You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy
3 dead. Many injured.
America has a black eye this morning.
Like angry cockroaches on fire with hate and acrid insanity, Americans fought Americans in the street Saturday, August 12th.
The visage from the normally historic streets of Charlottesville were heinous, furious, diabolical and angry.
Watching the news Saturday morning was horrifically shocking.
It’s hard to know how so much hate could come together in such a small venue.
Fists were clenched and spit flying well before most people had their second cup of coffee.
The frenzy was tumultuous, like trying to cram pop corn laced with poisoned barbed wire back into the bubbling oil.
I saw women punched in the face. I saw men beaten with wood clubs. I watched as water bottles filled with concrete were tossed like grenades.
For almost an hour I had trouble telling who was who. I saw angry crazy lunatics wearing body armor and helmets and masks.
I saw a black man wearing chains. OK, that guy is probably not with the Klan. I saw skin headed white guys holding Nazi signs. OK, that guy is probably not with Green Peace.
But other than that?
It was bedlam. It was chaos. It was an all out melee of Americans fighting Americans.
Hate versus Hate.
I didn’t see a lot of anything else.
Then the police got involved and like stirring an agitated nest of bees, it got crazier.
There was pepper spray and armed Virginia State Troopers moving in a phalanx of body armored solidarity trying to regain control of hysteria.
But the effort was futile, like trying to stop a swollen river spilling over its banks.
And then I watched a grey Dodge Charger with no license plate and dark windows accelerate through a crowd of people.
It was clearly deliberate, calculated and a purposeful act of hatred.
It roared into bodies, blowing them up like human bowling pins. Then this madman accelerated backward, wildly, his front bumper torn apart.
The man has been identified as a 20 year old from Ohio.
What is his connection to the White Nationalist movement? We don’t know yet, but we will.
And if he is connected to this legion of hate, if he was acting deliberately, you’d think he would be targeting those protesting against the protestors.
But who was targeted?
A car driving into a mass of people doesn’t discriminate how you vote, what color you are, what sign you are carrying.
It’s a rolling instrument of death that simply runs over lives and maims. It was blunt force trauma. An act of barbarism so insane, it is hard to understand.
Such a horrifically sad strategy fueled by hate and stupid.
I wonder if the police in Charlottesville could have done more to diffuse this early on.
I covered a Klan rally once.
It was in Lansing Michigan in the mid 90’s. It didn’t get violent, there was no tear gas, nobody died.
The Klan marched on the state Capitol and then stood on the steps with a bull horn. They thrust their flags in the air, and shouted their white power rhetoric and paraded around with the symbols of Swastikas and hate.
I remember the day was tense, boiling, anger ready to explode.
While the Klan was on the steps of the capitol, police in riot gear were prepared, standing between them and the angry group that came to counter their bigoted speech.
The counter protestors if you will, stood on the other side of barricades. They held signs with peace symbols and American flags and Rainbow tapestry. They were also angry and vociferous demonstrating loudly, under a banner of peace.
Though it was 23 years ago, the symbolism was amazingly similar. The same angry faces screaming at one another. The same flags demonstrating peace and hate and everything in between.
It seems like not much has changed symbolically in 23 years of hate filled demonstrations.
The one major difference?
The Michigan Police were there, standing ready, in the middle of the two groups. They could yell at each other, they could point at each other, but for the most part they couldn’t touch one another.
In Michigan it began angry and it ended angry, but not a drop of blood was spilled.
By the time the police entered the fray in Virginia, it was mop up duty.
The world always wants to blame someone. Everyone wants to point fingers at someone and call for a definitive statement that is bold and easy to understand.
The president denounced the violence, but he didn’t call out the White Supremacists.
He should have. How hard would that have been?
Instead Trump called out all the hate we all watched on TV Saturday.
That was certainly the right thing to do.
And as I’ve stated, it was often hard to tell who was hurting who without a scorecard and DNA swab.
Everyone has a right to speak. Nobody has a right to harm.
Everyone seemed to be harming one another Saturday wearing symbolism that often was indistinguishable from one another.
The president was excoriated on the morning news programs.
That’s par for the course.
Tomorrow Trump will be kicked in the nuts for North Korea or Health Care or his orange face.
Perhaps rather than blame any single person.
We should all take a look at ourselves and reflect.
What is it that burns inside a man or woman that makes them put on a combat helmet and carry a club and punch another person in the face?
Call that organization by any name you wish, but the common denominator is simple.