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Open Letter to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

[1]1,188 words

Dear Governor McAuliffe,

In the Soviet Union, they had essentially two kinds of prisoners in their vast gulag system: the 58s and everyone else. The 58s had been indicted under the provisions of Article 58 of the Soviet criminal code, which gave the state license to lock up virtually anyone for political reasons. If someone was deemed even a potential enemy of the people, that was enough to slap a 58 on him. Intellectuals, free thinkers, religious people, didn’t matter. Anyone unlucky enough to say the wrong thing at the wrong time . . . or not . . . could be looking at ten to twenty-five years hard time north of the Arctic Circle. And your innocence would be completely immaterial since they would torture you until you signed a confession.

And the other kind of prisoner? Those were your run-of-the-mill murderers, rapists, thieves. You know, real criminals. People who needed to be locked up because they posed an immediate danger to the public.

Take a guess which kind of prisoner held more power in the Soviet gulag system. Guess which kind of prisoner the state trusted to help run things for them in the vast reaches of the archipelago.

If you guessed it was the real criminals, you’d be right. Better to be a convicted violent criminal in the old Soviet Union than it was to be even a suspected thought criminal who never harmed a soul in his life. This is the very antithesis of the American way of life where people are supposedly allowed to think and speak as they please as long as they’re peaceful about it.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It should. Because on Saturday, August 12, 2017, during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, you helped resuscitate the Soviet Union right here in America. On one hand, you had over a thousand Right-wingers who were there simply to congregate peacefully, to attend speeches, and to legally protest the removal of certain Civil War statues. They had no intention of violence, as evidenced by the peaceful assembly they had held the night before.

These are the people whom you wish to brand with the 58 label: the thought criminals, the enemies of the people. These are the people you so lazily smear as “white supremacists and neo-Nazis” when really the most accurate thing about that description is the first word. These are folks whose only crime was to break cultural taboos by standing up for their own race and culture. Like the 58ers in the gulag, they were perfectly innocent, yet guilty of everything.

And on the other hand, you had the riotous violent counter-protesters who came there with the sole purpose of causing trouble. They had no permit, yet were allowed to assemble (as opposed to the Unite the Right people who had a permit and were told to disband). They had hate-filled signs. They spat on people. They wielded clubs and baseball bats. They threw rocks. They threw frozen water bottles. They threw jars filled with concrete. They threw jars filled with urine. They threw jars filled with feces. They attacked people with modified flame throwers. They shot pepper spray at people. One man very well might have suffered permanent damage to his vision because of such an attack. Another suffered a blow with a claw hammer near his ear.

And as for the young man who drove into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing one woman and injuring nineteen more, his car was beset on all sides by a violent mob. There is video showing thugs smashing his rear window with bats. And so he panicked and hit the gas and then reverse to get out of there. If there ever was a time to have reasonable doubt, at least before all the facts come in, this is it.

But instead, you prefer to side with the real criminals over the thought criminals, the violent over the non-violent, the ‘everybody else’ over the despised 58s. In fact, don’t think we don’t remember how you signed an order last year that restored voting rights for 206,000 Virginia ex-felons in Virginia, including murderers and rapists. If that’s not a red flag pointing to your Soviet sensibilities, I don’t what is.

You say that the Unite the Right crowd has no place in America. But whose America? That of the inheritors of the Soviet Union who’d rather bash heads than exchange ideas? That of the useful criminals who gladly do that bashing for them as their leadership turns a blind eye to their misdeeds? Is that what you want to turn America into? A place where people fear for their lives when saying politically incorrect things? A place where defending yourself is tantamount to attacking someone in the eyes of the public and press? A place where merely sticking up for one’s racial interests instantly makes one guilty of past atrocities and worthy of exile?

And to compound all this, you don’t wish to apply these draconian standards equally among all people, do you? In Terry McAuliffe’s America, non-whites don’t have to fear for their lives when saying politically incorrect things, do they? The obnoxious anti-white tweets of Charlottesville’s vice mayor Wes Bellamy shows that that’s true. In your America, non-whites can also stick up for their racial interests all they want, yes? When you spoke at the Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church on Sunday, the day after the rally, you said you stood with the African-American community in condemning white supremacy. So clearly you are not against people organizing on the basis of race.

No, in Terry McAuliffe’s America it’s only white people who cannot be allowed to do these things. Or they can, as long as they are being explicitly anti-white about it. Then they can wave Soviet or Antifa flags and assault people all they want and you’ll never disavow them. They’re not the 58s, you see. They’re not the real troublemakers. But when a few nitwits show up at a right wing rally with Nazi flags, well, that’s enough to condemn the whole lot of them, isn’t it?

So, congratulations, Governor. By siding with the violent counter-protesters and applying this double standard towards non-violent whites, you’re only proving yourself to be just as bad as Soviet officials and twice as hypocritical. It is, after all, their form of jurisprudence you wish to emulate.

That’s quite an accomplishment, isn’t it?

And you know what? You’re right. If this is indeed what America will turn into then the people who attended that rally on Saturday will certainly have no place there. No one on the Right will. That’s because we can envision a better place. A place without small-minded, would-be Soviet apparatchiks like yourself who place higher value on physical violence than on free thought and association. Keep pushing us, Governor, and one day we will find that place and go there.

And if you do ever get that America you envision, and your precious non-whites turn on you in the same way they turned on the Unite the Right crowd on Saturday, don’t coming knocking.

Because we won’t let you in.


Spencer Quinn