After the awful events in Charlottesville, there has been an odd, but familiar phenomenon. There are the rightful denunciations of the Nazis, KKK, etc. But if someone even asks the denouncers if they have ever also denounced Antifa and Black Lives Matters, two groups who also have demonstrated racism and political violence, then even that question gets denounced. Those who denounce both the Nazi types and Antifa and BLM, and who denounce double standards also get very similar treatment. I’ve seen this sorry exercise even on the Facebook group page of the Anglican Church of North America, which is shameful.
This is an in-your-face example of a big double standard that has poisoned politics and the study of history since World War 2. While the atrocities of the “Right”* are emphasized, the atrocities of the Left are downplayed or ignored, even if those atrocities are of a much greater scale. The History Channel once was dubbed the Hitler Channel because of the frequency of its emphasis on Nazism and its atrocities. And certainly we should “never forget.” But how often does one see documentaries of the atrocities under Lenin and Stalin, who killed millions more than Hitler?
Of course, there is much more to the study of history than the History Channel – thank God – but the phenomenon can be found across academia as well. And when someone tries to provide some balance and focus on Communist evil, they often get grief for it. The controversy that surrounded the publication of the Black Book of Communism is one example.
I detest this double standard, which only enables the Leftist New Totalitarians, who are a much greater danger than the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other loons. If someone has been silent for over a year as Antifa has violently attacked peaceful demonstrators, Trump supporters, free speech, even those who simply wanted to hear a speaker, then his/her display of indignation over white supremacist violence is worth very little to me.
And, yes I will say it, President Trump was right to denounce violence from both sides. And he was courageous to do so in the face of those who hate truth-telling about the Left.
By the way, these kind of double standards just feed hate. Denouncing rightist hate while being silent about or even praising Leftist hate throws gasoline on hate. The double standards must stop. The political violence from both sides must be denounced and stopped.
* I use “right” very loosely here. Placing, say, Nazis on the right is highly questionable as they are a form of totalitarianism not very different from Communism.