There is only one acceptable response to the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. That’s to call them what they are: evil.

There is only one acceptable response to the murder of a young woman by a white supremacist plowing his car into a group of counter-protesters during that march, and that’s to call it what it is: domestic terrorism.

Hate is an infection, and if left unchallenged by good people it absolutely will grow and fester. Never let that happen.

Our nation has a long and troubled history on racial issues. We’ve worked hard as a country to move past them, and we must never go backward. That starts with knowing our history and teaching it to our children — at home and at school.

African-Americans were originally hauled to our country in the holds of slave ships, sold as property and subjected to brutal treatment. Our Constitution identified them as only three-fifths human. That’s unconscionable.

Too often, the Confederate flag is treated as a symbol of rebellion or “states’ rights.” But the Confederate flag was flown by states that wanted to leave the Union, and the fight wasn’t over states’ rights in some vague, abstract way. It was the one “right” — the right to keep slaves — that was in dispute. The South lost, and the Ku Klux Klan was the racists’ response. The KKK was founded in 1865, with a deeply evil mission, to violently suppress African-American freedom through a brutal reign of terror. Murder has always been part of the Klansman’s terror toolbox.

Almost a century of violence and discrimination would follow before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. America has taken great strides since then, but racism remains.

White Americans — all immigrants from other places, by the way — pushed Native Americans off their lands, made and broke treaties, forced many on the bitter Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. No sooner did each successive wave of immigrants get settled than it started to discriminate against the next group — and discrimination against immigrants continues today.

We sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II, a shameful act that’s often overlooked when we’re telling our heroic tales of that war. We did have much to be proud of, though, in our fight against the Nazis, who had overtaken Germany and spread unparalleled horror across Europe.

There’s nothing more un-American, more unpatriotic, than to carry the flags of this nation’s enemies, whether Confederate or Nazi.

To call yourself a white nationalist, as the marchers in Virginia last weekend did, is to advertise that you believe people of color should be expelled, violently, from the places where you live. To assume the label neo-Nazi is to align yourself with a group that murdered 6 million Jews. To proudly display membership in the KKK is to align yourself with a terrorist organization that was formed to intimidate and murder African-Americans in the name of preventing equality. To call yourself “alt-right” is typically an attempt to whitewash your alliance or affiliation with those white supremacist groups.

The chants heard in Charlottesville for “blood and soil” aren’t random. They’re an old Nazi slogan, “blut and bloden,” translated into English. The torches, the war gear, are intended as a threat.

Our commitment to free speech as a nation is important. We do not trust our government to determine for us which speech should be legal, and which should be restricted. Nor should we. An unfortunate side effect of that freedom, however, is that hate groups will use their free speech rights to terrorize minorities.

Which leaves every single one of us with this vital responsibility: We must recognize and denounce this evil when we see it. Loudly, clearly and often.

And so we commend the people who responded here at home by promptly calling an anti-hate rally last week. Let’s all follow their example by challenging hate whenever it rears its ugly head.

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(21) comments

Mogie

"There is only one acceptable response to the white supremacists who marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. That’s to call them what they are: evil." Then using that logic groups that march in black lives matters movements are evil too. They openly advocate violence and destruction as a way to get their message across.

drmary

Thank you for this editorial.

My family traces it's roots back to the American Revolution, and I am related to Nathan Bedford Forest, the father of the Ku Klux Klan.

We can't choose our ancestors, but I am not proud of this heritage. He and General Lee took up arms against the US government to fight for the continuation of slavery, and all of its evils. It was a shameful thing, and our country lost hundreds of thousands of men fighting slavery.

The statues were put up after Reconstruction, as a protest against emancipation. Most were put up after the turn of the century, and have not been there long.

Owning slaves was an abomination. It was evil. We should all be able to relate with the descendants of enslaved people to see how celebrating the men that fought to maintain their imprisonment would be hurtful.

The anti- Semitic slogans, 'Blood and Soil' and 'Jews will not replace us', and wearing the assault weapons while carrying torches, these were actions intended to strike fear. They absolutely can't be defended, and I am disgusted by any attempt to white wash these despicable people. It is the duty of all Americans; Republican, Democrat, Independent to fight such fascist activity. It can't be allowed to flourish here.

Mogie

I just watched the news. There was a man who had on a t-shirt that read "stop white genocide". A man got very upset by this. The man asked the white man why he was bringing race into this. The very next camera shot showed someone holding a "black lives matter" sign. Am I missing something or didn't the sign bring race into this also? I have to admit if you take emotion out of the argument and look at the issue solely based on logic then anyone pointing out someone else's race is a racist? And why, if singling out one race is racist do we have a group called "black lives matter". I would suggest that all lives matter. Before you react emotionally try to take a logical look at the matter. I think I am finally seeing the hypocrisy of the issue.

kmkb

This was a welcome editorial. One of the best I have read in the News Review.

exdep425

***Read this article twice and I have some comments. The guy that ran his car into the crowd, is not a white supremacist , he is just a white numb skull that saw similar incidents on tv and did a copycat. If he never saw it on tv he would never have thought of it by himself. As for slave trading, most slave buyers and sellers in Africa were all rich black merchants. Native Americans were not first here. Southeast Asians and Northeast Russians were here approximately 10,000 years before the Indians. And FYI, the original Indians came from Africa to Australia, then to South America and then up to where Arizona is now. ***Hold on here. The KKK are terrorists that murder blacks? How many blacks have been murdered by KKK since they began? Now lets say in just the last 10 years, how many blacks have murdered non-black individuals in robberies and or other crimes? I am willing to bet it is at least 1,000 times as many. ***If Lib/Dems protest, which 99% of the time involves, arson, assaults, burglary, theft, rioting and lots of chanting, "WE HATE COPS", does that also make them hate groups? They continuously use the word 'hate', so they are hate groups. Am I wrong about any of this? All of it is easy to find on line.

kmkb

What do you base your assumption on that that "guy" wasn't a white supremacist? What are you talking about 99% Lib/Dems protest involves arson, assaults, burglary, theft and rioting? Where on earth do you get that information? I'm assuming you have not attended any of those events so what is your source?

exdep425

***FYI, common sense, studying the news..... 25 years of police work and 10 years with Homeland Security give me a bit of an edge over others that have not 'been there'. The guy is a follower/copycat and unless you can show he is a registered white supremacist, then he is not. Apparently you do not see where the only protestors that start criminal activity are Lib/Dems, then you miss the facts, or lack any training to do such. Once they block any street or highway they become criminal in nature and then they go from there. A little more FYI for you: As part of DHS I have been at protests and part of tactical teams at the federal level. I have seen it, done it, from parking tickets to murder investigations. Have you ever conducted any kind of criminal investigation/interview, made an arrest, followed up on the prosecution, went to court? Or maybe you lean over your backyard fence and take guesses at what life is really about. Again FYI, I base my statements on facts and experience. Maybe you should go on a night patrol with your local PD on a Friday night, in the old town areas, and learn what life is really about. Think you could do that?

Sound8

No matter your supposed background, it's still just an opinion you are giving, slanted as it may be. It's very common on the internet for those that are pretending to be what they are not to not have a picture with their posts.

exdep425

***kmkb. When was the last time you saw a group of Conservative Republicans blocking a public street or highway? When have you seen them turn their own protest into a riot, which by law only takes 5 or more people engaged in tumultuous behavior. Never. CR's don't protest. Because CR's believe in a two sided opinion unlike Lib/Dems that want their opinion only or they will burn you out. Do you remember Tre Arrow, the guy that burned the car dealership and 50 cars in Eugene back about 15 years ago? His cause was Lib/Dem environmentalism. His cause was anger, hatred and destruction. And I was able to watch him personally. He wanted to save the trees and cut pollution. A massive arsonist fire is what he felt warranted cutting pollution. I am waiting for you to tell me just one single time CR's protested/rioted for a cause in the last 10-15 years.

Observer72

Like exped425, I am outraged by the continual stream of gun deaths in this country. I would not, however, agree with the solution he or she suggests. I also feel a bit sorry for a person so filled with misinformation and hatred.

exdep425

***Observer. What solution was I suggesting? Was it my belief in using the death penalty, then absolutely. Why do you think I am filled with misinformation and hatred? My opinions are based on facts and lots of experience. As for hatred, it is not illegal. And I am known to be a very friendly, giving person, so if you think I am a hateful person....wrong.

drmary

You are incorrect. He was a white supremacist, according to his high school teacher. His teacher stated that he was fascinated by Hitler, and Nazism, and wrote his high school senior paper extolling the virtues of Nazism. The teacher did what he could to engage him, and failed.

Why would you defend that?

Your statement regarding the KKK defies belief! Haven't you seen Missisippi Burning? The lynching and beatings and murders directed towards not only blacks, but towards white sympathizers has been so well chronicled that it does not merit debate. You choose to ignore the well documented facts.

The fact that slaves were sold into slavery by other blacks does nothing to absolve our ancestors of the evil they participated in. All of those that participated in slaver were amoral, and debased. Millions of black people were kept as slaves in our country for hundreds of years. It is not a part of our tradition that should be honored in any way.

InDWoods

As repugnant as the National Socialist/White Supremacist message is, we cannot indulge in violence against them if they behave peaceably. These Antifa folks are just as bad in my opinion. They are attempting to suppress freedom of speech and assembly.

Mogie

Have to admit you are right InDWoods. Everyone has to right to peaceful assembly. Just because you don't like what they are saying doesn't give you the right to resort to violence. Like I said before anyone of any race or gender can be a racist.

Sound8

What is wrong with you people, it is not OK for N@zis to be marching in our streets, permit or not.

exdep425

***As per your above comment, well actually both. Neither have any facts, just a few casual basic words and you don't want to do any homework to be able to quote any facts. The US is a free country, unlike what the Lib/Dems want. You don't get the point. The ones that you believe are extremists , do not protest, they gather to exercise their constitutional rights in what they believe in. They do not tell you that you should not be a Lib/Dem. But you do not like their beliefs and the Lib/Dems are the protesters.

drmary

Nope, sorry. They should not be allowed to carry torches and guns chanting fascist slogans, and heiling Hitler. No way. What is peaceable about marching with assault weapons, pepper spray, shields, torches and fascist symbols on their attire?
Our troops that stormed Normandy fighting Hitler were the original Antifa. I would be as well. They shall not be allowed to flourish here.

Mordru

mean while in Chicago 9 Dead, 30 Wounded In Weekend Shootings Across ChicagoThe weekend's latest fatal shooting happened about 12:10 a.m. Monday .Wheres the outrage?

exdep425

***Mordru. It happens with such frequency there, that people are numb to daily killings and expect it tomorrow and every day after that. The daily Chicago killings are old news. The government cannot stop it and never will be able to. Unless, the government were able to apply the death penalty, have swift trials, use the death penalty quickly and block all appeals. But they won't, because the very same Chicago government system is run by Lib/Dems that do not want to use extreme penalties. So, they will cry and whine, thousands more people will be killed, they will hold task force meetings, they will try some intervention, nothing will work and the problem will just get worse. And as we all know, the government is seldom correct in their actions.

Mogie

"There is only one acceptable response to the murder of a young woman by a white supremacist plowing his car into a group of counter-protesters during that march, and that’s to call it what it is: domestic terrorism." That should be the response to anyone that is injured regardless who injures them. Anyone who runs someone down especially with a car has to be fueled by hate. Isn't this similar to what just happened in Barcelona?

Observer72

I have read good editorials in the News Review over the years, but this is certainly one of the very best. Thank you for dealing so well with many issues raised by the disgrace in Charlottesville. To add to your comments on the Confederate flag, this symbol was designed by a man named William T. Thompson, who said: "As a people, we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. As a national emblem, it (the Confederate flag) is significant of our higher cause, the cause of a superior race." Also, most of the Confederate statues and monuments in the South did not exist during the actual years of the Confederacy. Instead, most were erected decades later in order to reinforces the ideals of rebellion, white supremacy, and the repression of African Americans.

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