Everyone Needs to Watch Vice’s Disturbing Documentary From Charlottesville

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If anyone can watch this documentary from the events in Charlottesville and still walk away talking about the sins of “both sides,” we’re in big trouble.

The whole goal of the white supremacist gathering was, as described by one interviewee, to show off the power and scale of their movement. Frankly, if we only let it serve as that kind of demonstration to their sympathizers and not everyone else, things are only going to get worse. Everyone who opposes these ideas needs to wake up, right now, and realize that ignoring this is not an option. It never has been, really, and a collective ignorance of the racism still alive and well in our society is what has allowed it to thrive and resurface like this.

Around these events, there’s no benefit to a “both sides” argument for anyone but the white supremacists. That’s what the white supremacists want. You can see them in the video, rattling off talking points that you’ve probably heard from their allies who claim that they don’t go in for the full-on KKK/neo-Nazi aspect of this set of politics, before dropping in the some full-blown, explicit racism that underlies their rationale. There is no way of siding with those beliefs without accepting the bigotry they’re based on.

Only one side drove into a crowd with a car and killed someone. Only one side is fighting in favor of hatred. (For the millionth time, being against hate isn’t a form of hate to anyone who’s not being pointlessly obtuse.) We have to be clear about why that’s not OK. Whether or not the white supremacist rally was legal is entirely beside the point. Does anyone really want to be the character in a period piece who’s like, “Well I’m not racist personally, but it’s the way things are, you see”? Because we sure seem to have a lot of “both sides” apologists signing up for the role.

We all know that’s the wrong side of history to be on, and yet when it’s the present, too many people seem to suddenly lose perspective. Hopefully, this documentary can help restore that perspective.

(featured image: screengrab)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.