We Need to Talk

Yesterday there was another clash between fascists and counter-protestors, this time in Portland, Oregon. Most reports are suggesting that a few members of the counter-protest group threw projectiles into the group of fascists, and subsequently they were all rushed by police.

The few people who did, shouldn’t have become violent, but hateful ideologies stir things up in people, and rightly so. If I’m approached by crowds chanting “rights for whites” who’re donning symbols that represent racism and hatred, I’m going to get pretty wound-up by the senseless hatred of it all.

portlandprotest1

My favourite part from yesterday — if you can call it that — is the fact that members of the Christian faith were a part of both groups. Local clergy and small church community groups marched peacefully with the counter-protestors, while people holding equally peaceful signs that read “repent and believe the gospel” marched with that facist groups.

I wish the Christians from those two groups would just sit down and have a conversation with each other. That’s the kind of dialogue I want to see in America, not all of this spouting racist opinions and fighting each other nonsense, that serves no purpose beyond reminding everyone that the country is sick.

Each side should be asked to present their best debaters, and then they meet on a stage in the middle of a square, or park, or whatever. People who would march in the protests/rallies would then have to watch together, and listen to each person as they are allowed the same amount of time to speak.

If this happened, I believe that the crazy would speak for itself. With one side boiling all points down to “We don’t like people who don’t look like us,” and the other responding with “We want every human to have a fair chance in this world.”

That way, the public don’t just see a bunch of racists who hide behind broad and populist philosophies — they’ll see them for what they are. And the counter-protestors won’t need to resort to violence, as they won’t be baited by the imagery of a mob walking towards them, carrying signs that are designed specifically to “trigger”.

It’ll be an open dialogue; A sharing of thoughts and feelings that are backed up by facts and statistics. The right thrives on not showing its true colours until the final moments, in this setting they would have no choice, as they would be pushed to defend their ideological position.

Going back to the Christian involvement from both groups that I find so fascinating; I can almost hear the two sides debating with each other, as they justify why they’re on that side of the protest.

“Jesus was a man of peace, who believed in treating everyone as equal, whilst also taking care of the most vulnerable in our society. You’re out here advocating for white people to be the superior race, under the banner and loving message of a man who wasn’t even white — how do you justify that?”

” Yeah but… God hates you.”

Or something like that — I find it hard to debate right-wing ideologies via Christianity, because my limited understanding is that Jesus wasn’t so much a fan of hatred.

Right-wing supporters of the Patriot Prayer group gather during a rally in Portland

‘Patriot Prayer’ is the name of the group who marched in favour of far-right views and white nationalism. Their leader denies that they have anything to do with these views, but he allows people carrying swastika flags into his ranks. So for someone who doesn’t want to be associated with the extreme fringe of the right-wing, he doesn’t do a lot to combat their continued involvement in his rallies. I wonder why…?

Far-right groups across the world and throughout history have always managed to rise into positions of power by claiming that “they’re not racist”, it’s a part of their branding. If you march under the banner of ideologies that absolutely are not under threat, that most people would agree are a good thing, such as “freedom of speech” or “freedom of religion” — then potential new supporters don’t see what you really look like until they’re too deep into your ranks.

I’m fairly certain that both groups marching yesterday support free speech and freedom to practice your religion without persecution, and if that’s all Patriot Prayer legitimately stood for then they wouldn’t even warrant a counter-protest from the left.

I say this all the time, but freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of the words you speak — particularly when you’re proclaiming that other humans aren’t as equal as you are.

Also marching with Patriot Prayer on Saturday were the ‘Proud Boys’, whose definition of their movement, taken from their website, is a perfect example of branding yourself as not something, but acting and believing the direct opposite.

“All that is required to become a Proud Boy is that a man declare he is “a Western chauvinist who refuses to apologise for creating the modern world.” We do not discriminate based upon race or sexual orientation/preference. We are not an “ism”, “ist”, or “phobic” that fits the Left’s narrative. We truly believe that the West Is The Best.”

In these few sentences alone, they denounce that they are racist or sexist, yet describe themselves as chauvinist — the definition of which is someone who displays prejudiced loyalty in support of a specific gender. They claim they’re not racists, and yet declare that the “West Is The Best” — they’re dangerous morons, basically.

Typically, people who aren’t racist don’t need to have ten videos on their website justifying why they’re not racist, as the Proud Boys do.

“Proud Boys”, I can’t stop laughing at how hilarious that name is. Why not Brag Lads? Or Smug Men? Probably because they’re definitely boys, who have a lot of growing up to do.

I’m a white, heterosexual male who in no way feels threatened by the equal opportunities being offered in modern society. I have no idea what world these Proud Boys are a part of. But call me a Shamed Boy, knowing that they exist in an attempt to represent my “voice”.

I’d love to see a left-leaning, middle-aged Christian woman have a sixty minute debate with a bratty alt-right Proud Boy. That’s my dream for active discourse between two differing ideologies; No hiding in the shadows pretending to be something your not, just open dialogue to let the ugly speak for itself.


Today is Sunday, August 5th and rest in peace Barry Chuckle.

One thought on “We Need to Talk

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