There is a lot happening in Charlottesville today and yesterday. A group of white nationalists has come to town to protest. I hope it’s obvious to anybody who knows me that this upsets me. But I’m missing some key data. These are things that might be known to somebody, but not me. Forgive the stream of consciousness, but here goes nothing.
It’s a small group of people (with photos that make it seem like more). That’s comforting, but from where I sit, even ten antisemitic white nationalists is too many. Also, I imagine these represent the racists who are willing to publicly display their racism. In other words, these are the tip of the iceberg of a population of people who share these views.
It’s also easy for me to believe that groups like these have been emboldened by Trump’s presidency. Trump’s statements, policy views, and choices of advisors show me that he’s either a white nationalist himself, or is willing to pretend to be one to appeal to white nationalist voters (including those who won’t admit to being white nationalists, or don’t have the introspective ability to see their own white nationalism that’s obvious to anybody else). But, and this is a big missing piece, to draw that conclusion – that these people are emboldened by Trump – from this story, I would need to know the frequency and size of these demonstrations before and after the Trump era. I don’t know that, so I’m reluctant to blame this on Trump. Polling shows that white nationalists supported Trump, so I’m happy to blame them for his election, but I’m not (yet) willing to conclude, as others have, that there’s a rise in these people because of Trump. Some data suggest that, but I think concluding causation is difficult, as it often is.
OK stream done. Pretty short by my standards. Have a good weekend all, and dream of a country without racism and xenophobia.