VICE's Embed with White Nationalists in Charlottesville.
|Amy Widdowson||Aug 15, 2017|
This past weekend was horrifying, so you should watch VICE News’s episode what went down in Charlottesville. I warn you, the episode is raw and brutal and scary, with up-close interviews with leaders of the white nationalist groups who organized the torch-lit Friday and violent Saturday marches. VICE embedded a reporter with one of the leaders of the white supremacist groups throughout the two days. While there are few words to describe an angry racist mansplaining white serial killers to a female reporter, there are even fewer words to describe the immediate aftermath of a car smashing into a crowd of counter protestors that left one woman dead.
And while I encourage you to watch VICE’s episode, I also cringe at the fact that we add to the viewcounts that I’m sure the social media-savvy racist groups follow and revel in. I think that’s what hits me hardest about the piece: these men are media-trained, with talking points and bland hand gestures down. They’re organized, taking lessons from the left, and are now proud to stand in front of the world and show off their hate, imitating the quintessentially filibuster-like meandering political statement, sprinkling American jargon like “freedom” and “liberty” on top of racist rhetoric calling their African American “opponents” “animals.” And that final scene where a white supremacist leader proudly tosses his half a dozen guns onto a motel room bed - which he was carrying throughout the day, in public - while two separate screens behind him show he’s well aware of the online outrage he’s spurred? I wish I could think of a less-cliched word to describe “chilling” before I’ve had my coffee.
Meanwhile, ”Trump retweets alt-right troll following Charlottesville rally” after tweeting that the “#Fake News Media will never be satisfied” after his 48 hour-late statement on white supremacy.
This is 2017.