Displaying posts published in

August 2017

Journalists Overreach in Their Quest to Purge ‘Hate’ from the Web In banning white-supremacist websites, progressive tech giants set a dangerous precedent. By David French

Last week, multiple major Internet corporations essentially cooperated to kick a hate site, The Daily Stormer, off the Internet. Cloudflare, GoDaddy, Google, and various other companies withdrew their services, and now one of the Internet’s most odious sites lives mainly on the “dark web,” largely inaccessible to the casual user.

This was an ominous development for free speech — and not because there is anything at all valuable about The Daily Stormer’s message. It’s an evil site. Its message is vile. Instead, The Daily Stormer’s demise is a reminder that a few major corporations now have far more power than the government to regulate and restrict free speech, and they’re hardly neutral or unbiased actors. They have a point of view, and they’re under immense pressure to use that point of view to influence public debate.

It’s a simple reality that the lines of Internet communication are in progressive political hands, these progressive corporations look to left-wing activists to define hate, and a large number of leftists believe to the core of their beings that “hateful” speech should be censored and suppressed whenever possible.

For example, just this week ProPublica, a respected journalism outlet, decided to study “how leading tech companies monetize hate.” The article begins by highlighting not the Klan or a white-supremacist militia but instead Jihadwatch.org. And how did it choose Jihad Watch? It relied on the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that is notorious for supplementing its lists of white-supremacist hate groups with its own ideological enemies list, one that a university radical would love.

It singles out mainstream Christian organizations like the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom as hate groups because they defend and support orthodox Christian beliefs on marriage, sexuality, and gender identity. It challenges Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch because he argues that “traditional Islam itself is not moderate or peaceful.” That’s a highly debatable proposition (indeed, there are Muslims who agree with Spencer), but is it akin to white supremacy? After all, enormous numbers of people in the Muslim world believe in the death penalty for, among other things, blasphemy or apostasy. Those are mainstream Muslim views. Are those views “moderate?” Are those views “peaceful?”

The SPLC even calls American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray — Charles Murray — a “white nationalist.” Does that mean ProPublica is going to call out corporations that help AEI process its online donations? ProPublica does at least acknowledge the controversy over the SPLC’s rankings but then waves it away by arguing that the SPLC “documents its decision” about the Family Research Council by “citing the evangelical lobbying group’s promotion of discredited science and unsubstantiated attacks on gay and lesbian people.” But did ProPublica do its own research on the FRC? What about the many other mainstream groups the SPLC labels as hateful? From its story, it looked like ProPublica simply accepted the SPLC list and ran its analysis.

In fact, the SPLC’s language about the FRC is so inflammatory and one-sided that in 2012 it inspired a man named Floyd Lee Corkins to attempt to massacre as many FRC employees as he could and stuff Chick-fil-A sandwiches in their dead mouths. In 2016, the SPLC inspired a violent attack on Charles Murray when he tried to speak at Middlebury College. A number of the protesters reported that they hadn’t read Murray’s work. They relied entirely on the SPLC’s inaccurate summary of his views.

Former Obama Director of Homeland Security: Taking Down Confederate Monuments Is ‘A Matter of Homeland Security’ By Tyler O’Neil

On Sunday, Jeh Johnson, former secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, said that removing Confederate monuments is a matter of homeland security.

“That’s not a matter of political correctness, that’s a matter of public safety and homeland security, and doing what’s right,” Johnson told ABC News in an interview.

“What alarms so many of us, from a security perspective, is that so many of the statues — the Confederate monuments — are now, modern day, becoming symbols and rallying points for white nationalism, for neo-Nazis, for the KKK,” the former DHS secretary explained.

“We fought a World War against Nazism. The KKK rained terror on African-Americans for generations,” Johnson said. “I support those in cities and states who are taking down a lot of these monuments for reasons of public safety and security.”

Cities, states, and private entities do not argue they are removing the statues for “public safety and security,” however. The University of Texas, which removed Confederate statues in the wee hours of Monday morning, explained that these monuments were “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

In April, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu — whom Jeh Johnson praised in his interview — said, “The removal of these statues sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of New Orleans and the nation: New Orleans celebrates our diversity, inclusion, and tolerance.” The city removed its four statues in April and May.

Anna Lope Brosche, president of the Jacksonville City Council in Florida, announced a plan of action to take an inventory of Confederate symbols and relocate them to museums. In her statement, Bosche noted that the monuments evoke “some really negative emotions, and pain and hurt.”

Some have mentioned safety — the safety of vandals who might try to remove the monuments. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he must “protect North Carolinians and keep them safe,” citing “the likelihood of protesters being injured or worse as they may try to topple” the monuments, in addition to the threat of violence in rallies like Charlottesville.

Removing monuments might not guarantee safety or that white supremacists won’t rally in locations which used to have monuments, however.

Furthermore, the Left’s rush to defend vandals, to protect feelings, and to champion Antifa on the grounds that it is fighting Nazis suggests that this is an issue of political correctness more than one of homeland security.

The Humanitarian Hoax of Victimhood: Killing America With Kindness – Hoax #8 by Linda Goudsmit

The Humanitarian Hoax is a deliberate and deceitful tactic of presenting a destructive policy as altruistic. The humanitarian huckster presents himself as a compassionate advocate when in fact he is the disguised enemy.

Obama, the humanitarian huckster-in-chief, weakened the United States for eight years presenting his deceitful policies featuring victimhood as altruistic when in fact they were designed for destruction. His legacy, the Leftist Democrat Party with its “resistance” movement, is the party of the Humanitarian Hoax attempting to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism.
The three basic tenets of left-wing liberal progressivism are political correctness, moral relativism, and historical revisionism. Leftist progressivism is an extremely regressive political structure that emphasizes victimhood and encourages childlike dependence on the government in its march toward socialism. Progressivism is an Orwellian doublespeak word designed to dupe the participant into believing he is moving society forward when in fact progressivism and progressive policies support regression backwards toward childhood dependence.
Historical records presents the humanitarian huckster with a conundrum. The history of our American democracy is one of immense growth, development, and achievement. American history contradicts the negative message of the humanitarian huckster attempting to transform America into socialism. Destroying historical records, historical facts, and historical icons does not erase history – it simply leaves history open to historical revisionism. Obama’s revisionist anti-American pro-Muslim Common Core re-education curriculum was a start, smashing historical statues is an escalation, violent anarchy is the ultimate Leftist strategy to destroy American democracy.

Progressivism posits that objective reality does not exist – this in itself is an invitation for historical revisionism. For progressives there are only matters of opinion and all opinions are equal. This means that opinions of out of control screaming protesters at Evergreen college have the same status as the opinion of their professors. Progressives support subjective reality and deny objective reality in their self-serving need to preserve the fiction of their narrative. Here is the problem – saying something does not make it true. Objective reality exists whether the Left accepts it or not. Watching the Left is like watching a child insist he can fly. He is certain of it – but that does not make it true or a fact in objective reality.
George Orwell understood these dynamics seventy years ago when he created the dystopian society in his cautionary tale “1984.” American society under Obama has devolved into an Orwellian nightmare of Leftist political correctness, groupthink, and moral relativism designed to destroy the moral fabric of American society. The Left is convinced of its moral superiority because its narrative of moral relativism and politically correctness insists it is superior and its groupthink mentality validates itself.
A civil society requires consensus. Normative behavior is a matter of consensus that is codified into laws that govern society. Multiculturalism challenges consensus. If one individual thinks “honor” killing is acceptable and society considers it murder then there is a problem – whose norms will prevail if everyone’s opinions are equal? When Leftists insist that opposing points of view are intolerable hate speech they hypocritically deny freedom of speech and a free society. When everything is a matter of opinion and all opinions are equal there can be no consensus. Without consensus there are no accepted laws to abide – there is only anarchy and social chaos. But that is exactly the point – the Left wants anarchy and social chaos. Their leaders are fomenting racial violence and violent anarchy because social chaos is the prerequisite for seismic social change. Obama’s “resistance” movement is trying to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism. The Leftist/Islamist axis is attacking Judeo-Christian norms and destabilizing society with the collaborating mainstream media. For the Left to embrace the barbaric tenets of Islamist sharia law requires political correctness, moral relativism, historical revisionism and the dreamscape of subjective reality where the stunning hypocrisy of their alliance is ignored and considered irrelevant by the media.

A spy story for our times The computer geek with Democratic secrets flees to Pakistan

Imran Awan is a Pakistani-born computer whiz who worked for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and for dozens of Democrats in Congress. He and his wife have been indicted on four criminal counts of bank fraud and lying to investigators.

He was arrested at Dulles International Airport in suburban Virginia just as he was about to board a plane to Pakistan, his home of record, and just after he made a curious transfer of many thousands of dollars to an overseas bank account in his name.

This is a good story that you might think ambitious reporters would have leaped at, a story with all the making of a made-for-television spy thriller. But it was largely ignored by the mainstream media. Mrs. Wasserman-Schultz hired Imran Awan years ago as a technology technician, and he and two members of his family, who were hired to work with him, have collected $4 million of Democratic money.

Federal authorities began casting suspicious eyes at Mr. Awan several months ago, looking for evidence of double-billing, stealing equipment and with — and this is what frightens certain Democras, unauthorized access to the party’s computer systems. Mrs. Wasserman-Schultz kept him on the party payroll for months, even after FBI agents confiscated several smashed computer hard drives at his home. What was on the destroyed drives? Only Mr. Awan, and perhaps Mrs. Wasserman-Schultz, knows. She finally sacked him after his dramatic airport arrest. Why so enamored with him? We still don’t know this, either.

The answers may come by following the money, which has turned over many Washington rocks to reveal secrets of many kinds. The formal indictment from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charges Mr. Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, with engaging in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about properties. The indictment says the couple then sent those illegally collected proceeds to certain persons in Pakistan. The moving finger writes many tales from the Arabian nights, not many of them good.

Trump is the real Antifa By Daniel G. Jones

The Democratic Party Goon Squad chalked up another win last week when they got into a rumble with a fringe group of white racists who were protesting the removal of a statue of a famous Democrat from a park in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Nazi/KKK racists hadn’t received this much attention since their march in Skokie, Illinois in 1978. Their last member of Congress, former KKK official and Democratic senator Robert Byrd, died in 2010, and their most famous living member, David Duke, hasn’t generated much news of late, so they probably missed the notoriety. Thus, they assembled in Charlottesville on the evening of August 11 and marched to save the statue of Civil War general Robert E. Lee. They carried tiki torches and chanted, “One people, one nation, end immigration” and “White lives matter” and other vile mottos, but they broke no laws.

Laws were broken the next day, however, when the Democrat Goon Squad showed up and a mêlée ensued. Both sides wielded fists and bats, and, in a pattern that has become familiar, the police stood down. By the end of the day, one young woman had been killed by a motorist, two officers who had been monitoring the events died in a helicopter crash, and 35 people were being treated for injuries.

A single voice of sanity commented on the events. On Saturday evening, President Donald Trump decried the hatred and violence on both sides. Then the country went nuts. Journalists and politicians expressed outrage that he hadn’t called out the Nazis and the Klan by name and that he had blamed both sides. They demanded retractions and apologies, and a few called on Trump to resign. One Democratic Missouri state senator hoped for his assassination.

But Trump was right. There were two sides in Charlottesville. One side was a fringe group whose views haven’t been taken seriously for at least 50 years and who don’t have sufficient members to elect a dogcatcher.

The other side were the “aggressively aggrieved left.” They’ve been around for decades, and, like many shady movements, they frequently change their name.

In 2011, they called themselves “the 99%” when they occupied and trashed Zuccotti Park near Wall Street.


With all the brouhaha over statues and Antifa…..Trump accomplished what no previous administration did. Yesterday on FOX Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) was asked about that and he offered a dimwitted response. “Negotiations are what’s needed….”

SEOUL—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Tuesday, but warned that he could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

(For a deeper analysis of the issues in this story, please see “North Korea Backs Off Threat to Hit Guam”)

(CNN)North Korea leader Kim Jong Un appears to have backed away from a threat to fire missiles towards the US Pacific territory of Guam, opting instead to wait and see what the “foolish Yankees” do next. State media KCNA said Kim had reviewed a previously announced plan to fire four missiles on a trajectory over western Japan, but had decided not to go ahead with the proposal for now.
The comments came after US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that if North Korea fired on US territory it would be “game on.”

Speaking at the Pentagon Monday, Mattis told reporters: “You don’t shoot at people in this world unless you want to bear the consequences.”

Quo Vadis the Arab Tsunami (a.k.a. “the Arab Spring”)? Ambassador (Ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Where is the Arab Middle East heading following the 2010-2017 disintegration of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Sudan; the toppling of several Arab regimes; the estimated toll of 400,000 fatalities and six million refugees, resulting from intra-Arab conflicts; the proliferation of Islamic Sunni terrorism; the unprecedented power-projection surge by Iran’s Shiite Ayatollahs; the approaching Sunni and Shiite terrorist machetes to the throat of the House of Saud and all other pro-US Arab regimes; and the intensified squashing of human rights in every Arab country, all ruled by minority-regimes?

The raging Arab Tsunami of the last 6.5 years – referred to by the Western establishment as the Arab Spring – has further destabilized the one-bullet, provisional, Arab regimes, characterized by tenuous policies and uncertain bilateral and multilateral intra-Arab agreements.

This has added much fuel to the fire – raging since the 7th century – of the inherently unpredictable and intensely complex, non-nation-state, non-democratic Middle East, which has been systematically misperceived by the Western establishment.

Where is the Arab Tsunami heading? The chaotic intra-Arab roller-coaster may have shifted, temporarily, to a relatively-lower gear, but it is surging on brutally!

While the US has dealt a severe blow to ISIS terrorists in 2017 – without clipping the wings of Iran’s Ayatollahs – it has, therefore, provided a tailwind to Iran’s entrenchment in Syria, and increasingly in Lebanon. It has advanced the Ayatollahs’ domination of the critical area from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, which is a prelude to their megalomaniacal vision of denying the US “modern-day-Crusader” regional and global preeminence.

This could be a repeat of the US toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, when the US elevated Iraq’s Shiites to the helm, dumping Iraq’s Sunnis, which reinforced the ranks of Sunni terrorism. This paved the way for the Ayatollahs’ dominance in Iraq – which intensified anti-US terrorism – and created a clear and present danger for every pro-US Arab regime in the Persian Gulf and beyond.

In 2011, a US-led coalition, toppled Gaddafi’s rogue regime in Libya, in spite of the fact that Gaddafi was involved in a ferocious war on Islamic terrorism in Libya and Africa. Moreover, in 2003, Gaddafi transferred his infrastructure of weapons of mass destruction to the US. The toppling of Gaddafi accelerated the disintegration of Libya, transforming the huge country (680,000sqm, three times larger than Texas) into a major safe haven and breeding ground of Islamic terrorism.

While the US military power-projection and posture of deterrence are prerequisites for the western battle against Islamic terrorism – and keeping Islamic terrorism away from the US mainland – a misguided US policy has tolerated the Ayatollahs’ imperialism, subversion and terrorism, allowing them to surge on the coattails of the 2015 non-ratified(!) Iran nuclear deal, further destabilizing the Middle East.

Birth of a fighting force for Zionism Jews from the UK comprised almost one third of the five battalions of the Royal Fusiliers — now known to history as the Jewish Legion. Colin Shindler

One hundred years ago in August 1917, the London Gazette published an official announcement that “a Jewish regiment” had been established. Based on the international regiments of small oppressed nations in Europe that had fought in foreign armies against great empires during the 19th century, it heralded the Israel Defence Force in 1948. Its formation marked the success of attempts by Chaim Weizmann and Vladimir Jabotinsky to symbolise the rebirth of a Jewish nation.

Most Zionists did not wish to take sides during World War I as it was unclear who would be victorious. However Turkey’s entry into the war in November 1914 suggested that a British military force would probably invade Ottoman-controlled Palestine from Egypt. Weizmann and Jabotinsky understood that the presence of a Jewish army at the war’s end would be a bargaining-counter in the diplomatic tussle to secure a state of the Jews.

Within weeks of Turkey’s entry into hostilities, mainly Russian Jews were expelled from Palestine to Egypt since the Tsar was the ally of Britain and France. Many were housed at Gabbari camp near Alexandria. Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpeldor, a Jewish officer who had served in the Tsar’s army, swiftly created a police force to ensure order. Many from this motley group placed their signatures on a document in March 1915 which stated: “At Alexandria, a regiment of Jewish volunteers has been formed. It places itself at the disposal of the British government in order to participate in the liberation of Palestine”.

This approach was opposed by many in the British government, not least by Herbert Asquith, the Prime Minister, and Lord Kitchener, the Minister for War. Neither wanted a Jewish regiment nor wished to launch an offensive in the east.

Although the Jews were permitted to form a Zion Mule Corps which saw service at Gallipoli, doors in Whitehall were firmly bolted to Jabotinsky’s proposals for a Jewish military force.

By 1916, the political landscape assumed a different hue — the war was not going well and the United States had kept out of the conflict. Lord Kitchener was lost when HMS Hampshire was sunk off the Orkneys by a German U-boat in June and David Lloyd-George replaced Asquith as prime minister in December. The British suddenly became interested in a written declaration of recognition of Jewish national interests in Palestine – and the formation of a Jewish fighting force to aid the allies.

In early February 1917, Sir Mark Sykes, a Conservative MP and diplomat met Zionist leaders and hinted at what was now possible if “international Jewry” offered its undivided support to the war effort. Weizmann pandered to this delusional belief in the power of the Jews to secure his diplomatic goals. But unbeknown to Weizmann and his colleagues, Sykes had already signed an agreement with the French to divide up the Middle East after the conflict’s successful conclusion.

The war in the Middle East was not going to plan. Successive British attempts to take Gaza failed. At a breakfast with Weizmann in April 1917, Lloyd-George asked what use could be made of the remnant of the Zion Mule Corps. It became clear that he was particularly interested in enlisting the tens of thousands of Russian Jews, congregated mainly in London’s East End, into the British army. While British Jews were serving King and Country — why not their Russian cousins, living in the capital?

Leading Zionists including Sokolov, Nordau and Ahad Ha’am had hitherto opposed the formation of a Jewish military force. In addition to compromising the movement’s neutrality, they feared Turkish reprisals in the fashion that had been visited upon the Armenians — massacre and persecution.

Let Us Now Praise Muslim Apostates For two brave writers, the battle against Islamism can be won only on the terrain of ideas. Fred Siegel Sol Stern

Standing up to political correctness and facing death threats, the Muslim apostate writers Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have honored our increasingly endangered Western heritage of free thought, which includes the right—indeed, the obligation—to subject religious dogma to criticism and reason. In a series of provocative books and personal testimonies over two decades, they have educated us about the historical and religious roots of the Islamist onslaught against democratic institutions.

In his 1995 book Why I Am Not a Muslim (modeled after Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian), Ibn Warraq reported that, as a young man thinking about abandoning his religious upbringing, he was inspired by the philosophical defenses of free speech of John Stuart Mill and Friedrich A. Hayek. Those mainstays of Western thought led Ibn Warraq eventually to take “an uncompromising and critical look at almost all the fundamental tenets of Islam.”

In a similar way, in her 2015 book Heretic, Ayaan Hirsi Ali recalls how she came to realize the price that she would have to pay for exercising her free-speech rights: “From the moment I first began to argue that there was an unavoidable connection between the religion I was raised in and the violence of organizations such as al-Qaida and the self-styled Islamic State . . . I have been subjected to a sustained effort to silence my voice.” In 2004, Theo van Gogh, Hirsi Ali’s collaborator on a Dutch film about Islam’s oppression of women, was stabbed to death on a street in Amsterdam, where she was then living. The Islamist killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, left a note warning that Hirsi Ali was next. She now travels with bodyguards, while Ibn Warraq writes under a pseudonym—prudent precautions, since apostasy remains a capital crime in 13 Muslim-majority nations, including Somalia and Pakistan, the native countries of the two writers.

Outrageously, Ibn Warraq and Hirsi Ali have found no sanctuary in America’s centers of higher learning, where they regularly find themselves denounced as “Islamophobes.” But they have shrugged off the calumnies and continued to think about the most serious threat facing the Western democracies since the end of the Cold War. Their two recent works, Ibn Warraq’s The Islam in Islamic Terrorism: The Importance of Beliefs, Ideas, and Ideology and Hirsi Ali’s The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It, encourage readers to reflect on the striking parallels between the ideological challenges that America and its allies confronted during the long struggle against international Communism and the current battle against jihadist terrorism.

It might seem counterintuitive to see similarities between an avowedly atheistic revolutionary movement, promising salvation on earth, and the religion of Islam, which guarantees its adherents a sweet afterlife. In reality, Communism was a quasi-religion for its true believers, and Islam has doubled as a totalitarian political system. The West’s victory over Communism was achieved primarily not on battlefields but through a war of civilizational ideas. Millions of people in the free world were once seduced by the utopian allure of Marxism and its kindred ideologies. Communism’s progressive apologists finally had to face the truth in part because of the testimonies of courageous men and women who had witnessed totalitarian movements from the inside. Like today’s Muslim dissidents, Communism’s apostates were denounced by many Western liberals as “reactionaries” and “warmongers.”

A signal event in what historians came to call “the cultural Cold War” was the 1947 publication of The God That Failed, a collection of compelling personal essays by prominent literary figures who had broken with Communism, among them Arthur Koestler, André Gide, and Ignacio Silone. Their manifestos about the spiritual and material catastrophe of Communism came out less than a year after Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Missouri, the opening rhetorical shot of the Cold War. Ex-Communists did essential work unmasking the apologists for Soviet imperialism—those Lenin referred to as “useful idiots.”

AMERICAN ICONOCLASM: The Destruction of Sacred Images What really lies behind the widespread desecration of statues and memorials. Dawn Perlmutter

Iconoclasm is generally defined as the destruction of sacred images, usually for religious or political motives. America is experiencing an epidemic of iconoclasm and it did not begin in Charlottesville. For several years there have been numerous incidents of vandalism of Confederate statues, fallen officer memorials, and veterans’ monuments. The widespread desecration of statues and memorials throughout the country directly corresponds to the increase in anarchist, socialist, communist, anti-police, anti-government and anti-Trump movements.

Throughout history and across cultures, regime change always begins and ends with the destruction and removal of symbols. Iconoclasm is one of the most powerful strategies for cultural revolution. From the French Revolution to the Bolshevik Revolution to the Islamic State, regime change has been accompanied by the destruction of statues, paintings, monuments, sacred objects and other symbols identified with the previous government.

The first wave of contemporary American iconoclasm began in June 2015 after the mass murder of nine parishioners at the historically black Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A widely circulated photo of the self-identified white supremacist, Dylann Roof, holding a gun and a confederate flag definitively linked confederate symbols to white supremacist violence. Subsequently any and all things Confederate were designated as undeniable symbols of racism. Black nationalist, socialist and communist groups began organizing campaigns against Confederate flags and statues that they perceive as symbols of slavery, injustice, racial oppression and white supremacy.

The iconoclasm campaign had its first big success in July 2015 when the Confederate flag on South Carolina’s statehouse grounds came down after 54 years at the Capitol. During the debates over its proposed removal dozens of confederate statues were vandalized. Walmart, Sears, Amazon and other companies removed Confederate merchandise from thousands of stores across the U.S. Organizers discovered the power of iconoclasm and began targeting statues, names and memorials. A counter movement ensued to preserve the Confederate statues and monuments as historical symbols of American history and Southern heritage. Supporters of Confederate symbols were placed in the untenable position of having to defend slavery.

The grievance for the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA was the proposed removal of the Robert Edward Lee Sculpture. Because the rally was organized by neo-Nazi, white nationalist and white supremacist groups who wore KKK regalia and proudly displayed Neo-Nazi symbols, the debate over Confederate symbols became intrinsically intertwined with fascism and white supremacy. Hundreds of counter protestors showed up resulting in violent clashes between demonstrators and the death of a counter protester. Subsequently, arguments and rallies in support of Confederate symbols were eclipsed by emotional visceral reactions to white hoods, swastikas, Nazi salutes and images of violence. Charlottesville ignited a second more virulent wave of iconoclasm.

Immediately after the Charlottesville rally, Confederate statues and plaques were removed from public parks, cemeteries, plazas and government buildings in cities across the country. Politicians are calling for the removal of all Confederate monuments from public spaces and legislation is being introduced to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol building. Other statues were vandalized and destroyed. In Durham, NC protesters toppled a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier outside the Old Durham County Courthouse. They did not just remove the statue. They lynched it. Video of the incident shows a woman climbing a ladder to the top of the statue and tying a rope around the soldier’s neck. Dozens of other activists participated in the lynching, pulling the statue to the ground, cheering and taking turns kicking, spitting and standing on the fallen soldier. This went beyond vandalism. It was a collective ritual execution. Historically, iconoclasm encompassed formally executing statues and effigies of people in their absence or long after they were already dead. People were posthumously declared enemies of the state and were sentenced to death. Statues were imprisoned, tried and sentenced. Then they were ritually punished by hanging, burning, defacing, dismembering and decapitating in staged public executions. Other historical acts of iconoclasm included ritually debasing, humiliating and physically assaulting statues.