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What Happened at Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” Rally Last Year?

This is a VICE News interview with Christopher Cantwell, a speaker from the alt-right “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville protesting the removal of a Jim Crow era Confederate statue. The whole video is really worth watching–the chants of “blood and soil,” the tiki-torch-bearing white supremacists, all of it is truly unsettling.

Cantwell is a self-proclaimed fascist who by his own admission seeks to normalize racism as part of his long-term goal to create a pure Anglo ethno state free of African-Americans, Jews, and non-white immigrants. VICE News interviewed him after a neo-Nazi terrorist attending the rally drove his car intentionally into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

Please watch this interview, because this is going to get worse before it gets any better. I transcribed it below if you don’t want to watch the video.

The thing that we need to understand about fascism is that a key part of the definition is physical, violent suppression of the opposition. They see the use of force as another tool in the toolbox of getting what they want–in fact, it’s the only way to get what they want, since Cantwell is literally calling for the forced removal of all non-whites from his “ethno-state.”

Trump supporters marched shoulder-to-shoulder with white supremacists and Nazis whose goal is the forced mass removal of non-whites from the US.

Cantwell: “I’d say it was worth it. We knew we were gonna meet a lot of resistance. The fact that nobody on our side died, I’d go ahead and call that points for us. The fact that none of our people killed anybody unjustly, I think is a plus for us. And I think that we showed our rivals that we won’t be cowed.”

Vice: “Can you describe what the video appears to show?”

Cantwell: “The video appears to show someone striking that vehicle. When these animals attacked him again, and he saw no way to get away from them except to hit the gas. And sadly, because our rivals are a bunch of stupid animals who don’t pay attention, they couldn’t just get out of the way of this car. And some people got hurt, and that’s unfortunate.”

Vice: “So you think it was justified.”

Cantwell: “I think it was more than justified. I can’t believe–the amount of restraint our people showed out there, I think was astounding.”

Vice: “What do you think this means for the next alt-right protest?”

Cantwell: “Well, I think it’s gonna be tough to top, but we’re up for the challenge.”

Vice: “Wait, why? Tough to top? I mean, someone died.”

Cantwell: “I think that a lot more people are gonna die before we’re done here, frankly. People die every day, right?”

Vice: “But not like of a heart attack. I mean violent death.”

Cantwell: “People die violent deaths all the time. This is part of the reason we want an ethno-state, right? So, the blacks are killing each other in staggering numbers from coast to coast. We don’t really want to have a part of that anymore, and so the fact that they resist us when we say, hey we want our homeland, it’s not shocking to me. These people want violence, and the right is just meeting market demand.”

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When 20,000 American Nazis Descended Upon New York City

When 20,000 American Nazis Descended Upon New York City

On February 20, 1939, over 20,000 American Nazis gathered in Madison Square Garden for a “Pro-America Event.” At the same time, in Europe, Hitler was finishing construction on his sixth concentration camp. Seven months later, the Nazi army invaded Poland, triggering the bloodiest war in history.

“Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Americans, American patriots, I am sure I do not come before you tonight as a complete stranger. You have all heard of me through the Jewish-controlled press, as a creature with horns, a cloven hoof, and a long tail. We, with American ideals, demand that our government shall be returned to the American people who founded it. If you ask what we are actively fighting for under our charter, first a socially just, white, Gentile-ruled United States. Gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish Moscow-directed domination.”

(A protester interrupts the speech, is beaten, and hauled off stage by guards. The audience of American Nazis cheer as he is led away. Later, they give a Nazi salute while an orchestra plays the Star-Spangled Banner.)

I hope most people can all agree that Nazis were evil, if there is any definition of the word we can accept these days.

I’m watching American citizens from 1939, just before World War II, who were convinced that the Nazis were a force for good. And there could be nothing further from the truth. Yet they fully believed it. Why is that?

Look at them and listen to what they’re saying. Propaganda. Lies. Xenophobia, scapegoating, racism, it’s all there–it’s just wrapped up in the American flag. Jews were literally being mass-murdered by the Nazis at the moment this speech took place, while the orator opens by disparaging the Jewish press. Yet 20,000 Americans openly supported the Nazis in the middle of New York City. Why is that?

Can you imagine a Nazi rally 20,000 strong taking place in NYC today? And that was in 1939, when 20,000 was a much larger percentage of the population. It would be more like 50,000 people today. Why did so many people believe in what the Nazis said?!

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