VICE’s Report on Charlottesville is Harrowing and Necessary

VICE’s Report on Charlottesville is Harrowing and Necessary

The Documentary Short on the Racially-Charged Violence in Virginia Last Week is Confronting as Hell, Which is Just As it Should Be

There hasn’t been anything on this site for a while about politics, Donald Trump or the chaos that erupted last week in Charlottesville, Virginia. That’s not due to a lack of concern or interest but rather a sense of deflation and, not to mention, redundancy. The staggering, horrific events at a white supremacist rally that led to the death of Heather Heyer have been reported from every possible angle at this point. That’s how it should be, of course, but it’s hard to find anything new to say about it, let alone not feel fatigued by this unceasing barrage of evil and hatred.

But now I’ve seen the mayhem and violence documented in this VICE News segment on the rally. I watched a mob of angry white men march and chant “Jews will not replace us!” I have heard Christopher Cantwell, a self-avowed white nationalist, rail against the “black arseholes” whose murders make national news and heard him say that he wants to be like Donald Trump, but “more racist.” I have seen this man maced, twice, and felt a perverse satisfaction.

I also watched the car that killed Heather plow into a group of protesters, with bodies flying everywhere. I saw a traumatised paramedic, staring off into the middle distance, as he talks about watching Heather die. I heard a young woman utter a blood-curdling scream after narrowly avoiding getting hit herself. And I heard Christopher Cantwell say that, “The fact that nobody on our side died, I’d call that points for us.”

So, now I have something to say. It’s not fresh, original or particularly cogent, but here it is: fuck these people. These trumped-up, literally inferior creatures who find their lives so dissatisfying that they need to┬áblame “Jewish communists and criminal niggers” for all their problems. They have no place in a modern (or even a primitive) world, and their views and actions cannot be equated with those who come out to protest them.

And, obviously, this is how I’ve felt for a long time, but VICE’s small video does something brutal but necessary: it confronts this evil face to face and, calmly but firmly, it makes you look straight at it. We owe it to those who suffered, the woman who lost her life and ourselves to watch, and try our best not to look away.

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