‘Unite the Right’ and the Politics of Silence

This weekend, an untold number of white nationalists and their sympathizers will gather in Washington, D.C., to rally against, in their words, the “civil-rights abuses” they endured in Charlottesville, Virginia, exactly one year ago. The “Unite the Right” gathering will take place in Lafayette Park, just across from the White House. It will mark the anniversary of not only the group’s march through Charlottesville, tiki torches ablaze, but also the horrors that resulted from it, including the murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

It also potentially marks a paradigmatic shift for the Republican Party. President Donald Trump responded in the dark aftermath of last year’s march not by emphatically denouncing the bigotry that sparked it, but by reminding Americans of the “very fine people on both sides.” Chief of Staff John Kelly may have hung his head as Trump delivered those remarks, but, like most officials in this administration, he never spoke out against them.

It is this fact and its consequences that bear considering throughout the demonstrations this weekend: whether, in today’s GOP, racism has been relegated to gaffe-like status—a political pitfall to navigate against, rather than a moral failing to wholly condemn.

The white nationalists are winning—their message has permeated the broader GOP.

I happened to be with an administration official this time last year, interviewing him for a story unrelated to Charlottesville. But the violent march naturally crept into our discussion, as both of our phones trilled with news of Trump’s press conference. I remember the official sighing deeply, shaking his head as he scanned the reports. Yet I’d learn moments later that this was not in opposition to the president’s comments themselves; rather, it was anxiety about how to contain the fallout. “Great, yet another distraction,” the official said. “The media will never …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

Heather Heyer’s Mother: ‘We’ve Just Got Such a Ways to Go’

A year ago this August, the country watched in horror as a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned deadly when one of the ralliers drove a car into a group of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring several others.

For Susan Bro, the horror was personal: The woman killed was her daughter, Heather Heyer, who had gone to the protest to oppose white nationalism.

After Heyer was killed, money poured in from well-wishers. With help from her associates, Bro set up a foundation in Heyer’s name. The Heather Heyer Foundation has spent the past year granting scholarships and working with groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, as well as supporting social-justice causes like the youth-run group Higher Voices, which the Foundation helped set up earlier this year.

I spoke to Bro earlier this week about how her life has changed since Heyer’s death last year, and how she thinks the country has dealt with the resurgence of white nationalist groups in the past few years.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

How has your life changed over the past year?

Well, let me explain just how my life was before, and then I’ll explain how my life is now. So of course these two weeks are kind of distorted because of the intense, intense, intense schedule. But before, I’d had a regular nine to five job, and was home for lunch every day—actually eight to five ‘cause I had an hour off for lunch. State benefits, state insurance, no weekends, no evenings, and before that I was a schoolteacher. Grandmother of eight, and married five years ago almost. Lived together for the last eight years, and we kind of had, a life of routine, we’d see the grandkids once a month and see my parents once a month, and I did knitting …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Kobached Off

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized a new book by former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault-Newman as “riddled with lies and false accusations.” In her book, Manigault-Newman claims President Trump was caught on tape using racial epithets, and that she was offered hush money after being fired from her job.

Trump announced an increase in tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he plans to recuse himself from overseeing the vote count in his hotly-contested Republican gubernatorial primary election against Governor Jeff Colyer. Kobach currently leads Colyer by less than one-tenth of a percentage point.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, will start on September 4.

White-nationalist protesters are expected to gather in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Today on The Atlantic

Peak Trump: The administration’s rollout of the new Space Force is a kind of Trumpian branding that’s reminiscent of Trump University, writes David A. Graham.

‘The White Nationalists Are Winning’: The alt-right may never be able to form a movement, writes Adam Serwer, but “white nationalists’ ideological goals remain a core part of the Trump agenda.”

What Is a ‘Race-Class Narrative’?: New research suggests that talking overtly about race can help Democrats appeal to their base—and persuadable voters. (Elaine Godfrey)

Anything Can Happen: Democrats need a net gain of two seats to win back the Senate, which at this point, doesn’t seem likely. But be prepared for the unexpected. (Dick Polman)

SnapshotRepresentative John Delaney of Maryland rides down the giant slide during a visit to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Charlie Neibergall …read more

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