Ever since the 2016 election, “white hate groups” have been the darling of the mainstream media. Even independent journalists, who should know better, have spilled metric tons of (digital) ink over this phenomenon. After Hillary Clinton crashed and burned in the 2016 election, the mainstream media spent millions crisscrossing flyover country dredging up the most reactionary hicks they could find in an effort to convince America that “white hate groups” were on the rise, emboldened by Trump’s win. As these fine specimens were pulled blinking into the light from their parents’ basements, they dutifully spouted their hate for the CNN cameras while anchors talked up the new threat lurking in the country’s trailer parks. When their best efforts failed to increase the fear level of the average American and the electoral college stuck to its votes, the media reluctantly rolled the yokels back into their caves and shifted to trumpeting Trump’s “collusion” with Russia and Putin, a baseless narrative that has only recently come crashing down around their ears with the revelation that the information supposedly “hacked” from Democratic National Committee servers was actually leaked by a disgruntled DNC technician upset over Clinton’s theft of the primary from Sanders.

The neocons, so worried in the runup to the election that Trump wouldn’t give them their wars that they defected to the Clinton camp, lost no time in taking Trump under their wing after the election. They alternated between carrot and stick, hounding him with accusations of Russian collusion while dangling their support if he would just wipe Syria off the map. Just a little favor for our friends in Israel, eh Donald? Trump dipped his toe in those waters with a strike on a Syrian airfield the day after another suspicious chemical attack was pinned on the long-suffering Bashar al-Assad, but while his Deep State tormentors stopped pushing the Russia narrative for a day or two, they quickly resumed pressure when it became apparent that he wasn’t going to go any further toward regime change. The backlash from his supporters had been immediate - here was the president they had elected to keep the US out of yet another middle eastern quagmire, succumbing to Deep State pressures to retaliate against what was obviously a false flag chemical attack with a missile strike that looked an awful lot like an overture to war - and the few non-neocon advisers still present in his administration cautioned him against starting something he wasn’t prepared to finish. Fortunately, Trump stepped back from that ledge. The Russian collusion narrative continued to play 24/7, with investigation after investigation failing to turn up the incriminating material the media tried to convince us was everywhere.

The Deep State has not stopped calling for war in Syria. Nikki Haley, Trump’s inept ambassador to the United Nations, practically welcomed further false flag attacks with her belligerent, idiotic tweets suggesting any further chemical attacks would be blamed not only on Assad’s government but also on Russia and Iran without proof, an investigation, or any of the other usual measures observed before launching a war. Trump has mostly capitulated to the neocon hectoring, inflating the military budget (already larger than that of the next six countries combined), including some truly fulsome language in that budget document about “our commitment to Israel,” and saber-rattling against not only Syria but Iran, North Korea, and even Venezuela. His disillusioned base thrown under the bus, Trump clings to the neocons as the only friends he has left.

Fast-forward to August 12th. The white hate groups are back, and boy are they pissed! A so-called “Unite the Right” rally to protest the removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, VA degenerated into carnage when James Fields, one of the “white nationalists,” drove his car into a group of Antifa protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. The cops not only allowed but encouraged the violence between protesters and counter-protesters, funneling the groups into a confined space after declaring the entire event an “unlawful assembly” and telling everyone to get lost; VA governor Terry McAuliffe had declared a “state of emergency” 20 minutes before the rally’s scheduled start, negating the organizers’ hard-won permit (which had been revoked at the last minute and only reinstated following an ACLU lawsuit).

A police affidavit put the number of attendees at around 1500, itemized to include between 250 and 500 KKK members, 500 “3% Risen” (a neo-Confederate group), 150 “Alt Knights” (alt-right Fight Club fetishists affiliated with the Proud Boys) and between 200 and 300 “militia”; a far-right monitoring group cited but not named by the Guardian estimated attendance between 500 and 1000, while Democracy Now reported between 1000 and 1500. No numerical estimate could be found for Antifa members, though Democracy Now claimed they outnumbered the white nationalists. More importantly, no one bothered to count the media figures; some reports suggested the rally was so packed with journalists that Antifa activists mistook them for white nationalists and assaulted them. More than 100 cops were present, including city and state police and the National Guard. Given their numbers, there is no excuse for their inaction in the face of both sides’ violence unless they were explicitly told to stand down. The media has repeatedly linked the death of two officers who crashed their helicopter seven miles away to the event, though whether this is intended to distract from police’s egregious mishandling of the protest or simply to further demonize the organizers is unclear.

The internet predictably took the bait, losing its collective shit over the specter of White Hate haunting America under Trump. An examination of the facts, however, reveals a few holes in the narrative. Jason Kessler, the rally’s organizer, is a former Obama supporter who worked with the Occupy movement until late last year, when he experienced an ideological conversion on the heels of Trump’s election and posted an article on his since-deleted website condemning Charlottesville Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy for calling for the removal of the Lee statue, among other crimes against “white culture and history.” Kessler appears to be a provocateur, providing an easy target with his white-pride rhetoric and smearing the entire Right he supposedly sought to unite with the rally. Meanwhile, James Fields, the driver who mowed down the Antifa protesters, was on psychiatric drugs - a prerequisite for mass shooters and other media villains - and lived in his mother Samantha Bloom’s basement until a few months ago. In an unintentionally hilarious interview, Bloom said there was no way her son would have been involved with white supremacists because “he had an African-American friend, so…” and that she thought he had said he was going to an “albright” rally. The following day, TMZ revealed Bloom had called 911 several times in the past to report her son threatening and attacking her. A high school history teacher revealed that Fields had displayed Nazi tendencies at a tender age. The narrative would be humorous if people weren’t being hurt and killed.

As for white hate groups, the New York Times reported in 2011 that the National Socialist Movement was the largest white supremacist group in the country, comprising an anemic 400 members in 32 states. That’s .000133% of the population. Even if such groups have gained members in the wake of Trump’s election, they represent an extreme minority, and investigation of the so-called “hate crime wave” following the 2016 election revealed that many of those “hate crimes” were either perpetrated by the supposed victims or invented out of whole cloth.

Clearly, both sides of this rally needed beefing up, and newspaper ads have since been discovered seeking actors to pose as protesters for the princely sum of $25 per hour. Antifa - that ironically named group whose more-fascist-than-fascist tactics of street violence, property destruction and censorship have earned it zero ideological converts and discredited the entire anti-Trump resistance - has been known to inflate its ranks with paid agitators, notably at an anti-free-speech event seeking to block sophomoric alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance earlier this year at UCLA Berkeley. Antifa emerged from the mists following the 2016 election, clearly with the help of large wads of cash; whose large wad remains uncertain, though conservatives have fingered their favored bete noire George Soros. The ruling class had every reason to pay for agitators to swell and disrupt the ranks of both sides. Violence provides an excellent excuse for law enforcement to crack down on protesting, while the presence of bogeymen-du-jour neo-Nazis (real or fake) fans the hysteria of those already inclined to crack down on free speech. Following the rally, GoDaddy and Google announced they would no longer host cartoonish white supremacist website Daily Stormer, and video game chat app Discord shut down its popular AltRight server as well as several associated accounts. Leftists gloating at the Right’s misfortune should be aware that they are next. One need only look at YouTube’s recent demonetizing and quarantining of all but the most mainstream-friendly political content on the right AND left, as well as Facebook and Twitter’s increasingly capricious bans in reaction to controversial political statements.

It remains unclear who instigated the violence at the rally prior to Fields committing vehicular homicide. The white supremacist groups will most likely be bused back to their trailer parks until they are needed again, and it doesn't take a genius or even a politically-aware person to denounce "white nationalism." These groups are low-hanging fruit, walking cartoons, reactionary throwbacks. Antifa, however, is more insidious; it doesn't take too many brain cells to be against the neocon-in-sheep's-clothing that is Donald Trump, but in this case the enemy of my enemy is not my friend. Antifa is not a liberal organization. Their use of violence against ideological opponents is diametrically opposed to the principles of liberalism. Any person or group secure in their opinions allows the opposing side to speak, confident that their own arguments are sufficient to win people over. Antifa merely completes the job political correctness started - from stifling free speech in academic discourse to shouting down campus speakers they disagree with to beating up those who dare speak up in protest on the streets. As a result, Americans are running from the ideological left en masse. Antifa serves the same purpose on the left that neo-Nazis serve on the right.

The excessive media coverage of the event tells the whole story. Dozens of Bernie Sanders rallies drawing tens of thousands of supporters during the 2016 election were given zero mainstream media coverage because Sanders’ message did not serve the interests of the ruling class. The clash between 1000 “white nationalists” and an equal or lesser number of “anti-fascists” was plastered all over every news outlet, preempting more pressing matters like the looming threat of nuclear war under Trump’s increasingly belligerent foreign policy, the ongoing revelations confirming that the media’s beloved “Russian collusion” narrative never had any basis in reality, the Deep State's endless angling for war in Syria and Iran, and so on. Incidents like this rally feed the divided nation paradigm, keeping the Left and Right at each others’ throats by broadcasting the most unflattering image of each. Just as most people on the right don’t identify with white supremacists, most on the left don’t condone the wanton violence and speech suppression of Antifa. But the ruling class is screwed if we ever decide to come together.