Before I dive into this piece, one thing is to be stressed. Racists are bad. Hate groups that are alive under our country don’t represent today’s America.
The Unite the Right rally was a gathering of Alt-right groups in Charlottesville, on August 11 and 12, 2017. Those assembled at the rally included members of white supremacist, white nationalist, alt-right, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi, and militia movements. The participants were protesting against the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces, specifically the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park.
As I stand strongly against the “Unite the Right” rally, I undoubtedly believe in their freedom to peaceably assemble. Though they preach hate, racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy sentiments, their rights shouldn’t be withdrawn by any means.
Let’s be very clear here. I am a 20-year old Jewish female; I have no allegiance to these people, they funnel distasteful rhetoric that I wish to never hear or see in my country, better yet, my lifetime. So, why am I standing up for their constitutional rights? Why should they be heard? Well, it’s very simple. I do not play the game of identity politics. I am a constitutionalist. I hold faith in the Bill of Rights that are interpreted according to the actual intent of the Founding Fathers. Having amendments and laws in this country is why people from all around the world risk their lives to come here.
The Unite the Right group was legally allowed to practice and engage in free speech. They were granted a rallying permit by the state of Virginia. As stated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), free speech may not be restricted, even if it is controversial.
“Do counter-demonstrators have free speech rights?”
“Yes. Although counter-demonstrators should not be allowed to physically disrupt the event they are protesting, they do have the right to be present and to voice their displeasure. Police are permitted to keep two antagonistic groups separated but should allow them to be within the general vicinity of one another.” (ACLU)
You may not agree what Unite the Right stands for, but disallowing them to have a platform to speak is the literal textbook definition of fascism. The Bill of Rights exists for a reason. They are what solidify the great American country our founding fathers built. Otherwise, we could be a lawless country like Somalia.
Another imperative slice of information to be noted- nothing got ugly until the counter-protesters arrived. Extremists from both Black Lives Matter and Antifa perpetrated acts of violence throughout Charlottesville. They came armed and ready to fight. This is what caused 3 people to die that day. Left-wing militia.
Many people were quick to blame all Republicans due to the two-day travesty. Unite the Right does NOT represent conservatism or anyone who has supported President Trump. Groups like the KKK and neo-Nazi organizations have hijacked the “Right” values and ideals we stand for today.
President Trump has directly condemned the hateful groups that do indeed exist on both sides of the aisle. It’s strictly your opinion whether or not you think he has done enough as commander in chief. Just remember, it was Governor Terry McAuliffe who ordered police to stand-down.
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