I don't know what, exactly, the fuck is going on, but I see so many liberals trying to convince people not to counter-protest white supremacist rallies and instead to just stay home or ignore them. From Tina Fey, thin white feminist incarnate, telling people to literally stay home and eat cake (and other white feminists defending her by saying it was "just a joke" but that part seemed serious enough to me that it's going to convince a lot of people to stay home) to high-profile and highly intellectual experts saying that counter-protesting is exactly what neo-nazis and other white supremacists want us to do because somehow it gives them good press.
Like I get that liberals have long been the masters of "let's do nothing effective and just hope everything turns out great" but they are stepping up their game in the face of overwhelming evidence that counter-protesting and getting physical work.
Nazis cancel 67 rallies following counter-protests, retreat to internet safe spaces
ACT For America, the anti-Muslim hate group that had planned the rallies, told Breitbart that the decision was due to “extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad [that] have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas… ACT for America is deeply saddened that in today’s divisive climate, citizens cannot peacefully express their opinion without risk of physical harm from terror groups domestic and international.”
That’s another way of saying they were scared shitless when 40,000 people showed up to tell approximately 100 Nazi punks to fuck off. As Gizmodo noted, the RSVP lists for some of these events weren’t exactly blowing up — only two to three people had confirmed their attendance in areas like Baton Rouge and Washington, D.C. — and the success of any hate rally is predicated upon more than a few wienies cosplaying in their Civil War pajamas.
The only reason that white supremacists came out to march in the first place is because we'd made them feel safe enough to do so after decades of hiding under sheets and behind screens. Because liberals have been insisting for so many years that we need to tolerate everybody, even those who are the opposite of tolerant.
Tolerating nazis is how Germany was taken over by nazis in the first place. That's what they want again. You can even go look yourselves in their horrible forums where they're talking about how they need to tone down the overt nazism and put on a more friendly nationalist face to trick people into tolerating them again.
A member of an organization I've recently worked with just sent out a plea for people to read an article published on Yahoo (and yes that is meant to be a dis) by an assistant professor from the University of Washington that tells people that counter-protesting is what got the nazis into power in Germany in the 1930s. I'm no assistant professor, but that sounds pretty reductionist to me (at best) and also, the differences between that situation and ours are significant.
Yes, I can see how white supremacists and the right in general are trying to spin what happened in Charlottesville and the public reaction to it in their favor, but they do that with fucking everything. They're not reasonable people with morals and standards. No matter what we do, it's bad, and no matter what they do, it's good. What you can look to for guidance on your tactics is how the general public is responding in real time and how much nazis are running for their lives and crying. Literally.
I think we're on the right track. White supremacists are doing everything they can to try and convince people that their rallies are about free speech and that attacking them in any way, physical, peaceful, verbal, whatever, is attacking free speech. Which means we need to keep counter-protesting, shouting them down, and chasing them out of town. One associate professor does not overrule the people who have been on the ground, fighting and working and writing and studying anti-fascist tactics for years and seeing that the only thing that works is refusing to tolerate fascism anywhere it shows up.
I'm not surprised to see that the author of that article is white and wayyyyy too interested in Nazi Germany, to be honest. I don't trust anyone who works so hard to tell people to stop fighting fascists and white supremacists.