Sometimes in this racket, you come upon a word choice, a thought, a sentence, or a paragraph that makes you think, "Hmmm. I have no idea what this writer is going for here?" On Monday, an anonymous editorial writer at The New York Times hocked up a gold-plated example while writing about the weekend's bloodshed, and its connection to the rising white-supremacist movement enabled by the current administration*. The editorial was going along splendidly and then, well, I don't know what the writer was going for here.
Those who sympathize with the white nationalist ideology but who deplore the violence should work closely with law enforcement to see that fellow travelers who may be prone to violence do not have access to firearms like semiautomatic assault-style weapons that are massively destructive.
This is not dissimilar to what we hear every time some anti-choice fanatic shoots a doctor or blows up a clinic. But it is clearly beyond that by an order of magnitude. Speaking in its institutional voice, the Times seems to be bringing the dudes-in-a-diner paradigm to white nationalism. This is completely insane. If you "sympathize with white-nationalist ideology," you're a white nationalist, to say nothing of your being a racist.
There's no moderate wing of white nationalism. White nationalism is an inherently violent ideology. It envisions the violent re-establishment of a white-supremacist republic. It envisions the violent wrenching of history back to a white-supremacist narrative. A white nationalist adheres to a violent ideology whether or not that person has yet to shoot up a Walmart. The people to whom the Times is asking for us to appeal do...not...exist. They never have.
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