By Scott Taylor
In a scene from the 1980 classic comedy movie The Blues Brothers, the title characters are stuck in a traffic jam. The cause of the delay is a group of Nazis blocking a bridge while police restrain a heckling mob of anti-Nazi protestors. When informed by a policeman that the protestors had won a court decision authorizing them to protest, The Brothers ask which organization is responsible, and the policeman informs them it is the Illinois Nazis. Jake Blue states, “I hate Illinois Nazis” and Elwood immediately drives straight into the crowd of Nazis who comically leap into the water below the bridge.
Despite the uncanny similarity, there was nothing funny about the incident in Charlottesville, wherein a white supremacist drove his car head-on into a crowd of anti-Nazi protestors killing one and injuring 19 others. Like the Illinois Nazis in the movie, the alt-right movement, including neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan, had obtained an official permit to demonstrate.
Ostensibly, this collection of white supremacists wanted to express their objection to the Charlottesville city council’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee.
Lee was a masterful battlefield commander who fought in the failed attempt for 11 southern states to secede from the Union and establish their own confederacy. The confederates were opposed to the abolition of slavery, therefore the tribute to General Lee has become viewed as a symbol glorifying the slave trade.
However, the alt-right gathering in Charlottesville was not an academic assembly of individuals intent on resisting the advance of revisionist history. Instead, it quickly became a blatant demonstration of white supremacy, complete with a Nazi-style torch-lit parade.
To cap it off, James Alex Fields Jr. deliberately drove his car straight into the crowd of anti-Nazi hecklers. Why this is not being called an act of terrorism, I have no idea. When Islamic extremists drove into crowds in Barcelona, London, Berlin, and Nice no one hesitated in labelling them terrorists, and I’m pretty sure those on the receiving end of Fields’ car rampage were just as terrified as those other victims.
Nevertheless, the biggest story to emerge from Charlottesville was the reaction from U.S. President Donald Trump. His first response was to universally condemn “hate,” and went on to express the opinion that this existed “on many sides.” Over the next two days Trump took a tremendous amount of heat for not singling out the alt-right for their responsibility in the incident.
Trump did finally issue a stern rebuke, wherein he named the KKK, neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups. However, he almost immediately reversed course by once again stating that there was blame on both sides. Describing the anti-Nazis as the alt-left, he pointed out the fact that the alt-right had obtained a legal permit for their demonstration, as if that somehow made it all okay.
By contrast, immediately following last Thursday’s attack in Barcelona, Spain, in which 14 civilians were killed and another 100 wounded by a rampaging vehicle, Trump took to the Twitter-sphere to denounce the attackers.
As Daesh (aka ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, Trump revised a long-debunked myth regarding how the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack should be dealt with just as U.S. General John Pershing had done in the Philippines in 1899. Although historians are adamant that it never actually happened, Trump claims that Pershing had his soldiers dip their bullets in pigs’ blood before executing captured Muslim terrorists in order to prevent the dead from ascending into heaven. Never mind that this would seriously clog up a rifle, Trump also erroneously claimed that “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” That is simply not true.
To recap: a neo-Nazi drives into a crowd of anti-Nazis in Charlottesville and Trump points out that the anti-Nazis did not have a permit to assemble. A Muslim extremist drives into a crowd in Barcelona and Trump wants to not only execute them in this life, but deny their souls for eternity.
On the plus side, no one is talking about North Korean nukes or Russians fixing the U.S. election.
For those of you too young to remember 37 years ago….This clip from the Blues Brothers comedy movie will seem incredibly prophetic give the recent incident at a Nazi rally in the US.
Only now it is the Nazis driving through the crowd!