Opinion: The Unite the Right judgment sends an urgent message

The defendants were found responsible for the state conspiracy and other claims, though the jury said it could not reach a verdict on two federal conspiracy claims. Still, it’s a good day when some of the worst people in the country are held accountable and beaten with potentially crippling economic sanctions.

The threat is far from over. But even if the defendants do not bring the millions that the jury judged them to, or the damages are reduced by the court, the trial and its outcome sent a signal that in America, after all, there will be responsibility for the terrible summer days, a message that has been far too sparse since political violence began to increase in the last few years.

The money may never come, and the ideology does not disappear. But this ordeal should achieve at least two important goals. First, it should make others who are planning to make such a cheeky public display of the horrible views think about it.

Second, it clearly and indisputably states that what happened in Charlottesville in 2017, a landmark moment in American history, is a violation of the country’s values, which broadens Americans’ understanding of the violent threat of right-wing extremism, by making it clear what violence in Charlottesville was all about.

This event was not the first right-wing extremist attack in the United States, but it opened the gates further and in a new way for manifestations of armed political radicalism, a threat that has been grows and accelerates, culminating in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, a coup attempt in my opinion.
The events of Charlottesville on August 11 and 12, 2017, have burned in the minds of many Americans. It was the first year of a presidency that had thrilled right-wing extremists. The march through the University of Virginia area looked and sounded like something out of 1930s Nazi Germany, with tiki torches and shouts of “Jews will not replace us,” “Blood and Earth,” and stiff-armed Nazi salutes.

The moment seemed to confirm our worst fears. The day after this backbone-cooling march, violent clashes between racists and anti-racists became fatal when one of the defendants drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring several of the people who now became plaintiffs in this trial.

After the Unite the Right rally, the Americans – and the rest of the world – heard the former president speak out of both mouths and fight to criticize the extremists among his supporters. the joy of the neo-Nazis. He finally managed to condemn them, but not without declaring that there were “some very nice people on both sides.”
During the trial, jurors came face to face with the disgusting views of the defendants. These views are protected by the first amendment, but the Constitution does not allow for violence or conspiracy. “This is going to be a fierce summer,” wrote a text message to the once far-right icon Richard Spencer two months before the demonstration. (Spencer has said the trial has been “economically crippling. “) On a bulletin board to the right, a man calls himself”JEW HUNTER, “Jewish hunter in German, wrote, “we’re going to see some serious fights at cville and we’ll see blood on some of these white polos lol.”
This is the best strategy we have against extremism and misinformation
In these cases, some of the defendants spoke admiringly of Hitler and repeatedly uttered the n-word. One of the lawyers deliberately used the word k – e, an anti-Semitic incantation, in an attempt to “desensitize the juryhe explained.
The evidence was overwhelming. The jury found that five right-wing extremist groups had to pay $ 1 million each, and a dozen defendants had to pay $ 500,000 apiece, in fines for participating in a civil conspiracy.
America – and the world – need to hear the message of accountability that this jury has sent. After Charlottesville, right-wing extremists became even more deadly. The next year a man shouted “All Jews must die!” burst into a synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 people. The year after that, a man, as police say, told them he was targeting Mexicans who allegedly shot and killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Shortly, armed militias were everywhere, protests against pandemic restrictions and demonstrates in support of former President Trump’s false claims about the election. Militia members planned to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The FBI says Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVES) pose the greatest terrorist threat to the nation, and it found that January 6 “demonstrates a willingness on the part of some to use violence,” to achieve political goals.
My great-grandmother revealed lynchings.  This is what she would say about the Capitol riot
America is also inundated with weapons, and many of these weapons are in the hands of right-wing extremist militants who are ready to use them for political purposes. “When will we use the weapons?, “asked an activist during a recent event by the right-wing youth group Turning Point USA.” I mean, literally, where does the line go? “he asked again,” How many choices will they steal before we kill these people? “

If this is not scary enough, consider what we’ve seen during this very unusual week.

In a strange case, three separate lawsuits, all dealing with the tensions and violence that have erupted in this country in recent years, reached a climax. In addition to Charlottesville, there are convictions of three white men in Georgia for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed black man they hunted down. And then there was the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who showed up for an anti-racism protest armed with a combat rifle, which he used to kill two protesters in what he said was self-defense, a claim the jury accepted in their acquittal of him on all charges.

There is no evidence that Rittenhouse was an extremist, but this is a young man who – let’s say it again – shot and killed two people. And despite the tragic outcome of his actions, Rittenhouse has become a hero in the eyes of many. His apotheosis included a meeting with right-wing idol, former President Donald Trump, in Mar-a-Lago. In a normal, stable society, he would have gone home and kept quiet and considered himself lucky not to spend the rest of his life in prison. His backers would certainly have breathed a sigh of relief and perhaps tried to change the subject.
His actions, by using a firearm in the midst of a political protest, are hailed as inspiration. Members of Congress are competes to bring him into their spells. One of these members, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, told his followers after Rittenhouse’s acquittal: “You have the right to defend yourself. Be armed, be dangerous and be moral.”

The threats of extremist rhetoric and violence have not disappeared, but in an environment like the one we live in, the Charlottesville victory was important. Coming just before Thanksgiving, it provides yet another reason to celebrate, albeit cautiously, in these perilous times.

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