To be put simply, I think it is completely okay to call out the identities of the Charlottesville demonstrators because it holds the accountable for their actions. In the modern age it has never been easier to hide behind the anonymity of a screen to spew hate, it has never been so easy to hind behind the masks of reorganized groups reinforcing these extremist ideologies. Yet we also here the rhetoric that they aren’t hate groups, they are people “just like us” united under common beliefs. And while these extremist hate groups only make up a small fraction of our population, we let them get away with far too much. If we don’t call out individuals, how can we hold them accountable for their actions?
When we call out individuals for their actions and they respond that we’re “ruining their name, reputation etc.” We need to follow up the conversation with asking why these actions ruin who they are, and maybe we need to talk about how to change their behavior. Recently we’ve been calling more and more people out for their actions—not just in Charlottesville but with other major news stories as well. I think its also important to note people aren’t just randomly naming names to blame people for these acts of hate, they are identifying people they know and placing a name to the face to make people realize that it isn’t just the organizations we are outraged with, it is the individuals that support those white nationalist/terrorist groups. It’s the same concept as identifying someone out of a line up. You only do so if you can do it with 100% certainty.
In an interview with CNN Peter Cvjetanovic admits to attending the rally but claims he is not inherently a racist. To Cvjetanovic, I want to say this; if you rally behind blatantly racist groups you are a racist. You didn’t attend the rally because you were bored and decided to go for fun. There are some (maybe not all), but definitely enough points that Unite the Right has that you agree with enough to attend a rally. If you look hard enough at anything you’ll find some point to agree on even if it is something as simple as believing that culture and heritage are important to an individual. Yes there are things in every culture’s history that we don’t celebrate, and often times we ignore them. But I believe it is important to say “I am proud of my heritage but I also condemn the fact that we caused [certain events] happened.” If this were honestly the case with you, you would not be so eager to rally behind Alt Right terrorist groups and attend their demonstrations. I’m not saying you have to go out and participate in counter-protests, but don’t fuel groups driven by so much hate based on your need for “cultural pride.”