The most vivid and visceral criticism of the recent and violent Proud Boy events is that they received treatment from the authorities that was nowhere near as confrontational and aggressive as that experienced by Black Lives Matter protesters. It is fair to maintain that the Proud Boys and other organizations of that bent have still yet to achieve the kind of recognition and notoriety that those against fascism have in the mainstream press. And this is after Proud Boys tore a Black Lives Matter banner and sign from two historic Black churches in downtown D.C. and burned them.
One comment that was retweeted aplenty pointed out how the very idea of "hundreds of armed Muslims burning flags, beating up people, stabbing people in the streets of the nation's capital without dozens of folks being shot and killed by the police" was unimaginable. It is hard to dispute this point. But it still does not reveal anything that any perspicacious person did not know. This kind of thing indeed happens on the regular. A few days before the Proud Boy events, there was the execution of Brandon Bernard, whose life is gone, which many compared with the incarceration of Dylan Roof, whose life is still with us.
Trump denied clemency for #BrandonBernard. He was 18, shot no one, but was with a group that did.
Trump praised Kyle Rittenhouse. He murdered 2 #BlackLivesMatter protesters. White ‘christians’ raised him $1 M.
Police took Dylan Roof to Burger King. He murdered 9 Black ppl. pic.twitter.com/AlrsWqNojR
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) December 11, 2020
I do not disagree with these views. They are correct. But they are not enough. And one only has to watch the most recent edition of Face the Nation to see what is more profound about our present political climate. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, who will be one of the most influential black officials in Joe Biden's administration, appeared on CBS's premier news show on Sunday to discuss something that under normal circumstances would be registered and addressed as sedition, how two-thirds of the GOP House representatives attempted to overthrow confirmed election results. What did Richmond say when Face the Nation's host, Margaret Brennan, asked him how Biden would go forward, full well knowing that a large part of the second-largest party in the US was ready to dump the foundational rules of American democracy to appease their leader? He said: What these men and women say to the public is not what they say in private. I kid you not.
Think about this. With the GOP, you can still have a political career and be considered viable by a Dem centrist if you in private are not the same as you are in public. Now one might say this is just another manifestation of white privilege. The GOP is a white party. One plus one make two. But step back and consider this: There is no way that a person on the left, no matter what their color, would be given political elbow room like that. They can't say, "I publicly support Black Lives Matter's call for defunding the police, but personally I want to give cops everything they ever dreamed of," and hope to remain politically viable. And yet, this is what, in effect, the members of the GOP can do without fear. Why?
It is here that the Dems have truly failed its voters. There is no gradation on the right. There is just the far-right and little else. The Dems, however, have failed to point this out and to make the message (which accords with reality) stick. And yet, the right has the greatest ease in accusing the most moderate members in the Democratic Party, which includes the Never Trumpers, of completely pushing an agenda of the progressives and Democratic Socialists (there are no socialists in the Democratic Party). The Dems have failed to make the public aware that it is actually two or even three parties within the terribly large tent of one: moderate Republicans and Dems, and the rest. The other party has long gone off the deep end. It is just a far-right party. Look at the Proud Boys. Look at the congresspersons' devotion to a man who has called Mexicans rapists and black men sons of bitches. Do you realize that even George W. Bush could never have said such things? And by all appearances, he and his wife voted for Biden. And these and other obvious features of the current American political landscape is not made obvious in the mainstream.
That said, I'm arguing this point from an inadequate position, one that still benefits the right. The correspondence between the extreme right and the extreme left, implied by the above line of argument, validates the extreme right at the end of the day. The platform of the former, however, is a hurting politics, whereas the latter is a helping one. To confuse helping and hurting improves the image and appearance of the hurting program. The two are regarded as a specular appearance. So, if you walk through this mirror you end essentially where you began. But this appearance is the illusion of all illusions in a capitalist political economy.