Letter to the Editor: Jesse Salomon responds

Thursday, August 17, 2017

To the Editor:

In reading the responses to the original letter on the issue of racist violence in Virginia last weekend and Trump's unwillingness to clearly condemn that racist violence I feel compelled to write again.

Some of the writers have condemned both sides and while not necessarily agreeing with Trump's sympathy for racists, have agreed with his comments that both sides are to blame.

While I understand some of the writers' stated desire to remain in the center I disagree with their notion of equivalency between far-left and far-right.

Some members of left wing movements have crossed red lines into property destruction and violence. Although I condemn those individual actors, they are a fringe within such movements. I highly doubt for example that the majority of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement would agree with those acts. My sense is BLM is a fairly loose knit organization dedicated to the notion that black lives have been taken less seriously than white lives. They however do not have a governing ideology or an organized intention to take over and govern. In stark contrast, the neo-Nazi movement at its core is about taking power and using violence to forcibly impose its agenda.

I hear the longing of these writers to find a center, an equilibrium and a stability in American politics. Part of me also longs for that. However we should only seek that center after agreeing to exclude and cut out of the body politic the notion that any neo-Nazi movement can be seen as equivalent to other movements of the left or the right.

I believe in freedom of speech. Even hate speech. That's why it's critical that we all participate in democracy and use our voices to condemn neo-Nazis and hold accountable political leaders who refuse to clearly disavow such views.

Jesse Salomon


Maggie Willson,  August 18, 2017 at 8:12 AM  

I see 2 separate issues - behavior and ideology:

1) behavior

Political violence is political violence. I don't care who does it, and one side is no better than the other. Antifa has been consistently and increasingly violent recently.

2) ideology

I think we can all agree that white supremacist ideology is disgusting. But what is the driving ideology behind antifa?

Here's a Washington Post article, which tries to excuse Antifa violence:


But it also sheds some light on antifa's ideology:

"Militant anti-fascist or 'antifa' (pronounced ANtifa) is a radical pan-leftist politics of social revolution applied to fighting the far right. Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville."

So we basically have nazism vs communism. I personally don't like either ideology. Both have been responsible for millions of deaths, and we shouldn't side with communists just because we think nazis are worse.

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