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Washington D.C. Is Providing Three Metro Cars and Police Escort to White Nationalists Participating in the 'Unite the Right' Rally (Update: Not Anymore)

Illustration for article titled Washington D.C. Is Providing Three Metro Cars and Police Escort to White Nationalists Participating in the Unite the Right Rally (Update: Not Anymore)
Photo: Alex Brandon (AP)

Yeah. White nationalists are holding another Unite the Right rally. Yep, this one is taking place in our nation’s capital. And yes, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is giving its participants three metro cars and a police escort to the rally, taking place on August 12. (Update: D.C.’s Metro will no longer be providing separate cars.)

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If you’ve been fortunate enough to be living in a hole for the past year or so, Jason Kessler is back at it again. Last summer, he was the guy behind the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that ended up resulting in three deaths, over 38 non-fatal injuries, and 11 arrests. The point of these rallies is to unite members of the far-right (or alt-right), neo-Nazis, Klansmen, militias, and neo-Confederates, toting guns and anti-semitic messages to protest, uh, the plight of the white race.

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The Washington Post reported on Friday evening that the Metro was considering providing separate trains, a statement confirmed on Saturday by the local ABC7 news station.

Basically, the point is to keep the white nationalists separated from the rest of the world and the counter-protestors who are having none of this shit. It’s an effort to prevent the level of violence we saw at Charlottesville. This rally is being held as a protest to the “civil rights abuse in Charlottesville”, so there’s already a hell of a lot of tension and bad blood simmering here.

There’s a lot to unpack here. How are the Transit Authority actually going to regulate who’s getting on what car? What if the union representing train operators decide, hey, fuck this, we’re not giving them a ride? And, mainly, is this the kind of precedent we want to set? Are we just accepting that members of our country hold ideologies so violent that they need special protections to be able to express themselves?

We’re not going to find out until the day of the event. Local police have also opted out of releasing their strategy for ensuring the safety of both protestors and counter-protestors, as well as themselves.

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We live in some confusing times, folks.

Update Sunday 12 p.m.: The Washington Post reports Metro is no longer considering running separate trains for those attending the rally:

Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans had previously said that running a separate train was among options being weighed by officials.

“Metro will not be providing a special train or special car for anyone next Sunday,” Evans said.

Word about the possibility of the service for rallygoers spread quickly Friday and Saturday, drawing condemnation from those who decried “special treatment” for white nationalist groups, which are focused on the goal of achieving a whites-only state or the separation of whites from other groups. Others thought the possible move to constitute a form of segregation.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

nicholasdavison
The English Guy

This deeply goes against modern American politics where one’s own team is the only source of truth, whatever they do and the other is evil no matter what but...

I find it valuable to swap team names around and ask if I want to be a part of a world where the reverse is/isn’t true.

On the purple team, you may hate the yellow team. Yellow are scum, their views are evil. They shouldn’t even be allowed to speak their views in public. If the government doesn’t stop the yellow team from espousing their views, it’s up to good purples to assault them!

Except would we want a world where yellows can ban us good purples from speaking because they don’t like our message and currently have control? Would we want a world where the government says we have a right to share our purple message and yellows angrily mass and assault us?

If you you find yourself outraged by their president, think he is pure evil, think stopping the country functioning is reasonable to show him, think his supporters are clueless jokes at best and evil most of the time, if you think it is outrageous that they try and stop you campaigning for a different way... yet you can’t believe anyone is so irrational over your President, are amazed that they see his well intentioned policies as pure evil, stunned that they would cripple this great country to spite your great leader, that they are mostly jokes with some truly evil people and that they need stopping from spreading their poison at all costs... you’re part of the problem.

I think American white power nazis are absolutely disgusting morons. But I also think America has been very careful to separate criminal hate speech from a right to speech. If they do the illegal kind, arrest them. If they do the legal kind, I may hate them for it but I damn well want their right to say it so that when it’s the time of others to counter protest, they’re allowed to too.

Antifa rioters assaulting them just strengthen them. They go back to their sad little aryan nation friends and say, “See! We’re getting to them. This is a fight now! Join us at the next fight!” No one gets convinced by being assaulted.

Take a page from MLK. Humiliate them with your dignity. Show up in huge numbers. Let’s them face the shame of thousands looking in solemn pity. Let the news cameras make it clear that they, and they alone, are the thugs.

That the metro wants to avoid violence is a good thing. Take the group names out of it. They want people to debate their arguments, as America stands for, not fight it out in the streets and subways, hurting bystanders.

They’re not giving nazis trains as a reward, they’re doing what they should be doing to keep America the great it’s always been, one where discourse is civil but encouraged.

I know it’s easy to hate alt right idiots. But don’t become idiots, yourself, because of that hate.

Letting people gather, trying to do so safely and without violence, even if you don’t like their message, so you’ll get to do the same when people don’t like your message, is one of the things America has always been great for.