So... Charlottesville


#1

Taking a cue from the Waypoint Radio thread, I’m gonna go ahead and start this topic. I don’t even know what to say, really. I guess all of this has been weighing heavily on my mind and since this is the only place I regularly post, why not work through it here?

Just as a background, I’m a person of color, a Canadian living in Canada, but who grew up in the Chicagoland area not far from where Patrick is from. I’ve seen the good and the bad of Americans over the years, and for the most part had a positive perception of them. One of my closest friends and the best man at my wedding is a gun toting American.

Let’s just say that 2016-2017 has been a difficult time for me to reconcile the good I’ve seen in the American people with the ugliness on display. I need not recount the awful things said and done that keeps us all scared whenever we check the news, but this past weekend in Charlottesville felt different. No longer could there be plausible deniability between the white nationalist and white supremacist schools of thought. No longer could there be any doubt that the White House is sympathetic to the torch bearers’ cause. And no longer can we assume that mere rational debate and civility can overcome their violent words and actions.

I’m scared. I’m scared for my sister in Toledo. I’m scared for my uncles, aunts, and cousins all around the US. I’m scared that the world got a little less welcoming to people who look like me.

I’ve been on the fence about starting this topic, seeing as I live in a country that is for the most part welcoming to people of color (although Canada certainly has its own sins to atone for). I’m privileged in that way, but Charlottesville still hit me hard.

So how is everyone else feeling about all this? Video games feel a bit smaller to me right now, but maybe picking up a controller might help. If anything, there’s always Wolfenstein: The New Order for catharsis.


#2

I feel sick. I’ve been alternating between rage and deep sadness for the last couple of days. I’m still processing so I don’t have a lot to say other than…

Fuck nazis.


#3

This is a very important thread to have here and we welcome it. We also want to make sure our users feel safe posting here. With that in mind we ask you to be extremely aware of anything you link to or discuss in this thread, so as not to exacerbate the very real fear some of us are going through (and have been going through.)


#4

Related: The Vice News episode on this is worth a look. It’s infuriating and hard to watch.

Content warning for the nazi terrorist attack. Like really don’t watch this if you’ve been avoiding seeing that particular video.


#5

It’s a fucking tragedy and it’s deeply disturbing on a fundamental level. My only hope is that this abhorrant fucking at the very least opens up some people’s eyes to just how big the problems actually are.


#6

I grew up and spent most of my life in Orange County, VA, which happens to be a neighboring County to Charlottesville, and coincidentally the home of James Madison and the constitution. To say that these past few days have been rough is an understatement.

Orange has more cows than people, so you can imagine it’s pretty rural. Even though our schools had a decent diversity of kids, there was plenty of racism throughout, including a group of white guys walking around the school and town beating up black people.

The thing is, Orange is so rural, that you have to go to other counties for groceries, shopping, entertainment, and work. Charlottesville was the closest thing to civilization for us in high school. It was the escape from the hell hole that is Orange. We went on field trips to Thomas Jeffersons’ home. We went to see Dave Matthews play. My first homecomming dinner was there. It’s a wholly good place in my memories. And certainly not a place that anyone has ever heard of.

And now this. This is how people will view the place of my childhood. I don’t know what to say really, I’m just upset.


#7

There is one good thing that came out for this and it that people are willing to push back from this hate and wrong doing. The fact that NYC people got together on money to protest Trump when he was coming back shows that we want this to stop.


#8

First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote pretty much sums up how I feel about this situation. If people are still willing to say things like “violence on both sides” or talk about free speech after this past weekend, then yeah, I don’t think there’s any hope. The complete disinterest from some white people I know isn’t surprising or even interesting to me anymore. I’m not going to try and justify myself to them, I’m just going to focus on working with the people who believe in the cause and hope it works out. If your eyes weren’t open before this past weekend, I don’t see them waking up anytime soon, so /shrug.

The one thing that I keep coming back to is a friend I disowned after he voted for Trump. I keep wanting to get vindication from him, but as far as I can tell from other friends he just posts about his job in Iowa. Because this doesn’t matter to him. He can keep on living his life as he likes, and that’s that.

Overall, I’d be more upset and disappointed if this wasn’t business as usual.


#9

I have seen most of the people in my city and at my workplace genuinely worried for their safety. I live in Lexington, Kentucky, which is a blue dot in a red state. Our openly gay mayor recently announced that we would remove and relocate Confederate statues from our historic courthouse. White Supremacist groups have already announced they will rally here.

Even though I can’t say anything that would ease anyone’s fears, I do want to share some inspiring actions among local social justice groups and other organizations. So, Pikeville, Kentucky (which is a few hours East of Lexington) had a white supremacist rally earlier this year. 125 nazis were met by over 200 counter-protesters. Reports of White Nationalists in Charlottesville ranged from 200-1,000 people. Last night, our city managed to have a vigil with between 200-300 people. During the women’s march, we had nearly 10,000 people. If a small city like ours (albeit, a historically liberal one) can have that much resistance to these nazi movements, then I have hope for the rest of the county.

Also, the white nationalists were only able to organize 1,000 people (at most) after months of planning. Tech companies are starting to cut their communication channels. Discord recently announced that they’ve closed Alt-RIght channels and banned users talking about rallying in Charlottesville before the event. Godaddy stopped hosting Storm Front. As long as we pressure companies that allow them to gather, we have some chance of preventing them from organizing and spreading their hate. The documentary The Brainwashing of My Father has a lot of problems, but one thing it illustrated is how, when the filmmaker’s father was unable to watch Fox News, he became less hateful. Maybe this is too Pollyanna of me, but if we can slow the communication channels, maybe they will eventually fizzle out.

Last night, some idiot climbed one of our confederate statues with a “kek” battle flag. Now local newspapers are aware of the “Cult of Kek”. People in my town who aren’t tech savvy are talking about 4chan and reddit. Hopefully this awareness will expose the internet’s dark side to a wider audience who may protest it.

I know there’s no way to truly calm anyone’s fears about the situations, nor should you feel any differently. But hopefully it is heartening to see the responses from local, national, and online communities.


#10

I’ve become extremely dissatisfied with the ACLU being tone deaf and willfully ignoring their contribution to the current climate. They come across as willing to defend a concept more than the people.

It’s one thing to defend the rights of people to speak freely, it’s another to be the first to step up and defend bigots and hate. They don’t need to bend over backwards to defend awful people, somebody equally awful will be more than happy to do that. I don’t know a lot about court proceedings, but I don’t think a judge or prosecutor can say “Well you didn’t defend these people” as a proper argument. Precedent is important, but they don’t need to rush to make sure they’re the ones who set it.

If they want to defend one lone racist grandpa being censored by his local government, fine. I’d hate it still, but it wouldn’t be as impactful as a hundred strong Nazis trying to openly protest with assault rifles. Those people can afford lawyers, they don’t need an entity funded by donations from primarily progressive-minded people.

The whole thing makes me so upset. I’m angry at Nazis but I’m frustrated with centrists.

I really can’t wait until The New Colossus comes out.


#11

As much as I agree with this statement, one sentiment I’ve been seeing around Twitter that I really agree with is a discomfort with the fact that people are using the phrase “fuck Nazis/fascism” as a way to frame white supremacy/racism as a somehow un-American ideology, when both are baked into the settler-colonial history of the country. White supremacy is very American.


#12

This has always been my main criticism of the ACLU. Yes, they should be nonpartisan, but don’t champ at the bit to defend nazis. Seriously, stop doing that!

100% agree. If you haven’t listened to the newest Waypoint Radio, Austin goes over this idea. Great listen.


#13

I mean what can you even say in the face of all this? I just hope that when the time comes I’ve got the courage to do what needs doing.


#14

So speaks the fash-in-chief. I can’t fucking believe this


#15

Jesus fucking Christ. I’d call him a comic book villian at this point, but let’s face it, everyone would be better off with Lex Luthor in charge.


#16

You know how we criticize JRPGs for having over-the-top, cartoonish, bald-faced villains?

I think we owe Square Enix an apology, is all I’m saying


#17

I hope everyone is staying safe out there. I doubt things will get better from here. Acting surprised when this shit goes down is not appropriate. It’s horrible, it’s painful, it impacts people’s lives in a very real way, it’s hard to watch, but look around, it shouldn’t be surprising. It’s just bubbling under the surface.

Here are some resources on how this shit spreads from a Canadian context. I think now is a good time to look and listen and learn.


#18

Hey, I live in Lexington too! I still think that we have a lot of the white moderate problem, but thanks for reminding me of some of the awesomeness of our little city :slight_smile: I will be there on the day the statues come down.


#19

And I in no way disagree. It’s foundational to this country and it disgusts me.


#20

definitely good to hear