Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s coverage of the violence in Charlottesville and its political aftermath, including President Trump’s hotly disputed comments, stirred responses from our audience. Here is a sampling. Write us: email@example.com—Ken McIntyre
Throughout and beyond Donald Trump’s election, we have witnessed unacknowledged left-wing, violent protests against the invented “fascism” and “white supremacy” of Trump—both utter distortions meant to color Trump as a racist as well as Hitler-like (“1 Dead, 9 Seriously Injured as Car Slams Into Pedestrians at White Nationalist Rally“).
Fascism, anyone? The left protests with violence against ideas they regard as a physical assault. Huh? So speech equals physical attack? And shutting down speech is fascism. So who, really, is a fascist?
Has any major figure on the left come out to denounce Black Lives Matter or Antifa? Black Lives Matter was a movement pretty much created by Obama, and is as racist as you can be. Black lives matter? OK, so do other colors. But do you see them forming ridiculous hate groups like warring tribes?
If black lives matter so much, why don’t they do something about saving them? Where don’t they matter? I guess in the inner city, where they kill each other. So who don’t they matter to? It’s not whites or Asians killing them.
Sure, Trump has had a big mouth, especially during his campaign. And if the neo-Nazis or KKK are his supporters, he should denounce them without hesitation, just the way President Obama denounced the Black Panthers. Oh, wait, I forgot, he didn’t do that.
And was big ignorant Don saying anything about that? Certainly not, since he’s only inclined to say dumb things about those whose ideas he doesn’t seem to comprehend.—Brad Gillespie
Let’s hear it for those white nationalists mowing down pedestrians and causing death to innocent victims. The scum has always been there, but now they have been emboldened by one of their own being elected president.
Trump tweets: “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!”
But he has done nothing but insult, lie, and divide for his entire life. He preached violence in his campaign.—Don Smith
When I was very young, my father taught me that the bite of a rattlesnake could be deadly (“Justice Department Opens Civil Rights Probe of Violence in Charlottesville“). He told me to never antagonize a rattler, as it would strike back if provoked.
This is a lesson that the racist Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the rest of the groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, should have been taught. Just like a rattler, the neo-Nazis, KKK, and their followers struck back after being provoked.
The protesters and counterprotesters both came looking for a fight. They all brought weapons. Both sides are equally guilty in this mess and especially the Virginia governor and Charlottesville mayor along with the lamestream media.—Alan Brandenburg
Arrest those on both sides who caused violence, and provide the public with their names and addresses. Include who paid for their violent involvement. The Antifa participants should not be allowed to hide behind the Democrats’ BS.—Tony Curran
After watching these confrontations on TV, I was struck by the complete lack of law enforcement. Almost as if those in charge of the city wanted a confrontation to occur, for whatever reason. As despicable as white nationalists are, I never once heard the media mention the communist anarchists Antifa.—Don Oates
There were no problems until liberals entered the demonstration. They and the young woman who got killed were there to try to prevent the white supremacists from exercising their First Amendment rights as guaranteed by our Constitution. Did the Justice Department ever investigate Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter groups?—Albert Guzicki
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 12, 2017
There definitely were problems before the counterdemonstrators arrived. If you do not see the neo-Nazi movement as a problem, then you are showing very poor judgment. There is no moral parity here. White supremacists, the KKK, and every form of racist behavior is evil and without excuse.
The leftists have been accusing all conservatives of being in league with and sympathetic to white supremacist ideals. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is not a political issue, it is a moral and legal one and should be handled accordingly.—Bill Tanksley
My life experience tells me that when a large-scale altercation breaks out, like the one in Charlottesville, it takes two to tango. That means that the Nazis were on one side and someone else was on the other.
That other group was Antifa, a violent, ultra-left group of thugs that pals around with Black Lives Matter. Were these people just peacefully counterprotesting and were then set upon by the Nazi thugs?
The Nazis/white supremacists applied for and received a permit from the city to hold their rally in a park, and were quietly holding their demonstration when Antifa and BLM showed up. I wonder who came to fight?
Both groups, ultimately, were involved. So, why is all I’m seeing in the media, and even from some Republican politicians, is condemnation of the actions of just one of the two groups involved?—Stephen Smith
Racism works on both sides, extreme right and extreme left. Why aren’t these Black Lives Matter and black-clothed violent protesters of the left, who have caused such mayhem, considered racists and terrorists as well? I hold with neither, but it should be brought out that both sides are racist and violent and unacceptable.—Tonie Lesia Dalton
The whole mess could have been avoided if everyone had merely ignored the original marchers. So what, a small group of neo-Nazis wanted to parade down the street. Look the other way.—Michael Pierce
Darn. President Trump is wrong if he says something and wrong if he doesn’t. At least he does not jump to conclusions, like our former so-called leader.—Cheryl Detar
There is just something too pat about this. It is almost made to order. Both sides are really leftist when you examine them. “Neo-Nazi,” for example. In Germany, Nazis were the National Socialists, and as such were allied with Marxism.
Black Lives Matter and other such “rent-a-mob” groups also are leftist Marxist groups. What better way for George Soros, and his like-minded allies bent on the destruction of the United States, to keep the division going than this?
The essence of the First Amendment is that it protects speech, especially political speech, which you may disagree with and not want to hear. In today’s society, the movement is to stamp out any speech and anyone with whom the left disagrees. Of course, that leaves them in total control of thought and lives—their goal.
I sincerely hope the Justice Department thoroughly investigates. I hope they find out just who was behind each side. They may find that both sides were funded and motivated by the same entity.
I also would remind the left and Democrats in general of your past history, which seems to be repeating itself. We had a Civil War because you would not accept the duly elected president, Republican Abraham Lincoln in 1860, and resisted the dissolution of slavery.
You have managed to put the black population back on plantations of the inner cities, the projects, and destroyed the black family through welfare and drugs. As usual, you seek to blame those who object to your aims.
Public Law 810, approved by Congress on Feb. 26, 1929, directed the War Department to erect headstones and recognize Confederate grave sites as U.S. grave sites. By an act of Congress, approved May 23, 1958, Confederate soldiers, sailors, and marines in the Civil War were made U.S. veterans (Public Law 85-425 Sec. 410).
Under these two U.S. laws, when you remove a Confederate statue, monument, or headstone, you are removing the marker of a U.S. veteran. Mob rule, rather than the rule of law, is accurate.
Removing statues to men who were Confederates is wrong. You cannot erase your history by demonizing them and seeking to put the blame on the Republicans.—Joan Gibson
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 13, 2017
Your story reports: “Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer, a Democrat, appeared to blame Trump for the violence in his city.”
And yet the mayor’s Police Department didn’t keep the protesters separated, allowing the agitators to close and physically engage the white supremacists. Trump is absolutely correct: There is blame here on both sides, with the left intending to incite, once again, violence at a rally they intended to suppress by any means necessary.
The mayor, his minions, and the first aggressors are the proximate cause of this incident evolving into a homicide. Let’s be honest here: Antifa is a much larger terrorist and hate group than these wanna-be Nazis.
The left in is intent on fomenting violence at every turn and every opportunity, to break down American government and create anarchy. They hope to create an American revolution, similar to the Russian revolutions of 1917 thru 1920—ushering in a Marxist-Leninist prelude to their desired one-government New World Order.
The incident in Virginia was, in fact, Nazis against fascists. How ironic is that? Two leftists forms of lunacy clashing.—George Dean
Black Lives Matter and Antifa have the right to protest the protesters peacefully, but not the right to become violent. The media is hypocritical by condemning the protesters but not the anti-protesters who started the violence. They should be arrested and prosecuted, just as the man accused of driving into the crowd was.
Every American has the right to speak, no matter how hateful that speech is. That right ends when you revert to violence. Ultimately, the Charlottesville mayor should be held responsible because if he prepared for the protests as he should have, no one would have been physically harmed and the only thing hurt would be feelings.—Barbara Paolucci
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 13, 2017
Regarding Sen. Ted Cruz’s commentary: As I despise racism, period, from anyone, I have yet to hear these words uttered when Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, the Black Panthers, Antifa, or any other racist, bigoted left group blocks roads, loots businesses, and administers their hate (“White Supremacists Will Not Tear America Apart”).
Either is terribly wrong and due to the recent eight years of hate hailed by our previous administration, which catapulted Trump’s campaign, this all has to stop. Yes, everyone has First Amendment rights. However, when your freedom incites unrest, you should be held accountable.
Treat all people as equal. Then we will start healing. But it won’t happen until then. Just a fact.—Fritz Barowsky
And where was Ted Cruz when Antifa was doing all of the rioting, burning, looting, and pillaging in an effort to kill free speech? Where were any of the politicians? Oh, I forgot that a number of Democrats actually came out and embraced Antifa’s destructive actions, right along with our Pravda West propaganda media.—Michael Winkler
I agree with Senator Cruz’s words. However, I want to know why he didn’t come out and speak the same truths against the Black Lives Matter people or the so-called Antifa fascists. Violence is violence, period. Hate is hate, period. There should be none of this allowed in our country from either side.—Jasl Bird
Here’s, to paraphrase Al Gore, an inconvenient fact: Racism isn’t a one-way street. Certainly in the history of this country, it was predominantly racist attitudes by some whites against anyone with a different skin tone. To label an entire group, whites, as racist is racist in itself.
At Charlottesville, I saw people of different races taunting and threatening each other. It wasn’t just whites. If people can’t admit that was the case, any discourse would be futile. Let’s just grab our weapon of choice and have it out in the town square. That would be the uncivilized thing to do, don’t you think?—Suezue Bartlett
Sad and deeply disappointing. I am not sure that we are big enough to overcome this; I fear that we are approaching the tipping point for civil war. Each side hates those on the other, and those of us in the middle know we stand in the way of harm aimed at others, so we will be forced to pick the lesser of evils. I consider this as threatening, or even more so, as North Korea.—Thomas K. Pedersen
Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but this country has already been divided in more ways than one can imagine. You really only need to open your eyes to see it all. It comes down to one thing: We are too much into ourselves. We forget that in reality we are human first before we are our race or our wealth.
We want things our way, and no other way will work. Even our government officials cannot compromise. Rich, poor, middle class, black, white, brown, etc., we allow this to control who we are. We need to learn from our babies. If you put a bunch of babies together, they could care less about any of that, but they do need to learn to play together and not fight over a toy.
That’s where the adults come in and teach. But we not only teach them to play nice; as they get older we teach them race and wealth matter more than our playing together. Our ancestors did it, so we do it. We are to blame for our divisions.—Joe A. Elizand
Regarding President Trump’s formal remarks: White supremacists are vile (“White Supremacist Violence Has No Place in America”). But first off, I’m not sure all the protesters were white supremacists. I agree that the Confederate statues should stay, as well.
Second, leftist paid agitators are just as vile, even more so because they instigated the violence. They, along with the white supremacists are the scum of the earth. Third, the media are ignoring the parts the ACLU (which sued to have the counterprotesters be able to occupy the same space as the protesters, and won) and the inept police (who didn’t keep the two groups separate) played in this fiasco. The media are totally in bed with and enabling the paid leftists.—Ira Ravitz
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) August 14, 2017
In response to Jarrett Stepman’s commentary, I am not much about monuments of any regard; nonetheless, we are not seeing what Lincoln envisioned in reconciliation (“I Went to Charlottesville. Here’s What I Saw”). Now maybe they will strike down the bricks from the buildings of Washington and Lee University next, and then take a wrecking ball to the Lincoln Memorial.—Richard D. Smith
What a load of horses—. Why is it so hard for some people to unequivocally condemn the white nationalists that are the cause of everything that happened in Charlottesville? Why do they equivocate and try to diffuse the blame? This one is on the white nationalists.—Pete Siete Uno
Instead of understanding that America is a never-ending experiment that improves upon itself because of its failures, it is believed we should erase all our failures and be a house without a foundation. That house cannot stand and will fall.—Shane Todd
Jarrett Stepman’s article was well written. My complaint is that groups want to forget history. Abolishing flags and statues will not do this. What is next? Removing the USS Arizona from Pearl Harbor, as if this did not take place? The left will do anything to control the message to their slant. None of the groups involved is mainstream and most are either paid anarchists or are just misled idiots.—Larry Vowell
A few years ago I visited Germany and toured Eagles Nest, which was Hitler’s home in the Alps where it’s believed his war was planned. I visited a concentration camp in Munich and saw the history of that place.
After World War II ended, Britain was readying to blow up Eagles Nest. At the last minute, they were convinced not to, as its history was important to learn from. Additionally, the Germans were forbidden to remove the concentration camps. I’m grateful for cooler heads so we have that history today.
Throughout Europe are statues, paintings, and palaces of people who were brutal tyrants and committed terrible acts. Throughout the Middle East and Egypt are statues of rulers and pagan gods where slave labor was likely used to create them, and where humans were sacrificed to them. How terrible it would be to remove all those statues and paintings throughout Asia and Europe.
In fact, al-Qaeda and ISIS have been doing just that. Hopefully we can be smarter.—David Norton
What’s going to happen when these ignorant leftists come to find out that most of the black slaves were bought and sold before there ever was a Confederate flag? Bought and sold with the American flag flying in the wind.
Where does it stop: the White House, the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, the Washington Monument? Wall Street was specifically designated as the place for the slave market in New York. What’s the left gonna do, blow up Wall Street? It’s a sad day for America when politicians allow idiots to try to erase our history.—Kevin Jean
Perhaps these statuary and notices of the Confederacy should be relegated to private lands and buildings for preservation by those treasuring them. Public notices might focus on plaques that inform of the sites of important engagements and their significance, only without including statuary. Statuary of military and civil leaders, particularly Confederate leaders, are not themselves historical except in the sense that they preserve something of the defiance that remained in many quarters of the South in the wake of Confederate defeat.—Thomas G. Johnson
This quote in Stepman’s commentary says it all: “A local gas station attendant told my wife: ‘These people from out of town, Nazis, [Black Lives Matter], they’re all hate groups to me.’” Which is exactly what those left of common sense do not want to hear. Both sides are hate groups.
President Trump pointed this out and was royally dissed for it. He was dissed to the point of having to spend Sunday and Monday explaining what he meant by “all.” Trump’s decision to cave to the mainstream media and backpedal on his original comments did not sit well with me.—Margie Miller-Anglen
The violence in Charlottesville was tragic but should not come as a surprise. Antifa has been on a violent path since President Trump’s inauguration. White supremacy is vile in my opinion, but the First Amendment protects their right to free speech just as it protects the right of Antifa. But violence is not free speech.
The police are charged with the duty of keeping law and order. They are given that authority by us and to ensure that authority, they carry a badge and a gun. The police should not stand back and watch. There should have been mass arrests and that should have started long before the mowing down of people marching. It should have started on Inauguration Day.
I am a Trump supporter, but on this, the administration has failed. Trump ran on a platform of law and order. Yet, as far as I can tell, he has not gone beyond using words to address these situations. Appealing to stupid people on the far left and right doesn’t cut it. They only listen to themselves anyway. Put them in jail for a year, you have a shot at getting their attention.
News media reporting one-sided stories also need to be held accountable. Government whose primary purpose is to keep its citizens safe needs to be held accountable. And we the people will be held accountable by future generations for protecting the rights of future Americans and their children by our success or failure at preserving the guiding principles that make this country unique and great.—Nathan Bannister
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 15, 2017
Anyone notice that since we have had 24-hour newscasts we have become more and more divided? Hate groups are given three, four, five days of attention. Friends against friends on social media. Maybe we need to turn off our televisions and smartphones and talk to our neighbors and friends.—Les Jordan
Jarrett Stepman sums up pretty well what’s in the making for the near future of America (“I Went to Charlottesville. Here’s What I Saw”). And he has a valid point when he mentions that the downing of statues is a direct taunting of some elements of the populace. The past is there to stay and not to be rewritten as some are trying to do.
The internal war has started, with the divisive campaign where those who lost the election didn’t respect the verdict of the nation. Why would those who respected the verdict in 2008 and 2012 welcome the abuse thrown at them by the losers of the 2016 election?
As Stepman writes: “In a country of 320 million people of stunningly diverse ethnic backgrounds and philosophies, this is a fire bell in the night for complete cultural disintegration. The end result will be uglier than the already sickening events that took place this weekend.” I second the observation.—Peter Riden
It can be argued that this country returned to a form of normality only because of men like Gen. Robert E. Lee, who put aside division after the Civil War and convinced his compatriots that they should do the same. Aside from that fact, tearing down memorials is tantamount to book burning. We cannot improve on history if we choose to ignore it.
We are also a country that protects the minority against the tyranny of the majority. There may be only a handful of people who revere some aspect of Confederate history, but that reverence should be protected, not torn down.
Many are going out of their way today to protect members of the very small LGBT community. Ironically, these are the same people who are going out of their way to deny Confederate history. Why is one worthy of protection and the other not?
This is why a pure democracy is a dangerous thing. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. It is subject to the whims of the moment. For this reason, our wise framers created a constitutional republic with the hope that its checks and balances would keep us in balance. We were able to advance the country as long as we held to our founding principles, but we saw them slowly erode starting about 1916, when the so-called progressives took full command (from Woodrow Wilson on down).
If the United States of America is to survive, we must get back to adherence to our constitutional principles. Otherwise, well, there can be no otherwise.—Ken Marx
"Tribal and identity politics are raging out of control in America." ttp://bit.ly/2v21vBj pic.twitter.com/n6udfrAg8A
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 16, 2017
Regarding Jarrett Stepman’s commentary: Why not raise funds to erect a statue of Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, or Frederick Douglass in a public square in Durham, North Carolina (“Mob Rule Prevails in Durham Toppling of Confederate Statue”)? Why not do something positive instead of destructive? How does destruction of public or private property help anyone’s cause?
History is history, there is no changing what happened. Why are we being told to be on the “right side” of history? No one in their right mind supports slavery. There is no need to re-fight the Civil War. Didn’t enough Americans die in it?
A conservative speaker gets invited to speak on a college campus and that is supposed to justify rioting in the streets, smashing store windows, looting, setting people’s cars on fire, and fighting with police who are trying to restore order and stop illegal activities. This is supposed to convince rational people to accept the point of view of these rioters?—Jerry Zacny
So, I guess if you want to commit multiple felonies without being bothered by the police, you just have to go to Durham.—David Verrinder
The local police allowed this to happen by watching the destruction in Durham. I guess if some college kid was drunk and urinated on the statue, he would have been arrested. All this is happening because the left is trying to rewrite history.—William Abbate
Keep playing identity politics, keep self-segregating ideas and cultures. Then take a look at pictures from Mao’s cultural revolution in China, and look at Charlottesville and Durham. They are the same. The mainstream media is 100 percent in bed with the radical left and sees no crime. Divide and conquer. Think not? Then watch our democracy crumble.—Al Korzen
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) August 18, 2017
Regarding Katrina Trinko’s commentary: Can you imagine the uproar if there were a group just like the Southern Poverty Law Center that targeted only liberals, progressives, and assorted communist-backed organizations (“In Misguided Response to Charlottesville, Apple Donates to Liberal Group That Endangers Conservatives”)?
The media would be up in arms. There would be arrests and congressional investigations and heads would roll over it. But since the Southern Poverty Law Center targets only conservatives and especially Republicans, nothing bad is ever said about it. Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat.—Bob Terrell
Just like legislators need to evaluate with promoting freedom and personal responsibility as the main criteria, doing good for people who need help, not mind-shaping, should be the basis of altruistic efforts. Literacy and job skills are the true lifters of society. You would think Apple would be able to identify what brought their success and want to distribute it.—Michael Watson
Wow, how dare there exist in this nation a group that is against racism? The Daily Signal says that is a threat to conservatives. Hmm, so The Daily Signal and conservatives embrace the right to disrespect minorities and their civil rights that could be a threat to them.—Audrey Fisher
Apple CEO Tim Cook has shown that he is an unrepenting liberal extremist from the day he assumed the top position. I am considering not replacing my iPhone with another Apple product.—Herrmann Glockler
If you’re smart enough to run Apple, you should be smart enough to know that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a leftist, treasonous clique.—Jim Noonan
Hmmm, blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center for the shooting at Republican lawmakers’ baseball practice because he “liked” SPLC is a real stretch, and because a gunman found the name of a conservative group [the Family Research Council] indirectly by viewing the SPLC website doesn’t quite rise to the level of causation.
The SPLC can be criticized for wrongly labeling two conservative groups as “hate” groups, but to blame them for the actions of two deranged individuals is just plain wrong. I understand that you’re certainly not fans of SPLC, but to blame them for others’ violent actions is going too far.—Mark Fleckenstein
With that $1 million it gave SPLC, Apple could help American graduates pay their private student loans. This would be a better decision.—Marleny Rubio
— Rob Bluey (@RobertBluey) August 18, 2017
The Antifa fascists are simply mirror images of Nazi extremists on the “other” side (“Far-Left Antifa Agitators on the Rise in the Age of Trump”). Both are somewhat like a dog attacking himself in a mirror.
The only difference between those two groups of extremists (or any other violent, anarchic extremists) is ideology, as both are driven by hate, willful ignorance, bigotry, victimology, extreme polarization, etc., openly reflecting a profoundly diseased intellectual and moral state of being.
And neither group occupies the moral high ground, though they like to think that of themselves. They are actually among the worst among us.
So both extreme, highly polarized ends are just being used and played against the middle in an attempt to polarize or stampede the vast majority in the middle to one extreme or the other, in the process undermining or destroying the stability, decency, freedom, and order of our society. Sounds like the work of a master manipulator known as the evil one, using his willing human accomplices.
Probably the Russian government could not be happier with Antifa vs. Nazis, or anything else that weakens or at least distracts America and Americans.—Doug Wallace
If they traveled from Mars to fight American white supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK in Charlottesville, I’m OK with that. Trying to fix blame on “violent” resisters whether they lean left, right, liberal, conservative, libertarian, or Christian is really dumb. There is no defense possible considering human history. Please put aside fake news and religious dogma that comforts you. This is serious stuff for serious people.—John Kominitsky
CNN loves Antifa. Although they have been causing havoc all over the country, CNN never even uttered the word Antifa until they had to—and then, only to defend them. Disgusting fake news is fooling too many people and they are the biggest threat right now.—Joanne Bailey
Peacekeeping officers ought to keep the peace. Free association and peaceable assembly is destroyed by these groups.—Mary De Voe
These groups, Antifa included, are hellbent on the destruction of the USA. Don’t leave out Black Lives Matter either. They should be declared domestic terrorists and a bounty put on their heads. They’re a continuation of the Obama regime and have many aiders and abettors from the mainstream media, Democrats, and do-nothing Republicans.—Pete Julian
I don’t entirely get why the media, including this article, mislabels left and right. Left means more government control, right less. So if you’re a communist, you’re far left, leaving room for only despots and dictators to your left (which is really what most communist countries are run by).
And if you’re an anarchist, there is no room to the right. Nazis routinely are labeled as far right, but in reality they’re far left, unless you honestly think the likes of Hitler didn’t control every facet of government. But the media and political revisionists have succeeded in redefining the label, equating violence with the right, when in fact it has been the left for the most part that embraces violence—from Mao to Lenin to Stalin to Hitler, and now to Antifa.—Paul Johnson