According to a report by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Jason Kessler, the organizer behind the “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent was a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement and an Obama supporter.
SPLC writes, “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.”
Right Wing News also notes Kessler’s left-wing background, reporting that he accepted a $1,300 consulting fee from a Democratic candidate running for the Senate in 2012. According to Right Wing News, Kessler is also pro-abortion and an environmentalist. WND observes that he was also pro-gun control and supported President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and other leftist causes, as evidenced by 2012 and 2013 tweets from Kessler. One of his tweets even compared Republicans to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
A January 26, 2012 tweet by Kessler posted by Nation One News stated: “Republicans in #cnndebate are grotesquely mesmerizing as an interview w/ a serial killer. @ least Dahmer couldnt wage war or starve poor ppl.”
This is no small revelation by any means. The Occupy Wall Street movement was a radical Marxist movement that has paved the way for a self-avowed socialist such as Bernie Sanders to be taken seriously as a presidential contender. It normalized Marxism so that Marxist terminology has made its way into mainstream political conversation and is arguably the roots of the rabid "social justice" movement we see today.
Some are now pointing to this revelation as evidence that Kessler is perhaps a “plant” and that his efforts have been part of a greater plan to “pit Americans against each other.”
If that is true, then Kessler has been highly successful as his Unite the Right event protest turned violent when members of the protest clashed with Antifa counter-protesters, ultimately resulting in the death of a 32-year-old woman.
In addition to creating further animosity amongst Americans, the events in Charlottesville have prompted members of the Left to call for a further erosion of individual liberties. Black Live Matter founder Patrisse Cullors is now using the events to underscore her belief that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the free speech of white supremacists. Of course, this is untrue, as there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment. In fact, if the First Amendment protected only speech that was deemed acceptable, what would be the point of the amendment?
MSNBC's Katy Tur attempted to compare the speech and actions of the white supremacists to those of members of the BLM movement and claimed that while white nationalists are “fighting to take away people’s rights,” the BLM movement is “fighting for equality.”
This is the problem with the notion of a “hate speech” exception. It rests heavily on perception and subjectivism. There are many people who would disagree with Tur that BLM is simply a movement that is fighting for equality. Like Occupy Wall Street, BLM is a Marxist movement that advocates for radical social justice initiatives that mark a complete break from the U.S. Constitution. Much of the speech that has come out of the Black Lives Matter movement has been perceived as hate speech by the organization’s critics. People in the BLM movement have openly advocated for killing police officers, as well as white people in general. The fact that the mainstream media has chosen to focus on just the racism within the white supremacist groups and not that of BLM or Antifa further underscores its bias.
In addition to critics now advocating for white supremacists to lose their First Amendment rights, a Twitter account is now outing Charlottesville protesters. Twitter users are then advocating for the individuals exposed to either lose their jobs or to be expelled from their universities simply because they were one of the protesters, even if they were not the ones engaged in violent behavior. This behavior — applauded by Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence — sets a dangerous precedent.
So indeed, if Kessler is a plant, he has been effective. But if he is genuine in his alt-right agenda, however, it certainly disproves what the mainstream media has been contending about the alt-right movement: that it is some sort of offshoot of conservatism and that the alt-right and the Right are interchangeable.
Conservatives have made every effort to differentiate themselves from the alt-right movement. Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, observed at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, “There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way into our ranks. We must not be duped. We must not be deceived…. They are nothing but garden-variety left-wing fascists.” Kessler is proof of this.
Kessler has denied that he is a “secret liberal” following the SPLC report. He has also previously admitted on Twitter to being a liberal who was "red pilled" — meaning brought back to reality — after he saw how the media was instigating the riots in Baltimore. But according to Nation One News, an advanced search of his tweets showed just one in which he blamed NPR for instigating the Baltimore riots, and it was sent one month after his alleged change of heart.
Image of Charlottesville protest: Screenshot from CBS report on YouTube