Full disclosure: While I generally aim to keep my posts on VOTR relatively light on foul language, this article will be different. If you are offended by foul language and don't want to read some heartfelt but angry opinions, please look elsewhere.
In the last 12 hours, I have made several attempts to begin writing about the ongoing events in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have opened up this web site and tried to put into words how I feel about the torchlight marches, the armed men overtaking a peaceful college town, the Nazi iconography brazenly displayed on American soil, and the terrorist attack that ended with one woman dead and dozens more wounded.
Every time before now, I have failed. I think I have struggled because it's my nature as a writer and a person to try and see both sides of an issue. While I don't always succeed, I make an honest effort every time I write to present my point of view in a way that doesn't diminish those who may not agree with me.
I'm sorry, but I am completely fucking incapable of doing that right now.
In the last 24 hours, I have seen hundreds of white Americans reenact some of the darkest moments of our nation's history as they marched by torchlight to demonstrate the superiority of their race.
I have seen those same people marching through the streets in broad daylight, carrying flags that represent hatred and bigotry.
I have seen them chant "Blood and soil," a phrase originally adopted by the Nazis in pre-war Germany.
There were also recorded chants of "Jews will not replace us," "fuck you faggots," and a reference from a marcher on Fox News to the "fucking Jew lovers."
In the most horrifying sight of the day, I saw a car driven by a white Republican plow into a crowd of peaceful counter-protestors in what the local police said was a premeditated attack.
In a year filled with horrible lows in the history of our country, Charlottesville has shown us that we had not yet hit rock bottom.
So why is this happening? How is it that we are living in a country where literal Nazis and the KKK feel comfortable walking the streets spewing their vile filth for all to see?
The sad fact is that we have always been that country.
We have always been the country where white "militia men" can carry assault rifles through a peaceful Virginia town with impunity while a 12-year old black kid with a replica gun is murdered by police.
We have always been the country to claim that the majority is being persecuted while legislators have actively tried to undermine the voting power of minority groups.
We have always been the country to say, "well if only those oppressed minority groups would protest peacefully we would be fine with it," and then blackball a professional athlete because he dared to offend our delicate sensibilities by protesting peacefully during our football games!
We have always been the country to call a 39-year old white man a "kid" to excuse his potentially criminal behavior while an 18-year old who was shot by police is described as "Hulk Hogan" and "a demon."
The sad truth about America is that we have always been that country, at least in some part. Racism, oppression, and bigotry is woven into our national fabric, and anyone who claims otherwise is either deluded or isn't paying attention.
And yet it never felt like this before, at least not in my lifetime. So what happened? How did we get here, with literal Nazis marching in the streets in fucking 2017?
Well, a black guy became president. Twice. And he was damn good at his job.
Is that an oversimplification? Maybe, but I honestly don't think so. If you asked me to point to one event that drove these alt-right shitheads into the light, it was the election of Barack Obama. Obama, a black man, married to a confident black woman and with two beautiful black daughters, came into the White House and proved to be a capable leader and a successful president.
And these racist whack jobs just couldn't take it. They were so fucking cucked (to borrow one of their favorite terms) by the fact that this guy had the nerve to win the highest office in the land and, on top of that, to be a relatively successful and popular leader for eight full years, that they had to stop beating their sister-wives, march down to the nearest Walmart to pick up tiki torches on discount, and work to elect the single most deplorable president this country has seen since Andrew Jackson.
Oh yes, it's time to talk about this mother fucker.
Donald Trump is not the root cause of the racism and bigotry we are seeing on full display in the US today, but he is the primary symptom of the disease. And before I go any further, I want to address the first claim that I'm sure any Trump supporters reading this will make: this rally wasn't about Trump!
Donald Trump may not have flown those people to the rally and he may not have touched base with David Duke personally ahead of time, but make no mistake: Trump's presidency has empowered every single one of these racists and allowed them to feel that their views are legitimate and have a place in our society.
So what does Mango Mussolini do when an American city descends into chaos? He waits. He says nothing. The guy who can't go a day without attacking his political opponents, or his own attorney general, or his party's majority leader, or countless journalists, suddenly forgets his Twitter login when Nazis go on the rampage mere hours from the capitol.
Finally, and only after one of the citizens he is ostensibly responsible for protecting is literally murdered by a cowardly terrorist, does he speak out. First on Twitter, where he says the ongoing insanity is "sad." Then he finally takes a break from his umpteenth golf outing to get in front of the cameras and make a statement. And in that statement, he did absolutely nothing.
Sure, he made some generic statements about coming together and ending violence "on many sides." But you know what he didn't do? He didn't fucking condemn the white supremacists! He had the perfect opportunity to actually act like a president for the first time in his clusterfuck of a term, and instead he walked away from the podium as journalists yelled after him to ask if he was really going to end this sham of a conference without actually naming and condemning the fucking Nazi terrorists killing American citizens.
And you know who was overjoyed with that? Surprise! The fucking Nazis.
Think about that for a minute. Donald Trump is the guy who lambasted Barack Obama again and again for refusing to use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism." He said repeatedly that, if you don't name your enemy, you can't defeat it. And he runs from the podium the day of a literal Nazi terror attack on American soil without saying the phrases "white nationalism" or "alt-right" or even making the slightest reference to the actual perpetrators of the violence. He's either a coward or he's complicit. There is no third option.
I'm sorry, Donald Trump, but this is not a "many sides" issue. This isn't a political debate between parties with opposing viewpoints. This is an issue with one side: the side standing against the white supremacists terrorizing innocent Americans. If you are not on that side, then you are standing with the Nazis, the Klansmen, and their disgusting ilk. After today, we know where the president stands, and it is not with the majority of Americans.
And after today, if you still consider yourself a Trump supporter, you should do some serious soul searching and see where it is you stand.