Friday, 08 September 2017

Confederate Defenders and Nazis Are Not the Same

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From the print edition of The New American

As one Confederate monument after another has come under attack — with several being vandalized or destroyed — by the communist “Antifa” crowd, anyone who comes forward, in any way, to defend either the monuments or the memories of the men they represent is labeled a Nazi. Left out of the reporting by mainstream media is the simple and salient fact that while the Antifa crowd is communist (for evidence of this, see article on page 25), only a very small subset of those opposed to Antifa (and their destruction of the Confederate monuments and memorials) is in any way connected to Nazi ideology.

Antifa — short for anti-fascist — is a movement made up of communists and those duped by communists. By labeling everyone who disagrees with their ideology as fascists, Antifa is able to promote communism with impunity. If — as this writer will demonstrate — the fascist label is a lie, the argument for communism falls apart.

The notion that anyone who supports the preservation of Confederate monuments is a Nazi racist is ludicrous. Admittedly, slavery was a major issue during the Civil War period, but so were tariffs and states’ rights. And the historical record is clear that Lincoln called up troops not to end slavery but to preserve the Union, and that Confederates such as Robert E. Lee (and others, including black Confederate soldiers) were fighting against what they viewed as an invasion of their homeland. Yet, exploiting historical ignorance, Antifa is implementing (for now) a twofold stratagem: First, Confederate heroes are branded racists and Nazis (though they lived decades before the advent of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party). Next, the presence of any monument to these men is used as “evidence” of a fascist and racist system, i.e., a Nazi system. (As the agitprop progresses, the attacks will increasingly be directed at non-Confederate heroes such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.)

Then, ostensibly spontaneous “protests” are staged demanding the removal of the monuments. In the midst of those choreographed riots, Antifa “protesters” — already equipped with tools of vandalism and destruction — damage or destroy monuments they deem offensive. Anyone who dares defend either the monuments or the memories of the men they represent is labeled a Nazi and attacked — verbally and sometimes physically.

Photo: AP Images

This article appears in the September 18, 2017, issue of The New American. To download the issue and continue reading this story, or to subscribe, click here.

The underlying narrative put forth by Antifa — that the Confederate memorials are racist symbols of racist men and that anyone who offers any defense of them is a racist and a Nazi — is false.

While it goes without saying that racism is wrong and that those who espouse racist ideas are unworthy of the attention they draw, that sword cuts both ways. When the Antifa crowd — made up largely of people who have been drinking deeply from the poisoned well of Marxist ideology, including actual card-carrying communists — uses race and racist tactics to further their agenda, they are guilty of rank hypocrisy. After all, claiming that all white people are guilty of racism is, itself, racist. When they use the tired, old tactics of violence and destruction in an ostensible effort to spread love and harmony before driving away in cars decorated with COEXIST bumper stickers, they show their true (red) colors.

But what of the claim that Confederate monuments are inherently racist and that those who would defend them are Nazis? Before we look at that question, let’s spend a few seconds looking at why that is such a successful tactic.

No respectable person wants to be associated with — much less accused of being — a Nazi. And no respectable person will go out of his way to defend a Nazi. So simply branding your ideological enemies as Nazis is — to a generation trained to respond emotionally instead of logically — both an indictment and a conviction. Proof is rarely demanded. And that is just as well, since — in this case, at least — no proof is given.

The mainstream media made much ado out of the presence of a bunch of white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally. But they overlooked a couple of very important points in reporting on Charlottesville. First, while reports make it appear that the Charlottesville rally was a gathering of white separatist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi, skinhead racists, that is far from the truth. Not only were there many people at the “Unite the Right” rally with no connection to the “white power” movement, but a large percentage of the people at the rally were simply there to protest what they saw as the destruction of American history, culture, and heritage.

But even if everyone at the rally had been part of the “white power” crowd, it would not stand to reason that the rally serves as evidence of a racist, Nazi nation. Because it would mean that the “white power” crowd spent months planning, organizing, and promoting their rally, applied for and received a permit, and used social media and other forms of mass communication to get the word out, and after months of promoting, managed to draw a crowd of  — according to the most generous reports — a few thousand.

Furthermore, Jason Kessler, one of the “Unite the Right” organizers, is not actually a Nazi; he is not even a white nationalist. He is a typical liberal pretending to be a Nazi in an effort to fan the flames of hatred. As The New American reported in an online article dated August 17, even the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was compelled to write, “Rumors abound on white nationalist forums that Kessler’s ideological pedigree before 2016 was less than pure and seem to point to involvement in the Occupy movement and past support for President Obama.” And Right Wing News reported on Kessler’s left-wing past, including the facts that he accepted a $1,300 consulting fee from a Democratic candidate running for the Senate in 2012 and is also pro-abortion and an environmentalist. Two things are certain, Kessler is not a Nazi, and he did not want to “Unite the Right.” His rally was a classic example of manipulation. And, sadly, it worked.

But is it true that everyone who defends or honors Confederate memorials is a Nazi? Not even close. In a YouGov poll asking opinions on removing the statue of General Robert E. Lee from Charlottes­ville, less than half of the blacks polled approve of removing it. And in Dallas, Texas, “A group of mostly African Americans has formed to push back on calls to remove confederate statues,” according to a report by the Washington Examiner. The report quotes former city council member Sandra Crenshaw — who is black — as saying, “I’m not intimidated by Robert E. Lee’s statue. I’m not intimidated by it. It doesn’t scare me.” Crenshaw added, “We don’t want America to think that all African Americans are supportive of this.” In St. Louis, Missouri, Peggy Hubbard — another black woman — appeared on a segment of KMOV News 4 to defend a Confederate statue in Forest Park. “I want it left alone,” she said, adding, “These were Americans. These were soldiers. They were veterans. And they have a right to be remembered like everybody else.” Any quick Internet search will show that these are far from the only black people who are supportive of Confederate memorials.  

Many people support keeping the memorials because of their historical value. Those men were, after all, historical figures who lived, fought, and died during a pivotal time in American history.  

No. Not everyone who supports Confederate memorials is a Nazi. But everyone who wants to tear down history is a danger to the future.

Photo: AP Images

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