The Oklahoman publishes ridiculous editorial on Charlottesville
8:32 AM EDT on August 21, 2017
It's been over a week since Nazis, white supremacists and other racist groups from the dark corners of America's asshole congregated in Virginia to protest the removal of Confederate monuments that memorialize our country's deep racist roots and romanticize the traitors who fought to protect them.
By now, you've probably seen and read millions of smart and not-so-smart takes on this issue. In Friday's paper, the Oklahoman Editorial Board – a group that doesn't include one minority voice or opinion – shared their thoughts.
Naturally, The Oklahoman's stance falls in the not-so-smart column. Instead of simply condemning the white supremacists and Nazis, The Oklahoman played up the threat of "liberal" activist groups, and attempted to place equal blame for the violence in Virginia on counterprotesters. It's so ridiculous and tone-deaf that President Trump may want to RT it.
Sometimes the "enemy of my enemy" is a thug
IN the aftermath of Charlottesville and other race-related incidents elsewhere, it's clear that Republicans and Democrats alike need to face this fact: The enemy of my enemy is not automatically my friend.
Instead, the enemy of my enemy can be someone whose views are antithetical to everything Republicans and Democrats believe.
In Charlottesville, groups openly identifying as neo-Nazis and white supremacists rallied, supposedly to protest the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. Counterprotesters showed up, including members of the so-called Antifa, liberal activists known for threatening and engaging in acts of violence to silence groups they don't like. This has even included threatening violence at a Portland, Oregon parade merely because a local Republican group was participating.
At Charlottesville, this combustible mixture escalated until one alleged white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd, killing one and injuring 19.
First of all, "Alleged" white supremacist? Really? That would be like calling The Oklahoman an "alleged" right-wing newspaper. The murderer who plowed his car into counter protestors was a proud Nazi sympathizer in high school! There's nothing alleged about it.
Also, do you like how The Oklahoman went out of its way to label counter protestors as "liberal activists" who are "known for threatening and engaging in acts of violence to silence groups they don't like," but failed to give any blanket colorful description of neo-Nazis and white supremacists? That's kind of weird. Why didn't the paper describe the protestors as "conservative activists who heavily support President Trump?" or cite the alt-right's storied history of using mass murder, torture, slavery, genocide, fear, oppression and violence to impose a racist agenda? You'd think those would be important things to mention in a newspaper editorial about the events in Charlottesville, unless of course, your intent is to deflect attention away from the Republican party's connection to Nazis, white supremacist and other types of deplorable racists.
Members of both political parties should have no hesitation condemning such groups and doing all they can to marginalize those groups.
For Republicans, this is a real no-brainer. The party has long opposed racial preferences and championed color-blind government policies. The policies of white supremacists, to the degree one can even say they support any coherent policies, are a repudiation of everything Republicans have championed for decades.
Yeah, that's it. The Republican party has long opposed racial preferences and championed color-blind government policies. No argument from me on that. They are the party of diversity, especially when it comes to tossing people in jail.
Democrats should be equally eager to distance themselves from Antifa and similar groups. Individuals who threaten physical violence against opponents and threaten acts of terrorism, who wear masks in public while dressed all in black, who burn American flags while waiving communist flags, have much more in common with Klansmen than with a party that identifies with the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Yet members of both parties have appeared reluctant to forcefully condemn such groups, apparently out of a fear that this will be seen as agreeing with members of the other party.
Once again, I'd like to point out that The Oklahoman spends more time describing the fringe anarchist left that forcefully opposes white supremacy and racism than it does the Republican-leaning white supremacists and Nazis. Hard to believe isn't it? You'd think a newspaper that did not allow photographs of blacks on the front page until the 1980s would be more progressive and eager to condemn racism.
President Trump's initial statement on Charlottesville condemned violence, but not the white supremacist views of those involved, and he later bizarrely described some participants as "fine people." One suspects Trump doesn't want to be perceived as agreeing with the “social justice warriors” who in other settings equate nuns with Klansmen just because nuns oppose abortion. Yet even a stuck clock is right twice a day. When the “social justice” crowd manages to accurately identify genuine racists, there's no downside to agreeing with them.
Know who else doesn't want to be perceived as agreeing with the “social justice warriors?” That would be The Oklahoman Editorial Board. Why else would they publish this ridiculous editorial that attempts to equate white nationalists and neo-nazis with left-leaning counter protesters? Seriously, this is just absurd. What's next? Trying to compare Trump's racist remarks to some sort of Fox News manufactured Obama controversy?
The answer is yes...
Trump isn't the only president to flounder in such a situation. In July 2016, Barack Obama stumbled in the aftermath of a Black Lives Matter protest that ended with the assassination of five Dallas police officers. At the memorial service, Obama took time to lecture the police and even insisted police departments are influenced by racism.
Obama should have simply praised the police and condemned those who think murder is a form of protest. One suspects he feared he would be seen as siding with the police against minorities in all situations and circumstances if he unequivocally condemned that single act of terrorism. Again, that impulse was nonsense.
Yeah, that's a very fair and accurate interpretation of Obama's speech. It totally mirrored Trump's bizarre rant. For example, who can forget this controversial passage from Obama:
"I understand how Americans are feeling," Obama said. "But Dallas, I'm here to say we must reject such despair. I'm here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we've come against impossible odds."
Yeah, they both equally "floundered" the situation. That's totally it.
The Oklahoman concluded the editorial by trying to tie everything back together.
Sometimes the enemy of my enemy is just a thug. And Republicans and Democrats should be willing to denounce them as such
Uhm, maybe the Oklahoman Editorial Board should follow its own advice. Instead of trying to share the responsibility of what happened in Charlottesville with its political enemies on the left, the paper should actually condemn the right-leaning neo-nazis, white supremacists and murderers who rallied for such a despicable cause. Otherwise, they just come across as one thug protecting another.
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