The Nazism on display in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12th, 2017, was enabled as much by the silence of alleged ‘nice’ Trump voters – as by the overt violence of the American neo-Nazis of the ‘Alt-Right.’ Though public attention centered on the violent murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer by James Alex Fields, Jr.; this murder could not have occurred so easily without ‘nice’, church going Trump voters, (allegedly upset by his vulgarity and bigotry) – serving as sanctimonious enablers by their silence regarding his ongoing incitement against those deemed the alien ‘other.’
This silent enabling of our ‘inciter-in-Chief’ has been a primary assist to the growing threat of the ‘Alt-Right’. Middle America Conservatives, largely white and Christian – are ironically experiencing their ‘Pontius Pilate’ moment, as they collectively refuse to see or hear the obvious Nazism around them.
Writer Naomi Shulman best described what I will call, selective moral mutism, as she simply stated, ”Nice people make the best Nazis.” Shulman went on to explain how her own mother ”spent her childhood in Nazi Germany surrounded by ‘nice’ people who refused to make waves. When things got ugly, the people my mother lived alongside chose not to focus on “politics,” instead busying themselves with happier things. They were lovely, kind people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.”
Shulman wrote this right after Trump ascended to the Oval Office. Since then, there has been a shameful silence regarding the ‘other’ villains in this real life drama – namely the silent Trump voters. Like the “lovely, kind people” Shulman’s mother mistakenly viewed as friends; the calmer Trump voters remain in the shadows, publicly stating their disgust with his racist and vulgar language – all the while benefitting from systemic privilege that potentially criminalizes anyone else other than white, Christian men and supplicant white Christian women. Unwilling to acknowledge the systemic hierarchy of privilege in the USA; these Trump voters go about their daily lives, driving carpools, watching baseball games and tending to curiously manicured lawns. What they fail to see is the absolute moral obligation of us all – to stand against the bigotry and injustice of neo-Nazism.
Moral blindness regarding Trump’s ongoing incitement to violence
From the earliest beginnings of the 2016 election cycle – ‘the Donald’ rarely stepped away from direct incitement or enabling such incitement. He routinely re-tweeted memes from open Nazi sources. At one point, Trump re-tweeted a Nazi ‘meme’ originating from Donald Trumpovitz@WhiteGenocideTM celebrating ‘the Donald’ in a Nazi uniform gleefully about to flip the switch on the gas chamber housing Jewish candidate Bernie Sanders. This repugnant performance only produced laughter from the Trump column. The ‘nice’ Trump voters – remained predictably silent.
Fast forward to Charlottesville & ‘Unite the Right’ Rally
Now that the entire world has witnessed the violence of the alt-right; we should expect that the silent Trump supporters would ‘own’ their self-proclaimed ‘decency’ and denounce these Nazis preaching genocide. No such denunciation from the average Trump supporter has come forth. In fact, these silent Trump voters seem to have an uncanny ability to separate from the reality of this administration and it’s more rabid ‘fan base.’
After the cold blooded murder of Heather Heyer, the Nazi tabloid known as the ‘Daily Stormer’, ran an oped titled: Heather Meyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32 Year Old Slut. It ran on 8-13-17 and was written by Daily Stormer creator, Andrew Anglin. There was no mention of condolences or any remorse, only an adolescent, misogynistic rant against a dead woman. From the ‘article’, Anglin explained that at 32, Heather Heyer was fat, childless and thus worthless. Anglin further explained that ”childless women are black hole vortexes of public money and energy.” Anglin libeled and defamed Heather Heyer further, by stating that ”Having no children at that age, it can be assumed that she had multiple abortions, and was thus herself a child murderer.”
Since then, anonymous hackers have attacked the site and shut it down. They subsequently posted the following message to Daily Stormer:
“We have taken this site in the name of Heather Heyer a victim of white supremacist terrorism. For too long the Daily Stormer and Andrew Anglin have spewed their putrid hate on this site. That will not be happening any more.”
The message then added a more general statement:
“This evil cannot be allowed to stand…We want you Nazis to know your time is short.” Additionally the anonymous hackers concluded: “Hackers of the world have united in defense of the Jewish people.”
(Additionally, the domain provider that hosted the Daily Stormer, namely GoDaddy has tweeted that they will no longer host the neo Nazi site. To quote GoDaddy: “We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service.”) Unfortunately, the question remains, why was Daily Stormer tolerated for so long by the domain provider? Daily Stormer has a long reputation of hate and incitement far worse than the vile and putrid adolescent ravings of Anglin, regarding the murder of Heather Heyer.
That being said, don’t expect any documentation or proof from Anglin; apparently his white privilege is all he requires in order to libel and defame anyone with impunity. Anglin and his fellow alt-right leader Richard Spencer are big fans of Trump; the same Donald Trump that so many silent ‘nice’ voters – supported.
Brandenburg test and the dangerous incitement of Donald Trump
Though Trump loves to threaten anyone else with libel lawsuits if they so much as challenge any of the verbal excrement emanating from his oral ‘orifice’; he routinely libels others directly or by inference, while he incites his base as they hunger for fresh meat. Apparently, Trump and his army of lawyers, don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘incitement’ – and why it is dangerous, so here is a brief reminder of the legal standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court, aka ‘ incitement law for dummies.’ It deals with the ‘Brandenburg test.’
The Brandenburg test derived from the Supreme Court case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), has been used as the calculus for determining when inflammatory speech can be restricted. The case involved a KKK leader giving a speech at a rally of the Klan. After using multiple racial slurs, he said that ”it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance [sic] taken.” As a result of this case the Supreme Court determined that incendiary speech may be restricted if that speech fulfills the following two elements of a legal test, namely:
- Such speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,”
Donald Trump has routinely violated this standard since his first campaign days in front of the entire world – and yet his supporters continually make impotent excuses. Furthermore, no legal action has been taken to challenge this, until three brave protesters took the president to court.
Federal judge rules Trump plausibly incited violence at rally
March 31, 2017, U.S. District Judge David J. Hale rejected legal requests from Trump and Trump supporters named as defendants, to dismiss charges of incitement, brought by three anti-Trump protesters during the election cycle. The judge cited there was precedent of casual violence at other previous Trump rallies, and evidence of incitement by Trump. The protesters, Kashiya Nwanguma, Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau filed this suit after being forcibly removed from at a March 2016 Trump rally in Louisville, Ky.
One of the rally supporters who physically attacked them was Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist identified as an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Heimbach has a long history of xenophobic organizing since his college days, specializing in incitement. This movement and leaders like Heimbach are not merely concerned with saving a monument to Confederate General Robert E. Lee; rather they are using coded language and symbols to implement the – planned genocide of non-white populations.
Before apologists start screaming ‘free speech’; they should read this Heimbach quote stating his intent to create a ‘whites’ only homeland.
”the purpose of our movement shouldn’t be about reforming America, shouldn’t be about trying to make the system better and less unfair towards us, it’s about flipping the table over. It’s about going to temple and saying that this is a violation of God’s law and creating a new homeland for whites around the entire world.” – Matthew Heimbach at the Traditionalist Youth Hour with Matthew Parrot, July 10, 2013.
There is no mention of where any non-white, non-Christian people would immigrate to – if the homeland for whites only – encircles the entire world. Genocide against the rest of us would be the only logical conclusion any reasonable person could surmise from this cryptic statement.
In spite of this promise of violence against those deemed not white or Christian enough – the ‘nice’ Trump voters, not inclined to talk about politics – remained immorally silent.
By now the Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Virginia sponsored by the ‘Alt-Right’, has become a virtual symbol for the blatant bigotry and obvious dysfunction of the Trump administration. Due to the premeditated murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the lapdog corporate press has issued a blanket denunciation of the ‘Alt-Right’ rally to ‘take back the country’.
This white supremacist, neo-Nazi rally was originally called to protest the removal of Charlottesville’s own statue of General Robert E. Lee – at least that was their excuse. As you recall, Lee was the Confederate general whose surrender to Union troops – ended the Civil War and emancipated the slaves. Unfortunately, white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the U.S. – failed to get the memo.
Since the mass press coverage of events in Charlottesville; Donald Trump – the ‘inciter-in Chief’, found himself forced by his ‘managers,’ to issue a statement condemning the violence. His statement on Sunday (via Twitter, as opposed to an actual press conference); was predictably tepid regarding any denunciation of actual white supremacists or Nazis. Instead he said:
”We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!” (Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump)
This was issued on August 12 at 12:19 pm.
After this statement, a White House official reportedly said (on background) that: “The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter-protesters today.”
Monday, August 14th, Trump appeared on the networks and made the following statement:
“Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” Continuing he said: …”To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws. We all salute the same great flag and we are all made by the same almighty god. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.”
Donald Trump has certainly come full circle in his politics. His handlers have crafted what can only be termed – a vapid camouflage of his habitual incendiary political incitement. In short – they have perfected the art of ‘dog-whistle politics.’
Trump has incited violence since the campaign using a toxic stew of wild, baseless accusations and the coded language of dog-whistle politics, meant to provide bigots some cursory level of ‘plausible deniability.’ While he must take much blame for this incendiary climate caused by terrorists hailing from white supremacy and neo Nazi groups; such incitement still required fertile soil to spread the seeds of Nazism. America still suffers from rampant racism, religious bigotry and misogyny.
These fascists despise democracy and subsequent ‘rule of law.’ They seem to prefer a dictatorship or monarchy built on slave labor and White Christian Male Privilege. While preaching about ‘law & order’ or ‘rule of law’; they fail to comprehend that ‘rule of law’ cannot exist where privilege reigns supreme.
While this toxic sludge floods our society with poisonous bigotry; the ‘nice’ Trump supporters, happily attend PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) meetings for their kids, enjoy baseball games and tend to their perfectly manicured lawns while continuing to spout the brain dead canard that they voted for him because of his business acumen, or because he’s self-assured.
The fact that he chose to incite massive racism and religious bigotries blatant enough to make Hitler blush – never played into their reasoning. Trump’s many spoken bigotries were not a deal-breaker for the silent majority of ‘nice’ supporters. That is the true disgrace.
Turns out that Naomi Shulman’s mother was right – ”nice people make the best Nazis.”