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Massive Anti-Racist Crowd Shows, Fringe-Reality Of Racists

The Unite The Right Rally today, one year after the one in Charlottesville, can only be described as a complete flop. The racists were unable to fill a single train car and were dwarfed by police surrounding them and over ten thousand anti-racists, who gathered in various parts of Washington, DC. The Alt-Right racist movement has been exposed for what it is — an unpopular, shrinking fringe movement that the national consensus finds despicable.

This series of headlines quickly tells the story:

VOX: Unite the Right 2018 was a pathetic failure
After last year’s disaster in Charlottesville, very few white nationalists showed up to the follow-up rally in Washington, DC.

CNN: White nationalists dwarfed by crowds of counter-protesters in Washington

Washington Post: ‘Unite the Right’ flops while the left triumphs

NPR Small Group Of White Supremacists Rally In D.C. Amid Mass Counterprotests

New York Times: Rally by White Nationalists Was Over Almost Before It Began

This was a pathetic show of irrelevance by white nationalists. Their “march” of two dozen people ended at Lafayette Park. Their “rally” ended before it was even scheduled to begin without a single speaker. Reportedly, fewer than two dozen white supremacists received a private train car (with more than enough seating for all) and were surrounded by a police escort so they were barely visible as they walked through the nation’s capital on Sunday.

When they arrived at the park across the street from the White House, it was reported they “were escorted through a racists-only entrance.” Even though they arrived at Lafayette Park well before the time their rally was scheduled, there were already hundreds of counter-protesters waiting for them. The entire event was a victory for anti-racist organizers who showed the national consensus opposed their brand of Alt-Right modern racism.

While the white supremacist rally was a flop, some people were angry that the racists were given a private train car and police protection. Dan Ridge, a local government commissioner, told the Huffington Post the city shouldn’t provide neo-Nazis with private train cars, saying, “If we made them commute in integrated cars like we’ve been doing in D.C. for a long time, I think that’d scare them away.”

White racist leaders are fleeing in fear due to their unpopularity. Richard Spencer, the Alt-Right leader, moved away from Alexandria, VA due to constant protests against him, according to The Washingtonian. Spencer said last month that he would not attend the event. Christopher Cantwell, an anti-Semitic, Alt-Right shock jock and an unapologetic fascist, also said he would not be attending. Jason Kessler, the Alt-Right activist who organized the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, looked like a lonely fool in Washington, DC at the “rally” he organized across from the White House. Even with Donald Trump in the White House, the Alt-Right racist movement has become a tiny fringe. 

Vox reports “several Charlottesville attendees had their identities revealed — which resulted not just in public shaming but in some attendees getting fired from their jobs. That’s why neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin warned people not go to Unite the Right 2, writing, ‘Getting doxed as a neo-Nazi street fighter will ruin your life, forever.'” This all emphasizes how unpopular the Alt-Right movement and their peddling of racism has become.

Unicorn Riot wrote about leaked Facebook chats among the white racists that demonstrated the movement was seriously fractured after the Charlottesville protest one year ago. Their racism is so unpopular that, as the chats showed, the group is “obsessed with somehow re-branding themselves as non-racist. Kessler and his cohorts also discussed inviting a token ‘non-white’ speaker with the hope that it would give them ‘political cover’ to bring on white supremacist speakers such as Duke.” Unicorn Riot also reports that Kessler argued on the chats about how to “normalize” anti-Semitic views [Emphasis in original].

While the unstable racists fractured, people united against racism in Washington, DC. Black Lives Matter, anti-racists, racial justice advocates, union workers, peace advocates, anarchists, and anti-fascists, among others, joined together to demonstrate a massive opposition to racism. Their overwhelming nonviolent response showed the power of diverse people standing together in solidarity.

Vox reported, “In fact, counterprotesters outnumbered white nationalists by the hundreds at the DC rally — to the point that some counterprotesters left early because it was kind of boring. As I arrived at the counterprotests, one of the people leaving said that there ‘aren’t enough Nazis to troll.’ So she took her sign — a mock-up of a Confederate flag with ‘losers’ written along the flag’s stripes — home.”

The New York Times reported the protest served to “empower a leftist political coalition that vows to confront generations of racial and economic injustice.” 

Huffington Post concludes reporting “In the end, the massive use of city resources was all so that Kessler and his crew could stand in the rain in front of the White House for about two hours. A little after 5 p.m., the racists quietly left the park, before the speaker lineup was scheduled to begin. Even if they had delivered their speeches, no one would have been able to hear or see them anyway.”

Of course, this does not mean an end to racism or white supremacist movements. It shows the Alt-Right movement, even in the Trump era, is an unpopular and divided fringe. Work continues to need to be done to suppress racism, a problem with deep roots of hundreds of years, as well as to confront the underlying economic insecurity that leads some poor whites to be jealous of people of color as well as to blame immigrants for their economic problems. We must end these divisions and focus on the real causes of economic insecurity, an unbearable wealth divide that leaves many behind and unsure of their future.

Below are some photos and tweets from the day:

Counterprotesters march from Freedom Plaza before the Unite the Right 2 rally begins in Washington, DC. By Alex Wroblewski for Getty Images

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