Looking back a year after Charlottesville

Published 9:57 pm Sunday, August 19, 2018

She blew past the stop sign at 64mph in a 30mph zone, and then blew at least twice the legal limit in Bluffton, South Carolina.  With drink and drugs in her system, it was a pretty easy case. Then she told the officer she should be released because “I’m a clean, thoroughbred, white girl.”

When the officer asked what she meant by that, she replied “You’re a cop; you should know what that means … you should know based on the people that come in this room.”

Rather than dismiss all charges, and escort her home with an apology for having pulled over a white person, she was treated like anyone else who would behave so dangerously.  I don’t think her race and gender will help her case in court any better. Think white people typically try to use race to get out of a jam?  The officer doesn’t agree. “Making statements such as these as a means to justify not being arrested are unusual in my experience as a law enforcement officer, and I believe further demonstrate the suspect’s level of intoxication,” the police officer noted in his report.

At the same time, another white woman was trying another plea for attention.  She was trying to attract TV viewers by saying extreme things, trying to top her media colleagues with this gem.

“In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” this commentator said. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.”  This TV pundit, Laura Ingraham, tried later to walk back her media comments, but didn’t apologize.

I’m glad she walked those comments back because they aren’t backed by the data on how Americans really think.  The “we” she refers to, in survey and after survey, accept and even embrace these changes.  

Only between 2 percent and 4 percent agree with the KKK, white nationalists,and white supremacist movement, with overwhelming numbers disagreeing, according to an NPR/PBS poll.  For the sake of comparison, the Black Lives Matter movement registers 50 percent of Americans agreeing with the group and only 33 percent disagreeing with them in this same NPR/PBS poll.  These numbers rejecting white supremacist views are confirmed by an ABC News/Washington Post survey.  All of this comes with evidence that pollsters find folks more willing to share their true beliefs in surveys. Extremists who oppose this America are shrinking as well, as peaceful counter-protesters vastly outnumber their little bunch, while turnout among white supremacists are few in number, an embarrassing handful from Newnan, Georgia to our nation’s capital.  That ain’t U.S.  What we learned in Charlottesville, Austin and among Neo-Nazi groups, however, is that there still will be extremists, angry enough to kill because they have fewer and fewer friends out there. 

There will still need to be vigilance on such domestic terrorists, just as we must watch out for al-Qaeda and ISIS, similarly weakened but dangerous as well with their leaderless resistance.