right rally probably felt bigger and part of something greater, exacerbating their capacity for violence and their disconnection from the people of color and the Jewish people and the women and gay people in their communities or in their lives..
  • Do you think something like this—or worse than January 6, 2021—could happen again?
    • I think that it is entirely possible for something this terrible, or even as terrible as January 6th, to happen again. Violent people will always exist. Angry white people, angry gentiles, angry men will always exist. The Internet has simply given them a place to connect, and to thrive and grow. How many internet cesspools trade addresses and plan demonstrations of violence, how many chatrooms discuss purchasing firearms and showing up in public areas, how many joke about death and injustice? Countless people think the existence of minorities are jokes, and plenty more find them a threat. With the era of Trump and the remnants of him still found in Congress, in SCOTUS, in his thousands of supporters, and the wake of his presidency washing over us, I fear the future holds much worse. Even in our current politicians, we consider the center-right “moderate”. The future is terrifying for anyone who isn’t white gentile straight men.
posts 16 - 28 of 28