Black Lives Matter activists plan to protest a White Civil Rights Rally in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 12.
Black Lives Matter vs. Unite the Right?
On Aug. 12, the one-year anniversary of the deadly White supremacists rally in Charlottesville, Va., a White Civil Rights Rally will take place in Washington, D.C.
To counter the White Civil Rights Rally, the Washington, D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter will hold a counter protest organized by Shut it Down DC. The White Civil Rights Rally will take place near the White House in Lafayette Park.
The website for Shut it Down DC released a statement, that read, “We are calling all anti-fascists and people of good conscience to participate in international days of action August 10 through August 12 and a mass mobilization in Washington. This is for Heather Heyer, Corey Long, Deandre Harris, ICE abolition, open borders, dismantling the prison industrial complex and ending the settler colonial system. We will confront fascism, anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, White supremacy and state violence on August 10-12.”
Last year’s event drew hundreds of White nationalists and supporters, which led to violent altercations with counter protestors.
Heyer tragically lost her life last year in Charlottesville when a motorist plowed into a crowd of people protesting the White Rights Rally.
A self-proclaimed neo-Nazi drove his car into the crowd of anti-racism protestors.
At the rally in 2017, Harris suffered a severe beating.
And someone shot at Long.
Nevertheless, both Harris and Long faced charges.
Harris eventually saw all of his charges dropped while the court found Long guilty of disorderly conduct for fashioning a flame-thrower in an attempt, he said, to defend himself.
A judge sentenced Harris to 360 days in jail, but 340 of those days got suspended.
Jason Kessler and White supremacist Richard Spencer organized the event last year in Charlottesville.
President Donald Trump received criticism for saying that fine people existed on both sides of the rally last year and for saying that “many sides” should have received blame for the deadly violence inflicted on those protesting against racism.
In the application for a rally permit, Kessler stated that he expected about 400 people in attendance for the White Civil Rights Rally in Washington, D.C.
Kessler listed “Protesting civil rights abuse in Charlottesville, Va./White civil rights rally” as the purpose for the event this month.
He applied for a permit in Charlottesville for Aug. 12 also, but the city denied Kessler’s request.
Kessler has filed a lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville.
“The latest update on #UTR2 is that we’re going to be focusing on August 12. Be ready by 2 p.m. that Sunday and check the email list for updates on the meetup location,” Kessler tweeted.
Kessler asks that participants in the White Civil Rights Rally only bring American and Confederate flags.
Furthermore, participants must wear body cameras.
“White people are being replaced in our countries,” Kessler said. “We’re not being allowed to speak up about it.”
Additionally, organizers of the White Civil Rights Rally have encouraged participants not to bring racist symbols and to refrain from any violence.
“We’re going to have a parade down on Pennsylvania Avenue,” added Kessler. “It’s going to be peaceful and we’re going to have beautiful flags.”
Mike Jones of Austin, Texas thinks that both sides can have a rally if they want, as long as it stays peaceful.
“The problem with these things is that he has every right to hold a White rally and blonde hair only rally or whatever rally because of his right to freedom of speech,” Jones told RegalMag.com. “However, that is the initial reason for him and him alone. We don’t know about the hundreds and thousands of other people that attend it and you can’t control that many people or try to understand everyone’s beliefs or motives.
“Maybe for some people this is used as a reason to seek aggression as it’s masked as a peaceful demonstration. But if you have been around gangs and large groups of people where emotions are flying high and testosterone is there, you know that it only takes one insecure knucklehead to set something off and then gives everyone else a reason to start fighting. It’s like one domino [falling] and then everyone in that area feels it and it’s like a fire that catches and that’s where the problem is.”
Paul Johnson of Houston told RegalMag.com, “I think (the White nationalists) should be allowed to march and I believe (Black Lives Matter) should counter protest. BLM should be prepared to defend themselves by any means necessary.”
Hate crimes and violence against minorities in America increased in 2016, the second consecutive year to see an increase in such crimes.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says the number of hate groups has also increased in recent years.
Hate crimes aimed at people because of a person’s race or ethnicity increased by 179 incidents from 2015 to 2016.
Of the 3,480 incidents of racial hate crimes, half of those incidents targeted African-Americans.
In an interview with Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., Black Lives Matter representative Makia Green said, “We are stronger than they are, that they are resistant to change and to progress that Black Lives Matter has been doing over the last four years with Black liberation and fighting racism and fascism. So it’s important that we let D.C. and the rest of the world know that we are not going to stand for the hate.”
Jones told RegalMag.com that the reason behind the uptick in racial incidents is a lack of understanding on both sides.
“Everyone wants to be understood,” Jones said. “But the best way to be understood is to first understand. There’s too much pride and ‘me’ and ‘mine.’ But if we can’t seek to understand and listen first, then how can we set the stage to be understood? You can’t. It’s just selfish. I challenge you to give, listen and understand others first before you try to be understood. Maybe you’ll uncover something from the other side you didn’t know and your motives might be more weighted toward a unified approach of understanding and being understood.”