Of the many peculiar things surrounding Donald Trump’s initial statement made on the day of violence in the Virginia town of Charlottesville, the lack of dispassion on the part of allegedly neutral observers is quite striking.
While many are debating over whether Trump has a preference of the so-called alt-right over the so-called alt-left, something that ought to be discussed is being left out. One ought to consider that this entire ‘scandal’ is due to how the mainstream mass media shapes the meaning of a speech, statement or phrase and how due to the sheer ability to proliferate the marketplace, even those opposed to the MSM (on both left and right) often fail to do anything but accept the initial MSM interpretation. From there, the wider public simply asks if Trump was right or wrong based on this interpretation.
Here is the ‘offending’ quote in full,
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time”.
The MSM interpretation of this is that Trump was both minimising the violence of one side (in this case the alt-right) while also failing to take responsibility for the violence. This of course was the same MSM who lacerated Trump when he alluded to George W. Bush having a special responsibility for 911. Here one already sees one contradiction.
Trump’s statement in itself is literally extremely balanced. Consider for a moment if Barack Obama made a similar statement only saying “not Barack Obama, not George W. Bush”.
Here is how a sympathetic media may have reported on such a statement:
“Today, President Obama took the high road as he has done many times before. By condemning violence on all sides without singling out a single sect, Obama has helped to dissipate a attitude of confrontation that could have been made much worse if Obama decided to name and shame a particular group.
This is fitting with Obama’s careful wording when speaking of other terrorist atrocities where he refuses to slander the name of ordinary Muslims by linking them with terrorism committed in Islam’s name”.
As someone who praised Obama’s tendency to be less rhetorically slanderous to Islam via-a-vis George W. Bush, I am always pleased to see restrained when it comes to tarring an entire group of people, most of whom are non-violent. It was subsequently, a shame that Obama’s policies were a carbon copy and even an acceleration of George Bush’s policies of setting fire beneath Muslim majority countries.
Donald Trump has applied the same careful language Obama tended to use about Islam to violence committed in the name of the alt-right and alt-left. This is to be applauded. One is not required to understand Islam (as it would seem most people in the secular west do not) in order to understand that ordinary Muslims are not Slafist terrorists.
Likewise, one doesn’t need to understand let alone endorse the alt-right or alt-left (I personally endorse neither) in the United States to realise that everyone sending right-wing memes is not a violent criminal and nor is everyone at a leftest rally a violent criminal.
Trump tends to Islam totally wrong, but at least he got the domestic stuff right. In the imperfect world of American political rhetoric, one ought to be grateful for small miracles.
There is one fundamental difference between the slandering of Islam and the slandering of the alt-right/alt-right. Islam is the holy worship of God which is practised by millions of people throughout the world. Few secular political movements are ever as meaningful as the spiritual, even for those who are inexorably committed to such views.
But at days end, the singling out of a secular group can have similar social consequences as when one singles out a religious group.
Thus, if one is to view Trump’s statement as a reasonable refusal to single out non violent members of a large group because of the criminal actions of a few, the proper conclusion to draw isn’t to force Trump to name and shame the alt-right, but instead to urge Trump to employ tact and sensitivity when he would normally slander Islam and all Muslims as he does on many occasions.
Rather than single out any group as the MSM is doing, one ought to remember the wisdom inherent in being able to separate the criminality of the few from the peace of the many, irrespective of one’s personal disposition.
This is the very reason why I have stated that if the regions of Ukraine were to hold votes on separating themselves from the current fascist regime in Kiev, most people in most regions would vote to do so. This is because while I totally condemn the violence of the regime and its hard-core adherents, I have never condemned the entire population of Ukraine who themselves are living under the tyranny of the few, a few who happen to be endorsed by most of the US mainstream media.