In The Seattle Times, Angela Uherbelau discusses how fascists, white supremacists, and their dupes, symps, and fellow travelers would use the freedoms guaranteed in the United States Constitution to undermine this very fragile experiment in democracy.
Most Americans automatically recoiled at the racism on full display in Charlottesville — the swastikas, the Confederate flags, the “Jew will not replace us” chants. This type of hate is easier to rebuke because it is blatant. Harder is to look someone in the eye at a “free-speech” rally, who claims to be misunderstood, and ask why, exactly, they turned out to hear a speaker like Tim “Treadstone” Gionet, who tweeted “Jews Control the News.” Harder to interrupt a neighbor or a family member or a friend who parrots Trump’s corrosive propaganda that the violence in Charlottesville had its roots in anything other than racism.
White supremacists — whether they’re marching in the streets or drafting memos in the White House — cloak themselves in the mantle of free speech because they know that term strikes a deep chord, a patriotic chord, in countless Americans. They aim to twist one of our country’s most sacred rights into a weapon to destroy our fragile web of civility and common decency.
The Constitution protects freedom of speech. It does not promise freedom from consequences.
In The Roanoke Times, mental health professional Maurice Fisher offers a clinical profile of a white supremacist, stressing in the beginning that it is a theoretical exercise and not a case study of any particular individual.
Here’s one item; follow the link for the rest (emphasis in the original):
Third, a white supremacist is generally narcissistic, self-centered and selfish. Any issue with which the white supremacist is confronted is turned into an issue about the quasi-benefit of being white. In terms of narcissism, the white supremacist is angry with any other individual or group of individuals who fail to appreciate how great he or she is.
Sound like anyone who is constantly in the news?
In The Roanoke Times, Dan Casey imagines Donald Trump’s inner struggle to denounce racists. A snippet:
TRUMP: After the tragedy in Charlottesville, everyone is demanding I denounce white nationalism, white supremacists and neo-Nazis. But I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it. I laid off Saturday and today, and now the furor’s only growing.
THERAPIST: Sir, do you mean you’re morally incapable of fingering the forces promoting racism, bigotry and hate?
TRUMP: Not exactly. A lot of those marchers in Charlottesville admire Hitler, and it’s easy for me to denounce him. But I can’t seem to condemn them. It’s no coincidence that 100 percent of ’em voted for me. My mouth won’t work when I try to denounce my own supporters. My tongue gets tied.
He can’t handle his politeness.
Through their investigation, officers determined that the man had been handling a weapon at his Oxnard home when it accidentally discharged causing a wound to his leg. The wound was not life threatening, officials said.
He is a public-relations counselor–one of the various modern activities that are an insult to the dignity of man.
Stout, Rex, The Father Hunt (New York: Bantam Books, June 1969), p. 132
Here is the slightly edited text of an email I sent to my brother tonight. The subject line was “Trump” and it referred to his press conference and the coverage thereof today.
Jesus Christ. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
He’s even lost that [less than desirable person} Krauthammer. Either he’s going down in flames or we are, but there is no pretense left.
It will be amusing in a depressing way watching all the [south end of a northbound horse] pundits who’ve supported him run for cover, because their cover is blown and they know it.
Nixon’s Southern Strategy has come home to roost, and the roostees don’t like it. Their camouflage is gone.
At this point, news junkie that I am (I think I got that from Daddy), I can’t even deal. I’m going to read a Nero Wolfe mystery and pretend that America is sane.
Words fail me.
There’s a strange alchemy that seems to work only in the presence of copper.
Newton Fire/EMS confirmed treatment of a gunshot wound that night. The gun went off, inflicting a gunshot wound on one of the children.
Add lead, and “children” become “juveniles.”
At Philly dot com, Professor David Livingstone Smith reminds us that Faulkner was correct when he said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
In related news, Josh Marshall points out that
Elie Mystal explains the dangers of the enablers of evil, those self-styled “intellectuals” and pundits who provide the rationales for hatred and bigotry. A snippet:
The law can confiscate and incarcerate all the spear points in the world, but it’s powerless to do anything about the shafts. The shafts are protected, not by the Second Amendment, but by the First. And the white supremacists hiding in plain sight know that and celebrate that and dare you to challenge them. When you do, they slither up their Free Speech crosses and claim the “high ground.”