It’s true that the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville last weekend are abhorrent. They represent evil and a racist ideology that shouldn’t be supported in any way. They invited violence and they got it.
It’s precisely because many people didn’t take the alt-right seriously, as their ranks revved up in 2016, that they’ve now taken hold of a devastating platform. If we want to prevent other evil, violent groups from from rising up in the future, it would be prudent to stop ignoring them in the here and now.
That brings me to Antifa, the other violent group present in Charlottesville — the group no one in the media cares to mention. Ben Shapiro writes:
“In Charlottesville, Antifa engaged in street violence with the alt-right racists. As in Weimar, Germany, fascists flying the swastika engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Antifa members flying the communist red. And yet, the media declared that any negative coverage granted to Antifa would detract from the obvious evils of the alt-right.”
Antifa is an ultra-left extremist group that dons the label “anti-fascist.” Doesn’t sound so bad to be anti-fascist, until you look at their record of wrongdoing. Antifa’s more recent moves include starting violent protests on college campuses, vandalism, violent attacks on pro-Trump demonstrators and throwing things at police. They were there in Charlottesville, attacking alt-right marchers as well.
The media has claimed that to call out Antifa would be to detract from the awfulness of the white supremacists. But, as Shapiro writes:
“That sort of biased coverage only engenders more militancy from the alt-right, which feels it must demonstrate openly and repeatedly to ‘stand up to Antifa.’ Which, of course, prompts Antifa to violence.”
So it doesn’t help to ignore the lesser of two evils, if in fact that is what they are. I am sadly appalled at the actions and ideas displayed by the horrific white nationalists last weekend. But it’s important to ensure we aren’t empowering other, equally bad actors, in the process of condemning the ones we despise more.
The less racist, violent, evil movements we can have in America, the better. Call out the alt-right, condemn them with all your might. And do so for other groups tearing down the fabric of our society as well.