Ethics Beyond the Obvious at Charlottesville

Christopher Cantwell supremacist.jpg

In 3rd grade, or maybe it was 7th, Miss Finestein made me write on the blackboard 50 times “I will not pull Joanne’s hair.” I think that was overkill. Making an example of me in front of the class and perhaps making me write it three or four times would have been enough. After that it just made me hate Miss Finestein.

So too with President Trump. We get it. Trump committed an ethical monstrosity when he equated pro-Nazis with anti-Nazis, and when he said that there were “very fine people” marching in Charlottesville alongside those carrying torches and Nazi and Confederate battle flags, and chanting “Jews won’t replace us.”

Trump was wrong wrong wrong. That’s an easy call, and anyone in public life who doesn’t make it is also committing an ethics disgrace. But let’s move on.

Some of the protesters came equipped with helmets, shields, baseball bats, and pepper spray. And used them, as shown in the photo. From the L.A. Times:

University of Virginia student Isabella Ciambotti: “I was on Market Street around 11:30 a.m. when a counter-protester ripped a newspaper stand off the sidewalk and threw it at alt-right protesters. I saw another man from the white supremacist crowd being chased and beaten. People were hitting him with their signs. A much older man, also with the alt-right group, got pushed to the ground in the commotion. Someone raised a stick over his head and beat the man with it, and that’s when I screamed and ran over with several other strangers to help him to his feet.”

You don’t have to approve of Nazis to disapprove of this behavior. Why are not the liberal talking heads of cable criticizing the counter-protesters, including the thuggish “Antifa”?. And while we’re at it why are they so silent about the thuggish opposition to respectable right-wing speakers on college campuses. If Trump’s moral turpitude teaches us anything, it ought to teach us to look to our own behavior.

If we don’t we’re showing lots of Trump voters that we have little to offer the country that they do not.

 

 

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