The past day (or so) has been hard for me. The events in Charlottesville have taken an emotional toll, and it’s been almost nonstop fighting on FaceBook since then. I’m so saddened that anybody would turn a blind eye to the President’s reluctance to take sides against Nazis, but my FaceBook threads, and those of others, are full of horrible defenses of what President Trump said and failed to say in response to the events. The last post came before the President’s first statement, and that was when my disgust really started.
After a period of silence that was longer than I would have liked, but forgivable, the President stood before reporters and read a statement. ““We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides.” Making it even worse, it seemed as if the “on many sides” part was of his own making; his improvisation added off-script.
This was a down for sure. I’m not sure why, but I still expect the President, who we call should agree is a human being, to act like a human being and at least be comfortable and forceful in taking sides against nazis. Of course, my expectations were not met, and I took to facebook, posting,
“Disgusting. Neutrality when Nazi’s are involved is kind of insane. With all due respect to the office, please fuck off. Sorry about the language, but the President of the United States just condemned violence without even a hint that he was against the Nazis who started it all. I don’t think there’s a more worthy time for that two-word phrase.”
I was pleased that this post was not met with any resistance, and consistently supportive, non-argumentative responses. So that was an up. Then the next down came. As a follow-up, I posted my take on an updated version of Jeff Foxworthy’s “you might be a redneck” jokes. Of course it’s not the same, and I’m not a comedian, but it seemed fitting at the time. The post was as follows:
I’m reminded of the old Jeff Foxworthy jokes about rednecks. They could so easily be updated for today:
If you don’t have a problem with the President blaming “all sides” for Charlottesville…you just might be a nazi sympathizer.
If you think that “both sides” are to blame when there’s violence after a large group of nazis comes to town with torches and paramilitary dress…you really might be a nazi sympathizer.
If you voted for somebody who had the full-throated support of nazis, and never questioned if there’s something about his polices that made him attractive to both you and nazis…you may just lack insight and thoughtfulness…or you might be a nazi sympathizer.
Well, this brought out some push-back. And there’s another down. I won’t get into the details of the thread, or who said what, but it turned into a discussion (to be kind in that characterization) of how intolerant I am of differing views, and how Black Lives Matters is or isn’t the same as the Black Panthers, and is or isn’t the same as a terrorist group. It was a real downer, for sure.
In the thread, I raised this issue, that I’m including here for the sake of remembering it:
Let’s do this little thought exercise. It’s a good way to look inside and see how you feel about different groups of people. Imagine a group of ISIS supporters gathered in a small town in the middle of Ohio. Imagine they brought pepper spray, and guns, and torches. They, of course, have the right to peacefully assemble, but how many of you would be all that bothered if a bunch of counter-protesters showed up, and when provoked (not that they aren’t already provoked by ISIS being there), they started throwing punches. Then imagine an ISIS protester drove his car into the anti-ISIS protesters, killing and injuring several people. Do you think anybody would be condemning the violence from “all sides”?
That mostly went without response, at least without response from anybody who was willing to take it on. Maybe that means it was convincing, maybe it means it was buried in a comment thread where nobody saw it anyway.
There were some ups. The tweet from Joe Biden may be my favorite.
And the one from Orrin Hatch was excellent also.
Those were ups for sure.
Then, this morning, I found a very large up, that turned out to be a disappointing down. An article came across my FaceBook feed about Anonymous hacking the Daily Stormer (a key website for white supremacists), and the lead story on the Daily Stormer had this:
I threw my hands in the air as if the Buffalo Bills just won the Superbowl. I couldn’t have been happier, and took to FaceBook to spread the news. Thanks to some good FaceBook friends, it was quickly followed by other stories, saying it wasn’t true. I had been tricked, by fake news. Of course, the Daily Stormer was the source of the fake news, so it doesn’t dampen my trust of genuine news outlets, but it was fake news nevertheless, and I wanted it to be true, so I was easy to fool. And the worst part, was that it now seems likely that the Daily Stormer faked the hack to drum up antisemitism and bring in donations. The silver lining is that it does appear that they’ve lost their hosting service (GoDaddy has apparently notified them that they will not host the site anymore), but even that might not be all that much of a silver lining. At least we knew where to look for these guys. This might make them go more underground, and harder to spot.