Archive for the ‘Violence in Charlottesville’ category

America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced

August 25, 2017

America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced, The Federalist, August 25, 2017.

NBC News / YouTube

Wars are won or lost based mostly on perceptions of events, not on what actually happens. This is true for any given battlefield, whether it’s the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam or the ideological battlefield over the future of the First Amendment as played out in Charlottesville in 2017. The reality of what takes place in the public arena is always secondary to any projected illusion.

So let’s never forget this: Whoever has the power to dictate public perceptions of reality is in a position to dictate public opinion and behavior. Abusing language and images to stir up emotions is an ancient trick of power-mongers. And once journalism turns into unchecked propaganda, we become trapped in its dangerous illusions.

Only the teensiest fraction of Americans have any real interest in violent extremism, whether it be the violence represented by the specter of the Klu Klux Klan or the violence promoted by groups like Antifa who pretend they are fighting for social justice. But the media is promoting imagery of the former as a foil for the latter.

Why Are We Being Assaulted With Fringe Concerns?

Most Americans today are still just trying to live freely, to pursue happiness peacefully. Meanwhile, power elites in politics and the media are providing a daily platform for fringe elements who identify as white supremacists. Why would anyone in his right mind do such a thing? Again, we can only deduce that such imagery serves as a useful foil to lend moral high ground to “counter-protesters.” The media elites provoking them need white supremacy bogeymen in order to achieve their ultimate agenda, which, ironically, is to achieve total supremacy.

Against this staged backdrop, repeated over and over again, Americans are being emotionally manipulated to take up cause with those whose ultimate purpose is the repeal of the First Amendment and erasure of national memory. As Helen Raleigh recently wrote in The Federalist, this has all the hallmarks of an attempted Maoist-style cultural revolution.

We should be asking why these elites insist that violence-prone groups on the American Left—such as Antifa, Occupy, Moveon.org, etc.—are pure as the driven snow, as peaceful as sleeping babes. Obviously it disrupts the narrative to know that the Southern Poverty Law Center inspired gunmen into attempted massacres, including the one in June that critically wounded GOP Rep. Steve Scalise and the 2012 shooting at the Family Research Council. So maintaining the illusion of such groups’ innocence is what allowed Michael Moore to argue in a recent CNN interview that he was promoting a society of “love” while smearing as racist every one of the 60 million Americans who voted for Trump. That’s a rallying cry for national division.

The polarization of America didn’t happen overnight. It’s actually not even all that real. It’s been teased out over many decades by media, entertainment, and academia in order to reap the agitation we’re seeing today. Understanding the how and why of this process is critical to reviving civil society and our freedoms. So, how did this all come to be? There are myriad factors: family breakdown, mob psychology, fear of being politically incorrect, the cultivation of ignorance in public education, the inflammation of resentments and hatred and false guilt, people should really start thinking on getting help from awol academy to educate themselves.

A lot more factors are responsible for the state of mass delusion we appear to be in today, but I’ll try to map out three elements I think the recent gruesome events in Charlottesville highlight: 1. the manipulation of our language; 2. the deliberate use of such loaded language to cultivate extreme emotions in people, particularly anger and resentment; and 3. the role of mass media as a nuclear device to impose those perceptions on a mass scale

Element 1: Loading the Language

Mavens of social media have inundated us with trendy terms intended to mold our thought patterns. Let’s just consider two expressions: “alt-right” and “woke.” First, “alt-right.” It’s a tar-and-feather term intended to eliminate independent thought by getting the masses to associate the “right” with various boogeymen like the KKK of old. The goal is to eliminate their “hate speech.” Once the alt-right domino falls, then conservatives’ speech goes. Then the speech of everybody else, because the First Amendment must stand for everyone or it stands for absolutely no one.

Then there’s the expression “woke.” It’s even more direct in its purpose: literally to activate people into a program of collective thought reform. “Woke” is a semantic device that promotes social distrust and even paranoia. The idea is that evil conspiracies—white supremacism, slavery, Confederate flags—are behind every bush targeting you. It comes with corollary slogans, such as #staywoke and #stayangry.

Such terms are the pieces of anti-intellectual spaghetti that stick to the walls of our minds when we are not equipped to think independent thoughts. The thought police aim to make certain words and thoughts catch on in the hive mind, thereby cultivating certain emotions and behaviors in people.

But when honestly defined, the term “woke” actually means “programmed.” You can see it in today’s manufactured mobs composed of individuals who identify as social justice warriors. Any different opinion is likely to trigger a panic attack in them. They are blindly obedient to college professors who get them to confess their guilt for being born into “white privilege”—or being born at all. They parrot taunts to their perceived enemies and take safety in mobs that threaten violence, knowing full well when the local political machine has kneecapped police, whether it be in Berkeley or Charlottesville.

The coordinated mob violence we see playing out essentially over the existence of historical monuments and free speech goes well beyond indoctrination and brainwashing. It is a cult mindset deliberately cultivated by elites in education, pop culture, and academia.

When Anti-Fascism Means Fascism

So in a very real sense, as George Orwell wrote in “1984,” words take on their opposite meanings. For example, freedom means slavery and vice versa. Ignorance means strength. Today it’s clear that the hyped term “anti-fascism” as in Antifa actually means fascism.

Is there anything President Trump could have said or done that would have made a difference under today’s social and media conditions? Perhaps for a few thoughtful people, his choice of words would have made a difference. But for the most part, even if he had from the outset spoken in a presidential manner and with all of the Left’s approved words, nothing would have changed in the propaganda media. Even if Trump had mimicked the SPLC and said the Charlottesville rioting was only about white supremacy and the KKK and that, yes, all historical monuments that Alinskyites want down should come down, it would not have changed the anti-speech trajectory of the anti-speech mob.

We are in full mass delusion mode. Our language has been undermined to game our perceptions. Those altered perceptions pull us into the groupthink that feeds fake public opinion cascades. Large segments of society, including many who should know better, have fallen for it, speaking apologetically and bolstering what is clearly a ruse to repeal the First Amendment. They fear someone might think them a bigot if they criticize the violence perpetrated by anti-speech activists like Antifa and Occupy. So they feed the violence by giving it a pass.

Element 2: Using Distorted Language to Rub Resentments Raw

The growth of this cult-like mentality is reflected in Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.” He states that the whole point of manipulating language is to obfuscate in order to control. Anger and resentment are strong, natural motivators for getting people to attack perceived enemies. Bitterness is at the heart of every grudge, and those drunk on power have always depended on such misery to play their divide-and-conquer games.

Once bitterness sets in, it rots out the human capacity for social harmony and acts of mercy. At best, it’s passive-aggressive. At worst, it’s the short fuse to violence. At the core of it all is identity politics enforced by political correctness, special tools of propagandists to divide us in order to conquer us.

When people nurse grudges, they tend to grow into obsessions. Obsessions easily become delusions as we perseverate upon them, creating ever more monsters in our minds. Pretty soon a bunch of kids are pulling down a statue in Durham, North Carolina to engage in what psychiatrist Joost Meerloo described as “ecstatic participation in mass elation.” In his book “The Rape of the Mind,” Meerloo called this type of mob action “the oldest psycho-drama in the world.”

When minds become captive to the propagandist’s boogeymen, our survival mechanisms go into effect and we feel we must slay monsters, whether real or imaginary. This is especially true when a mob of supposedly like-minded folks come together to face off against their common enemy. Like in Charlottesville or any other place where a governor might abuse his power to promote riots by making sure there is no law enforcement present to maintain order. That was always the real point of promoting the riots in Charlottesville and so many other places by getting the police to stand down. The purpose of the media collusion is to get their movie running 24/7 in as many heads as possible.

We’ve not been vigilant as we’ve been taken down a long road of what influence guru Robert Cialdini calls “pre-suasion,” or laying the groundwork to influence others’ decisions, then taking advantage of the “privileged moments” that ensue. The privileged moment of the Left today consists of a pompous moral elevation to get people to focus on a well-cultivated fear of being tainted by association with racist nutcases. Unless we quickly become more vigilant to this ruse, it’ll be too late when we realize we’ve been manipulated by Stalinists all along.

Alinskyite Cultivation of Hatred

None of this is new. The archetypal agitation expert Saul Alinsky considered resentment an absolutely essential tool for replacing freedom with totalitarianism. All in the name of freedom, of course. If you study history, you’ll note how all tyrants project their own intentions onto their perceived opponents. It’s a well-documented pattern in all genocides. Fascism can only come to power in America, for example, through an echo chamber repetitiously promoted as “anti-fascism.”

Consider these choice quotes from Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” which serves as a guidebook on the art of cultivating hatred in people: “The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression . . . an organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which people can angrily pour their frustrations . . . your function – to agitate to the point of conflict.”

Here’s another choice quote from that piece of work: “The one thing that all oppressed people want to do to their oppressors is sh-t on them.” The trick is to get people to conjure up the illusion of white hoods behind every bush, and redefine the word “hate” so it applies to anybody who thinks a thought independent of elitist groups like the SPLC.

Alinsky knew that a few power-hungry elites like himself couldn’t simply undermine a free nation on their own. He needed drones to do his bidding—mob mobilization papered over with the euphemism “community organizing.” This is why totalitarians—from Marx to Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Castro and so on—always depend upon agitating and mobilizing masses via the abuse of mass media. Real debate is anathema to that goal, which is why free speech is always such an enemy of tyrants. Free speech is an essential antidote to any form of slavery.

Element 3: Mass Manipulation Via Mass-Media Propaganda

Our brains work primarily by making associations towards whatever is capturing our attention at any given moment. Out of sight, out of mind. But obsess on something and it consumes you. This is why power elites make a point of directing our focus 24/7.

Social psychologists and marketing experts know very well that we are driven by our perceptions of reality, not by reality itself. As Cialdini pronounced, “What’s focal is causal.” Once the media captures our focus, manipulators can take advantage of “privileged moments” to get us to behave their way.

This human vulnerability has become magnified in the age of social media. False images and memes now flicker like strobe lights through our brains at breakneck speed. The only way to discern reality is to put down the devices and actively seek out what is real from what is perceived. And to ask some real questions, such as: Where exactly is the violence coming from? Are things really as they seem? Are we being hypnotized to echo the constant flickering of this imagery?

Media Collusion with Rioting

An oft-quoted proclamation from Bolshevik power-monger Vladimir Lenin goes like this: “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses . . . We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth… We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”

Media elites largely now collude with rioting that serves their agendas. But, as all community organizers understand, it’s nearly useless to try to mobilize people who’ve got productive lives to live and an interest in the world beyond themselves. Such people have family loyalties and strong friendships and no appetite for hatred. They tend to be people who are culturally literate with natural curiosity and a basic grasp of human history, or at least of human nature.

Since love and knowledge and self-reliance stand in the way of totalitarian goals, all of that has to be destroyed. Only by creating the predictable sense of alienation their policies promote can Alinskyites grow their necessary hive of drones.

The End Result: Division and Loneliness

In the end, the war against free speech is a war against conversation and human fellowship. Without free speech, our alienation from one another would become complete. We couldn’t get to ever really know one another once all of our social interactions became regulated. Real friendships would be obstructed.

When “Coming Apart” author Charles Murray was undergoing his tarring and feathering by the mob at Middlebury College that refused to let him speak, he spent some time looking out at the individuals in the mass. He reflected on what he found, especially in how the students mindlessly modeled the behavior of their peers: “Many looked like they had come straight out of casting for a film of brownshirt rallies. In some cases, I can only describe their eyes as crazed and their expressions as snarls. Melodramatic, I know. But that’s what they looked like.”

In fact, they look like kids in the grip of a cult mindset: Lost. Lonely. Deluded. Deceived. Just scan these sad mugshots of Antifa protesters released by the Portland, Oregon police department after they were arrested for violent acts on May Day this year. It’s a collection of faces filled with cluelessness, loss, and delusion. The mugshot of the identified white supremacist who plowed his car into the crowd, killing a woman, fits right in with them.

Finally, consider the young environmental activist Jeff Jacoby wrote about in the Boston Globe recently. She was peer-pressured into a desperate door-to-door attempt to save the planet and ended up sobbing from exhaustion at the reporter’s doorstep: “It gnaws at her to see how angry so many people are these days. She wasn’t raised to hate people whose politics are different from hers, she told us.”

Indeed, this gnaws on all people of goodwill when resentments are rubbed so raw. Yet alienated people are being filled with hatred and deployed to the streets to serve the agendas of political and media elites. Jacoby’s headline states “we are a nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown.” I’d add that because of the gaslighting tactics of power elites, we are actually in the throes of a nervous breakdown.

McCain: Attacks on McMaster from “same purveyors of hatred and ignorance” as at Charlottesville

August 17, 2017

McCain: Attacks on McMaster from “same purveyors of hatred and ignorance” as at Charlottesville, Jihad Watch

(Please see also, VIDEO – H.R. McMaster: Muslim Terrorist Groups Are ‘Really Un-Islamic,’ ‘Irreligious. —  DM)

McCain, who defended Huma Abedin from legitimate questions about her Muslim Brotherhood ties by defaming those who were raising the questions as hatemongering “Islamophobes,” is now claiming that critics of NSA H.R. McMaster are all racists and neo-Nazis.

Someone should inform Senator McCain, but no one will, that there are plenty of critics of McMaster who abhor racism and Nazism, but are concerned about McMaster because of his denial and willful ignorance regarding the motivating ideology of the jihad threat, his hostility toward Israel, and his favorable stance toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. But routinely such concerns are buried under charges of “Islamophobia,” and McCain is just another functionary repeating the current acceptable political line. There isn’t any debate anymore, just demonization of opponents.

Meanwhile, President Trump should note that the defenders of McMaster include not only McCain but also Hamas-linked CAIR, and realize that this is indication enough in itself that he should be fired.

“John McCain takes on H.R. McMaster critics,” by Jeremy Diamond, CNN, August 14, 2017:

(CNN)Sen. John McCain on Monday slammed recent attacks on White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and called on President Donald Trump to speak out against the right-wing campaign targeting the top adviser.

“The recent attacks upon (McMaster) from the so-called ‘alt-right’ are disgraceful. Since this fringe movement cannot attract the support of decent Americans, it resorts to impugning the character of a good man and outstanding soldier who has served honorably in uniform and sacrificed more for our country than any of his detractors ever have,” McCain said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Such smear tactics should not be tolerated and deserve an emphatic response.”

“I hope the President will once again stand up for his national security adviser and denounce these repugnant attacks, which arise from the same purveyors of hatred and ignorance who precipitated the recent violence in Charlottesville,” McCain added.

McCain’s statement came as far-right leaders pushed new lines of attack against McMaster, which ranged from claims that he’s not a strong enough supporter of Israel to unfounded allegations that McMaster has a drinking problem — the latter promulgated by the far-right blogger Mike Cernovich.

The smear campaign is the latest effort by McMaster’s adversaries to undermine the national security adviser’s credibility as he has feuded internally with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, particularly over the war in Afghanistan. Bannon has privately denied any involvement in the anti-McMaster efforts, according to officials.

“The President directly expressed his support for Gen. McMaster from Bedminster last week,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said when asked if Trump had any additional comment to offer.

Trump last week expressed confidence in his national security adviser while taking questions at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, saying he “absolutely” had confidence in him.

“He’s our friend. He’s my friend. And he’s a very talented man. I like him and I respect him,” Trump said then….

NAACP President Opposes Confederate Statue Removal

August 16, 2017

NAACP President Opposes Confederate Statue Removal, The Point (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, August 16, 2017

While the Charlottesville counterprotests were, on paper, associated more with African-American groups, the protesters overall tended to be white leftists. Black people have a variety of views on the subject ranging from opposition to apathy to support. For some, it’s a symbol of hate. For others, a part of history that has no effect on the present. And it’s removal just stirs up racism and violence.

Here’s a view from Bethlehem, PA.

“I think it’s all senseless. All senseless,” begins Bethlehem NAACP President Esther Lee.

Lee says the images that she’s seen over the last few days, have been tough to watch.

Lee says violence is still violence. She doesn’t agree with the vandalism of Confederate monuments in Baltimore or condone the actions of those who tore down the statue in North Carolina, either.

“You know that’s history. That was in that point in time. You can’t eliminate what history is. So I disapprove with young people pulling down those statues,” she says.

Lee then adds, “A young woman died. Two officers were murdered in a plane crash and all for what? Because somebody in their mind decided, “we don’t need to look at that anymore.”

“It shouldn’t be,” she says softly.

While Lee doesn’t agree with President Trump on everything, she does think that history should be left to stand and advises others to join her in praying for the president.

“I would pray that he would gain the strength to do what’s necessary in the job, at least for these four years,” she says.

Lee says maybe things aren’t what they should be. But that doesn’t mean hate and hurt need to win.

It’s a different point of view that isn’t being represented on the national stage.

The debate about Confederate statues in Dallas intensified on Monday as a group made up of predominantly African Americans called for the monuments to remain standing.

Several cities across America have now begun to remove or talk about removing Confederate markers shortly after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly.

Former city council member Sandra Crenshaw thinks removing the statues won’t help.

“I’m not intimidated by Robert E. Lee’s statue. I’m not intimidated by it. It doesn’t scare me,” said Crenshaw. “We don’t want America to think that all African Americans are supportive of this.”

Crenshaw, along with some Buffalo Solider historians and Sons of Confederate Veterans are coming together to help protect the Confederate markers from toppling over in Dallas.

They feel the monuments, like the Freedman’s Cemetery, tell an important story and help heal racial wounds.

“Some people think that by taking a statue down, that’s going to erase racism,” said Crenshaw. “Misguided.”

Well I rather doubt that they do think that. They’re out to engage in a radical transformation of America. And their goal is to conduct radical social change and touch off clashes like these. When they’ve gone through the Confederate statues and the statues of Columbus, they will at some point move on to George Washington.

Charlottesville Protest Leads To Call For Expansion of Hate Crime and Terrorism Laws

August 16, 2017

Charlottesville Protest Leads To Call For Expansion of Hate Crime and Terrorism Laws, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, August 16, 2017

Fields is already charged with murder in Virginia, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved quickly to open an investigation for possible hate crime charges on the federal level. Such a charge could rekindle concerns over the expansion of both hate crime and terrorism laws, particularly in conflict with free speech principles.

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Below is my column in USA Today on the calls for hate crime and terrorism charges against James Fields and possibly others.  The response is understandable, but the expansion of these laws raise serious free speech concerns that should be considered before prosecutors move beyond the current murder charge.

In a rare moment of unity in our country, leaders of both major parties joined in their call for investigations and prosecutions following the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Va. Officials have called for hate crime and terrorism charges against James Alex Fields Jr., 20, who is accused of mowing down counter-demonstrators and killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal.

It was a sickening act that came after a day of violence near the statue of Robert E. Lee. Fields is already charged with murder in Virginia, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved quickly to open an investigation for possible hate crime charges on the federal level. Such a charge could rekindle concerns over the expansion of both hate crime and terrorism laws, particularly in conflict with free speech principles.

Hate crime laws

The first challenge for a hate crime prosecution will be to determine if this was an act of specific hate from general rage. The hate crimes statute covers an attack that was motivated not by unfettered fury but particularized hatred of a victim’s race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Fields may indeed have targeted people on that basis, but there would be serious questions over the applicability of the statute. There is no indication that he waited for particular people to enter the street, but mowed down everyone in his path.

While Fields is reportedly an admirer of Adolph Hitler and some of his victims were black, Heyer was white and the crowd was a mix of races and genders and religions. The Justice Department could argue that Heyer was killed in an act targeting blacks, but it will have to show that Fields was attacking counter-demonstrators generally. This is the long-standing objection of civil libertarians that hate crimes tend to be dangerously fluid and subjective — as opposed to the more concrete murder charges.

There is a more general provision under the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Section 245 of Title 18 that makes it a federal crime to use force to willfully injure or intimidate any citizen “participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly” directed at opposing the denial of civil rights to other people. That provision, however, is more often directed at acts like the denial of voting rights. It has not been applied to a case like this.

There was violence on both sides of this demonstration with people showing up with shields, clubs and other weapons. Fields certainly seems to easily fulfill the hate aspect of a hate crime, but his prosecution could raise the question of whom or what he hated so much as to cause him to speed down a crowded street in Charlottesville.

Terrorism laws

National security adviser H.R. McMaster took the calls for prosecution into a different direction on ABC’s “This Week” and insisted that “anytime that you commit an attack against people to incite fear, it is terrorism.” As with the statement of Attorney General Sessions, the strong language from McMaster was commendable in assuring Americans that we will not stand for such acts of savagery in this nation. However, McMaster’s call to “extinguish” acts of hatred through terrorism laws triggers a predictable response for those of us in the civil liberties community.

While Fields cannot be charged with domestic terrorism under these facts, people, including CNN legal analyst Page Pate, have called for the expansion of the law. Lisa Monaco, President Obama’s homeland security adviser, echoed McMaster’s sentiments and said that “kind of violence, committed for seeming political ends, is the very definition of domestic terrorism.” The question again will be Fields’s “seeming political ends” in plowing his car into a crowd of people on a street.

Civil libertarians have objected for years over the expansion of terrorism laws after 9/11. Under the USA Patriot Act, a violation of federal or state criminal law qualifies as “domestic terrorism” if it is intended to coerce or intimidate a civilian population or to coerce the policy of the government. As with the hate crime provision, there are obvious concerns about the use of such a law in the context of a political demonstration.

The First Amendment sees no distinction based on viewpoints. They are all protesters and cloaked in the same constitutional protections — and subject to the same criminal laws for violence. Indeed, the demonstrators had recently succeeded in going to court to enjoin the denial of free speech by the Charlottesville City Council in refusing them a permit.

There are calls for the demonstration by white supremacists and nationalists to be investigated as part of the terroristic act (or under the Ku Klux Act). That raises the specter that violence by demonstrators would be subject to terrorism investigations more readily than the violence of counter-demonstrators. For example, the racist organizer of this event was assaulted the following day when trying to speak to the media. Was this terrorism by a person acting with “seeming political ends”?

Obviously, this is not the time when it is popular to raise such concerns. At a time of national rage, such constitutional concerns can appear precious or even disloyal. However, we have much to lose if we allow crimes like terrorism to expand dramatically into areas of unpopular but protected speech. What Fields allegedly did was not speech, it was murder. As we legitimately investigate a possible hate crime, we need to be careful not to lose that distinction.

Charlottesville Shows How Dangerous the SPLC Really Is

August 16, 2017

Charlottesville Shows How Dangerous the SPLC Really Is, PJ MediaRobert Spencer, August 15, 2017

Anti-Trump rally, New York, August 14, 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)

Charlottesville was a huge victory for the hard-Left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). And that’s not good for anyone who loves freedom.

The driver of the car who plowed into a crowd of Leftist demonstrators in Charlottesville Saturday was a neo-Nazi, and on Monday President Trump denounced the Ku Klux Klan, “neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups,” which he rightly said were “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Leftist media outlets are making all they can out of this opportunity to stigmatize and marginalize definitively all “hate groups,” using the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) list of such groups. There’s just one problem: the SPLC’s “hate group” list is an irresponsible and libelous mélange of real hate groups with organizations that simply oppose the SPLC’s hard-Left agenda.

The mainstream media has for years conferred an aura of legitimacy on the SPLC, treating this cynical gang of profiteers as if it were a neutral and reliable arbiter of what constitutes a “hate group” and what does not. Charlotte Allen wrote in The Weekly Standard last March:

It’s hard to say what’s worse: the outrageousness of the Southern Poverty Law Center in pinning the label “white nationalist” and “extremist” on anyone who bucks the prevailing politically correct narrative, or the credulity of the mainstream media in treating the SPLC as a neutral source.

Yet CNN did it again Monday in a story about how GoDaddy had revoked the account of a site called Daily Stormer in the wake of Charlottesville:

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “the Daily Stormer is dedicated to spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism, primarily through guttural hyperbole and epithet-laden stories about topics like alleged Jewish world control and black-on-white crime.” The SPLC, which tracks hate groups, says the unapologetic hatred on the Daily Stormer — which also takes aim at African-Americans and opponents of President Donald Trump, for example — is a catalyst for division.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post reminded us:

There are 917 hate groups currently operating across the U.S., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

And that’s where the SPLC’s hate group listing becomes insidious. If, post-Charlottesville, the establishment media and the Left are going to embark upon a full-scale jihad (I wouldn’t want to offend Leftists by calling it a “crusade”) against neo-Nazis and white supremacists, they’re going to catch in their net a great many legitimate groups if they rely on the SPLC to direct them to the “hate groups.”

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) wrote in the Washington Post in March:

Since 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center has methodically added mainstream organizations critical of current immigration policy to its blacklist of “hate groups,” including the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the Immigration Reform Law Institute and Californians for Population Stabilization, among others. In February, my own organization, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), got its turn.

The wickedness of the SPLC’s blacklist lies in the fact that it conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences. The obvious goal is to marginalize the organizations in this second category by bullying reporters into avoiding them, scaring away writers and researchers from working for them, and limiting invitations for them to discuss their work.

President Trump Destroys Everyone at His Wild Press Conference in Trump Tower 8/15/17

August 15, 2017

President Trump Destroys Everyone at His Wild Press Conference in Trump Tower 8/15/17 via YouTube

(An excellent address by President Trump placing blame where it belongs, including the media for its Charlottesville coverage. — DM)

A riot with an unwelcome lesson

August 15, 2017

A riot with an unwelcome lesson, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, August 14, 2017

Benjamin Franklin. (Associated Press) ** FILE

We’ve been diced and sliced beyond unity and one day soon the Middle East, with its cultural and religious differences and a hundred reasons to fight and kill each other over arcane points of theology that outsiders cannot fathom, will have nothing on America, where the liberals and the left demand unanimous submission as the price of unity.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The media mob wasted no time in descending on Charlottesville, and the first order of business was to exploit the bigotry, tragedy and evil to make it the work of the Republicans, conservatives, and above all, Donald Trump.

This has been a project years in the making. Shooting congressmen by a crazed Democratic liberal is reduced to a footnote in accounts of the shooting, and shoved down the memory hole to be forgotten in a day or so. But we can be sure the Charlottesville riot will be endlessly exploited over the next several days and weeks as the white folks’ equivalent of the radical Muslim massacres of Paris, Orlando and San Bernardino.

The counterdemonstrators to a white nationalist rally showed up spoiling for a fight, but that does not excuse the rally organizers for what happened, including the assault by a particularly thuggish assassin driving a car into the crowd. They were finally denounced by the president as the “thugs” — the president’s word — they are.

And it’s true that Mr. Trump, whose tweets are not always calibrated to a presidential standard, should have used language making it clear to the densest among us in his first reaction to the riot that he was not excluding the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis or white nationalists from his description of “evil.”

He finally said explicitly what he had made clear enough on Saturday. He “includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazis and all extremist groups” in his remarks excoriating, denouncing, censuring, blaming, upbraiding, and knocking the evildoers. (Should we get a bigger thesaurus?)

But whatever this president would say, his partisan critics and the media were waiting to pick it apart and find it wanting. He could never say it strong enough. Indeed, in the revised remarks distributed by the White House on Sunday an observant critic would note that he did not spell out “Ku Klux Klan,” perhaps in the hope that many people would not know what the initials KKK actually stand for. Even his adjective “evil” has 27 synonyms in one thesaurus. Why did he not use all of them? What kind of dog could miss that missing whistle?

Martin Luther King’s dream of a day when a man will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character, has been relegated to the dustbin of discarded ideals by a modern culture that demands that identity politics dice and slice Americans by race, ethnicity, region, gender (even sex) and religious faith. “Diversity” is all in allocating jobs, college admissions, even pay. Merit and performance on the job dare not speak its name.

“A politics fixated on indelible differences will inevitably lead to resentments that extremists can exploit in ugly ways on the right and left,” observes The Wall Street Journal. “The extremists were on the right in Charlottesville, but there have been examples on the left in Berkeley, Oakland and numerous college campuses. When Democratic politicians can’t even say that ‘all lives matter’ without being denounced as bigots, American politics has a problem.”

Bernie Sanders was the Democratic politician who learned that painful lesson when he thought he was making the uncontroversial point that all lives do, indeed, matter. Who could argue with that? He soon learned, and a day later apologized with a full grovel, and would have tugged a forelock if he still had one.

That’s why this chaos threatens never to end for as long as the generations alive today survive. Calls for “unity” sound good and make those calling for “unity” feel good about themselves if not about anyone else. But extremists define “unity” to mean unity as when dissenters and naysayers are clubbed into bloody submission. We’ve been diced and sliced beyond unity and one day soon the Middle East, with its cultural and religious differences and a hundred reasons to fight and kill each other over arcane points of theology that outsiders cannot fathom, will have nothing on America, where the liberals and the left demand unanimous submission as the price of unity.

Soon all the statuary of Robert E. Lee, recognized by history and his military peers as America’s greatest soldier, will have been pulled down to become but chips and chunks of litter across a broken land, replaced by sordid icons of a sordid culture. Still the politically pious will demand satisfaction, but satisfaction always just out of reach.

The ultimate lesson of Charlottesville and all the assaults on decency from every “side” is that we are the inheritors of Lincoln’s exceptional nation who failed to preserve it. “A republic, sir,” Benjamin Franklin replied when a bystander in Philadelphia asked him what the Founding Fathers had bequeathed on that first Fourth of July. “If you can keep it.”

• Wesley Pruden is editor in chief emeritus of The Times.