So you think Charlottesville was about free speech?

Following the gut-wrenching portrait of contemporary America on display in Charlottesville, I have a few questions…

How can it be free speech when it’s at the end of a gun? Don’t we call those threats?

If you’re carrying a modified M16 because you say you want to defend the Constitution, what about that pesky “due process” part?

If you want your event to be peaceful, then why show up with an army?

Can I not wear polo shirts and khakis anymore?

Is this what protesting will mean in this country now?

Is it just, like, super embarrassing to have all your dog whistle racist BS called out by the mainstream media for once? It’s really going to complicate that whole decades long battle to demonize immigrants.

If you’re wearing a Blue Lives Matter patch, which is intended to say “I trust cops to do anything for any reason when in uniform,” then why don’t you trust them to protect YOU?

Why were are all those tanks and military grade hardware acquired by police forces across the country, if not for ensuring public safety when a racist vigilante mob starts beating people?

When a Democratic mayor, a Democratic governor, a black city manager and a black police chief get bigots in motorcycle helmets assaulting people and mowing down peacefully demonstrating clergy on their watch, are we all finally ready to believe that racist violence is a problem in every American community?

When dozens are injured and one person dies because your threats of violence came true, does that somehow not qualify as an “imminent threat,” which is not protected as free speech?

How much self-deception does it take to go to court to argue for things like disparate impact one day and the next day argue for allowing white supremacists to use their preferred location to issue threats of violence, and think this is really only about principle?

What world am I in where I agree with Jeff Sessions and Orin Hatch? It really screws with my self-esteem.

If you’re a white person and you say you feel threatened, does that give you license to do… anything?

What does it feel like to spit on black and brown people and raise a Nazi salute on Saturday, and then go back to your accounting job on Monday? Is it better than or not quite as good as tailgaiting the big game?

When you watch the Cville violence unfold from afar, and your response is “I just despise extremists on both sides,” is that because you think a rational response to brutal, violent racism is to just stay focused on Instagramming rainbows and sunsets? They are prettier, I’ll concede.

How much of a white supremacist supporter is our president exactly — just a casual fan of Confederate iconography and the primacy of white western culture, or is he full-on paranoia about false Jewish conspiracies and the preservation of bloodlines? Or maybe he just gets a little excited when David Duke retweets him.

What would the possibility of redemption mean for the bearers of torches?

Given that racism was created to oppress, dominate and plunder, isn’t all the language of white supremacy a physical threat to people like me and my family?

Cause that’s how it feels. Cause that’s how it’s meant.

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