Category Archives: History

Revisiting Charlottesville: One Year Later

Conservatism, Constitution, Free Speech, History, Law, Left-Liberalism, Media, The South

“About Charlottesvillehe President did misspeak, but not in the ways in which his critics charge.”—BY JACK KERWICK

On its first anniversary, it is worth revisiting what we may now refer to simply as “Charlottesville.”

Thanks to the assistance of Republican politicians and their apologists in Big Conservative media, the left didn’t hesitate to transform this event into an ideologically and politically-useful weapon.

Of course, Charlottesville could serve the left’s agenda only if the official interpretation of circumstances defies reality—as it does.

On August 12, 2017, hundreds of people gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia for what they called a “Unite the Right” rally.

They would be met by an even greater number of leftists of various sorts, self-described “anti-fascists” and “anti-racists.”

Violence ensued.

Immediately, elites in Washington D.C. and their fellow travelers in Big Media (of both the “mainstream” and “conservative” varieties) laid the blame solely at the feet of “white supremacists.” Every politician, Democrat and Republican alike, and every commentator, Fox News contributors and talk radio hosts no less than their leftist counterparts on the other networks, spared no opportunity to show the world that they were even more repulsed by this exhibition of “white supremacy” than the next person.

Make no mistakes about it, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the fever-pitched waxing of indignation, was political theater at its absolute best—or worst. It is inexcusable that anyone who purports to be in the know, let alone those, like politicians and media figures, who are expected to be knowledgeable of current events, should not have been able to discern from the jump the gist of what occurred in Charlottesville on that fateful day.

President Trump elicited much criticism for claiming at the time that there were good people among both the demonstrators and the counter-demonstrators, and that both sides contributed to the violence. The President did misspeak, but not in the ways in which his critics charge:

First, it is manifestly absurd to characterize as “good” those—like the militant leftists who converged upon Charlottesville—who routinely violate the Constitutional rights to speech, assembly, property, and bodily integrity of, not only those of their fellow citizens with whom they disagree, but as well those of their fellow citizens who they deem insufficiently supportive of their “anti-fascist” agenda.

Second, not a single hair on the head of a single person would have been harmed, much less would anyone have been killed, had it not been for the “anti-fascists” and “anti-racists,” the “counter-demonstrators” who initiated the violence.

The facts:

(1) The organizers of the Unite the Right rally acted lawfully, availing themselves of their Constitutional right as Americans to peaceful assembly. The organizers applied for their permit months in advance of their demonstration. It was granted and then withdrawn. The organizers appealed and, thanks in no small part to the American Civil Liberties Union—hardly a right-wing operation—a judge determined that the city of Charlottesville had no legal grounds on which to deny them a permit.

In other words, the organizers of the Unite the Right rally acted in good faith, with fidelity to the law, every step of the way.

(2) The counter-demonstrators, in stark contrast, conducted themselves lawlessly: They had no permit and never even applied for one. Quite the contrary: The “anti-fascists” armed themselves with weaponry—clubs, bricks, bottles and balloons filled with cement, urine, and feces; bear mace; baseball bats; bows and arrows; and a makeshift flamethrower—and, quite literally, hit the streets. They formed mobs and took to intersections, blocking traffic and attacking motorists.

For this reason, because of their lawlessness, their flagrant criminality, it is a misnomer to describe the “anti-fascists” as counter-demonstrators. They composed a mob.

(3) It’s true that a few of the demonstrators were seen sporting KKK and neo-Nazi paraphernalia. It is equally true that the vast majority of the rally-goers who gathered in Charlottesville were doing no such thing, and that several of these endeavored to remove those showcasing KKK and Nazi symbols.

The lion’s share of rally attendees descended upon Charlottesville on that fateful day not to affirm “white supremacy,” “white nationalism,” or any racial fiction that the media would ascribe to them, but, rather, to demonstrate against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, an act that symbolizes to many patriotic Americans the radical left’s ongoing attempt to fundamentally transform Southern culture specifically and that of the United States of America generally into something in the image of their own ideology.

And, to repeat, there weren’t so much as dirty looks exchanged, to say nothing of overt violence, until lawless leftwing mobs, so-called “Antifa” and Black Lives Matter, in particular, arrived and instigated every bit of it.

(4) The foregoing facts were available at the time. Big Media—both the “mainstream” or “liberal” media as well as such “conservative” media as Fox News, talk radio, National Review, The New York Post, etc.—just weren’t interested.

Those who were interested had to go underground, to the internet, to Youtube, to gather eyewitness testimony from those who were actually in Charlottesville. The most reliable testimony comes from the members of several “Patriots’” organizations, self-described “civic nationalists” (as opposed to racial nationalists) who came to Virginia to keep peace and safeguard the Constitutional rights of their fellow American citizens. (See here and here.)

Most of these men (and some women) are military and police veterans who remain committed to upholding the oath to the American Constitution that they pledged upon embarking upon their careers in law enforcement. These are the same people who those in Big Conservatism (the Big Con) tirelessly “thank” for their service. Yet when these retired soldiers and officers of the law were physically besieged by leftist criminals and corrupt Charlottesville police alike, Big Conservatives were all too eager to side with militant and radical leftists and blame the protestors and these Constitutionalists for the unprovoked violence that they suffered.

(5) This brings us to the next point: As some of us knew then, and as the Heaphy Report has subsequently confirmed, violence would have been averted not only had leftist street thugs shown the same respect for the law as that shown by the Unite the Right demonstrators. It would have been averted had the governments of Virginia and Charlottesville—the governor and mayor, the state and local police—and the University of Virginia conducted themselves more responsibly.

The governor declared a state of emergency, in effect canceling the demonstrators’ permit at the last minute, while the Charlottesville mayor ordered the police commissioner to, in turn, order his officers to stand down.

But even this way of putting the matter is understatement. The police didn’t just do nothing as innocent citizens were assaulted. They encouraged the violence by forcing the Unite the Right rally attendees to vacate the premises by way of walking through the wall of volatile leftists that were waiting for them.

From these facts, we can deduce another: Contrary to the conventional (Politically Correct) wisdom, far from being aggressors, the only party in this story that is innocent of provoking violence is that of the rally demonstrators.

Fairness, however, forces us to go one step further: It is the rally attendees, and them alone, who showed respect for America, for its traditions, laws, and the Constitution, for preserving the history of their country, civility, free speech, and peaceful assembly. No other actor in this melodrama can claim credit for doing the same. Every other actor, in fact, revealed themselves as decidedly anti-American.

A final point: While the overt left has long ago put us on notice as to its desire to destroy (“fundamentally transform”) America as it has existed, the response of Big Conservatism to Charlottesville proved, if proof was still needed, that Big Cons are but an alt-left. Big Cons incessantly whine over the left’s suppression of free speech whenever it is one of their own—like, say, Ben Shapiro—who is prevented from speaking at a college campus. Yet their eagerness to buy, hook, line and sinker, the interpretation of Charlottesville favored by Antifa and Black Lives Matter confirms that they care as much about protecting the free speech rights of those to their right as they care about “supporting the troops” and “blue lives” when law enforcement veterans are lumped in by the left with “racists,” “fascists,” “white supremacists,” and, simply, “the alt-right.”

Never again can anyone within the Big Con be regarded with seriousness when they espouse platitudes concerning the Constitution, free speech, tolerance, civility, or, for that matter, respect for veterans and law enforcement. Though few people have yet to grasp this, the truth is that Charlottesville comes as close as anything to serving as the criterion, the test, for determining one’s commitment to the Constitution, law and order, free speech, civility, tolerance, and all of the rest.

The Big Con failed this test miserably.

 

Beliefnet columnist Jack Kerwick has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University, a master’s degree in philosophy from Baylor University, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Wingate University. He teaches philosophy at several colleges in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas.

 

Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset

America, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Fascism, History, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Culture, Pseudo-history, States' Rights, The South

NEW COLUMN IS “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset.”
A slightly abridged version is now on Townhall.com.

Unabridged, “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast” appears on Unz Review, WND.com, Constitution.com, and other discerning outlets.

Excerpt:

I recently traveled to Texas to speak about South Africa, at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A & M University.

To travel from the Pacific Northwest all the way to College Station, Texas, without experiencing more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option.

So, after driving from Austin eastward to College Station (where I was hosted by two exceptional young, Southern gentlemen), I headed south-west to San Antonio. There I lingered long enough to conclude:

The Republic of Texas is a civilization apart.

Ordinary Texans—from my brief travels—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. Not once did I encounter rude on my Texas junket.

On the Pacific Coast, however, kindness and congeniality don’t come naturally. State-of-Washington-statists are generally aloof, opprobrious, insular. And, frankly, dour.

Southern historian Dr. Clyde N. Wilson tells of receiving “a package containing a chamber pot labeled ‘Robert E. Lee’s Soup Tureen.'”

It came from … Portland, Maine.

Unkind cuts are an everyday occurrence around here, where the busybody mentality prevails.

Stand still long enough, and they’ll tell you how to live. They’ll even give chase to deliver that “corrective” sermon. A helmeted cyclist once chased me down along a suburban running trail.

My sin? I had fed the poor juncos in the dead of winter. (Still do. Bite me, you bully.)

Having caught up with me, SS Cyclist got on his soap box and in my face about my unforgivable, rule-bending. Wasn’t I familiar with the laws governing his pristine environmental utopia?

Didn’t I know that only the fittest deserved to survive? That’s the natural world, according to these ruthless, radical progressive puritans.

Yes, mea culpa for having an exceedingly soft spot for God’s plucky little creatures.

When a Washington statist gets wind of your core beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language irks His Highness—he will take it upon himself to fix your “flaws,” try to make you over in his sorry image.

For the distinct cluster of characteristics just described, Dr.  Wilson aforementioned uses the term Yankee. …

… READ THE REST. The column is  “Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset”.

Or, unabridged. 

Oh, Clyde Wilson adds this: “Telling other people not to feed God’s creatures according to some supposed scientific official plan is simply fascism.”

Alan Dershowitz Vs. The Fanatic Richard Painter

Democrats, Donald Trump, Ethics, History, Law, Morality, Neoconservatism, Republicans

He’s a sharp mind that has stood up for The Law throughout, and remained above the filthy political fray we’re in: He’s Alan Dershowitz.

Dershowitz has stood up to the shill, Sean Hannity, too.

Now, Professor Dershowitz goes up against Richard Painter, whom I’ve described as the quintessential Yankee, in a 2017 post titled “The Face of a Fanatic, Or A Modern-Day Radical Republican”:

Richard Painter, a modern-day Radical Republican by any other name, has the same crazed look worn by the original Radical Republican, the fanatic Thaddeus Stevens.

The context (as in who the Radical Republicans were) is in my column, “The Radical Republicans: The Antifa of 1865.”

UPDATE II (5/8/018): ‘Howdy’: Back From Speaking To The Texas A&M Free Speech Forum About South Africa

America, Conservatism, Education, Etiquette, Free Speech, History, Ilana Mercer, Law, South-Africa

Has absence made the heart grow fonder? I hope so.

I’m back from speaking about South Africa at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A&M University, on the College Station campus.

A remarkable young man, the president of the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum, invited me to speak for reasons that astounded and gave hope.

The Forum, I was told, doesn’t seek out the conservative/libertarian speakers, who’re usually invited on campus by “the established, libertarian/conservative/republican groups.”

You know. That boilerplate content.

“It is not our place to host them,” I was emphatically informed by one so young.

“Rather, we provide a platform for those who would not be invited otherwise by these established libertarian/conservative/republican group.”

Check.

I was further told that the Texas A&M Free Speech Forum criteria are “whether one is an expert in his or her field.”

Oh! So what the hosts had in mind was not a power-point, low-information presentation, with lots of gory images and a few recycled facts, harvested from one or two online posts!

OMG!

Your history in the country as well as your seminal work, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America from Post-Apartheid South Africa,” make you, in particular, stand out as the most qualified figure to present on the topic [of South Africa], in addition to specific requests to host you personally.

Imagine! A forum seeking thinkers who’re not part of the popular speakers’ circuit!

Here were young men who understood that those voices making the most noise about conservative freedom of speech denied were not necessarily the ones truly marginalized.

Having been given this opportunity, I aimed to provide a backdrop—the analytical foundation, if you will—for what’s unfolding in my birthplace of South Africa.

From land confiscation to the ethnic cleansing of the waning minority—I tried to explain why what’s happening in South Africa was baked into the political cake; was predictable, and was, to a large degree, the doing of the West.

The concept of white privilege was woven in as well.

To travel all the way to College Station, Texas, and not experience more of the “Lone Star State” was not an option. After driving from Austin eastward to College Station, we headed south-west to San Antonio, where we stayed for two days. Then it was a long drive back to Austin.

Other than the weather (brutal), Texas is a civilization apart. I live in a state in which the Yankee, busybody mentality dominates, as friend Professor Clyde Wilson would say. People are unfriendly, opprobrious, stuck-up, and, frankly, boring.

They tell you how to live. If they get wind of your beliefs—why, even if your use of the English language makes them uneasy—they will take it upon themselves to fix your flaws; to read you the riot act. Make you more “manageable.” More like them.

While civility and congeniality are generally not part of the Yankee repertoire; ordinary Texans, on the other hand—and from my brief experience—tend to be sunny, kind and warmhearted. I did not encounter rude.

As for telling you how to live; how do you like this sign? It’s from the ladies’ bathroom in  a Caldwell diner.

With two impeccably mannered, young gentlemen, who organized EVERYTHING:

Before.

The San Antonio River Walk is teaming with adorable, brazen birds. It sports zero barriers to protect the brats (people mind their kids):

The Alamo garden:

More later.

UPDATED (5/7/018):
Everybody was down with the birds scavenging leftovers. A restaurant put up a memorial to its resident duck, whose neck had been wrung by, as they put it, scumbag, human trash, homeless riffraff. In Washington State we have only honorifics for such scumbags .

Chapel at Mission Concepción, San Antonio:

This specter formed part of my address/lecture:

‘Indigenisation’ of the law:

UPDATE II (5/8): Jack Kerwick has as hopeful an encounter as I had. We discuss.