So, What REALLY Happened in Charlottesville? And WHAT Did PayPal Do?

Was the violence in Charlottesville entirely on one side (or nearly so), with no “fine people” on the keep-the-statue side, as CNN assumes? Or is the version Trump gave yesterday in his testy but remarkably open press conference a more accurate description?

Short answer: I don’t know, of course. But Buzzfeed, which as far as I know is at least middle-of-the-road and likely left-leaning, has a detailed account that sounds plausible and largely corroborates Trump’s claims (significant if not equal desire for violence on both sides, some cooler heads on both sides etc.).

Actually, I was pleased to see Trump go off-script yesterday, and though I was more than a little skeptical of his assertions, Buzzfeed‘s article seems to say the CNN crowd’s account of the incident is at least incomplete. We have to hand this one to Trump. [Added, Aug. 18: The CNN crowd also claims a “moral equivalency” issue. But there were those on the left who according to Buzzfeed, “were armed with shotguns, assault rifles, and pistols,” and to claim that they hold the moral high ground is absurd.]

One thing that rankles me is that CNN et al have in recent years legitimized the white supremacy movement by interviewing them as “normal” people. Look, in a population of 325 million people, there are bound to be some people with warped minds; so why is that newsworthy? If CNN finds it’s a slow news day, can’t they do stories on cute cats, or maybe (perish the thought) do a report on whether the Trump people did a good job in settling the recent confrontation with North Korea?

On the other hand, it turns out that the e-commerce companies have been happy to do business with white supremancy groups — until now, that is. The WSJ reports that Google, Uber etc. are pulling the plug. The article states,

On Tuesday, payments company PayPal Holdings Inc. reiterated that it works to ensure “that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance,” saying that includes white supremacists and Nazi groups. It is unclear if PayPal has recently removed or suspended any accounts that violated its terms of service.

Well, in fact PayPal has apparently severed the service of, a news site that issues one of the more strident calls for reductions in yearly immigration levels. It’s edited by Peter Brimelow, himself a British immigrant whose book Alien Nation, was a 1995 best seller.

Like everyone who writes about immigration, I do know Peter. Ironically, my first contact with him was indirect, when the WSJ published my letter to the editor that disagreed with his stance on whether children of Asian immigrants assimilate. (I said yes, while Peter’s stance was that he worried the opposite would happen.) I’ve had occasional direct interaction with him over the years. Peter is charming and urbane, and I remember that at a conference at Stanford, even Prof. Bill Hing, who should be Peter’s archenemy, was laughing at Peter’s jokes.

I don’t often go to the site, as its tone is a little too hard-edged for my taste. But the content is not out of the mainstream (sometimes they reblog my posts), and I was rather stunned to learn yesterday of PayPal’s action. HOWEVER, it’s arguably their own fault, for using such a provocative name as “vdare” (for Virginia Dare, first white child born in the U.S. or something like that).

Still, PayPal is setting a bad precedent, I believe. I’ve mentioned on occasion that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled Mark Krikorian’s organization, the Center for Immigration Studies, as a “hate group,” which is absolutely and outrageously false. Is CIS next on the pariah list?

As a lifelong liberal and minority activist, some may say I am the last person to bring up such things. But it’s very simple; a democracy is useless if we are not well informed, and what with CNN misleading us and PayPal exercising questionable censorship, staying well informed is getting pretty difficult these days.


16 thoughts on “So, What REALLY Happened in Charlottesville? And WHAT Did PayPal Do?

  1. Norm, Norm, are you that naive? CNN is so far in the tank, they are like Pravda. With their obsession with African Americans, why not celebrate their lowest unemployment rate in 17 years?

    Why not cover Dinesh DSouza’s book on slavery, the KKK, and the Democratic Party?

    This is the station that Donna Brazil worked for, who gave Presidential debate questions in advance to HRC.

    I get tired of their panels that have 2 liberals, a liberal moderator, and an overmatched mediocre conservative. Then we get slanted, biased quesions.

    Is this not yellow journalism? Didn’t these same hooligans reportedly bring hammers and weapons to Davis to shut down Milo? Violence in Berkeley?


  2. The confrontations of the liberals against the conservatives is not going that well for the liberals. The football player who disrespected the flag is putting the NFL and ESPN out of business. Some people didn’t like it and stopped supporting the games.The liberal tv guys are trashing Trump every minute and losing cable subscribers by the millions, one million cut the cord in the last quarter. Nobody needs to be on Facebook or Twitter either, watch out for lower numbers there. Paypal, who needs them. Flyover country is fed up with all the liberal crap.


  3. Petunia, we’ll see if you are right. Trump may firm up some of his base, but we’ll see how this affects the middle.

    The media is having a virtual cow over this, flabbergasted that Trump took them on. Years of indoctrination didn’t prepare them for questions like “what is the alt right” and Trumps queries about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

    Having a massive fail on RussiaGate, is this their repetitive boring unfounded assertion of racism foisted now on DJT? There are dozens of tapes on youtube of Trump denouncing racism, the KKK, David Duke, etc.

    We’ll see how gullible the public is.


  4. As an immigration activist who counts Peter Brimelow as one of his friends, I’m appalled with PayPal’s decision to block payments to VDARE dot com via their firm that you are reporting. Interested readers may confirm this action by entering VDARE dot com in their browser, with the obvious substitution for “dot”. This is a ominous form of censorship.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tidbit: In 2000, Trump declined to run for president as a member of the Reform Party because the “Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr Buchanan, and a communist, Ms Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.”


  6. This LA Times article makes clear some on both sides sought out violence, with many witnesses and links: la-na-charlottesville- witnesses-20170815-story.html

    The mayor (and perhaps governor and police chief) seemed incompetent. Permits to assemble should have been granted to opposing groups only with separation in space and time, with barring and arrest of anyone armed.

    I wonder if the stand-down order to police were not the city’s slap at the ACLU and courts for overruling the city’s refusal to give the racists a permit to assemble in town. If so, the racists are not the only ones with blood on their hands.

    Meanwhile, Trump should have said “innocent, non-violent people” on both sides, not “fine people”. That might have been more accurate.

    And while the media have had a frenzy over Charlottesville, NAFTA renegotiation has begun, perhaps of far greater import for the welfare of African-American workers.


  7. Norm,

    Whether or not anyone believes the coverage is biased, the Friday night rally was guaranteed to provoke a response. White males marching with swastikas, confederate crosses, and torches shouting “Jews will not replace us”, ‘You will not replace us”, “Blood and soil”, “Heil Trump!”, etc. is guaranteed to create a response, and it will not be a discussion. Note that no shields or weapons were present on Friday night march in any footage, but were very visible in Saturday footage.

    As someone whose father and uncles served in WW2, that the white supremacy mindset is still alive and well in the US horrifies me.

    As for Corporations cutting off these groups, IMO, it’s too little too late. If the only time a company wants to disassociate itself with potential profits is when bad PR will cost them many more customers that don’t agree, there is no moral high ground in the decision, just political expediency. Check back next quarter, and all the corps that are cutting these groups will be happily accepting their money again.

    And to be fair, I completely disagree with the yahoos who pulled down the Confederate monument in Durham, and I’m pleased they’re being prosecuted. They’re making nothing better, just venting their anger/frustration with destruction. While I don’t think Public monuments of that type should continue, I do firmly believe that they are still a part of our cultural heritage, and belong in museums, not destroyed.


    • ““Jews will not replace us”, ‘You will not replace us”, “Blood and soil”, “Heil Trump!”, etc. is guaranteed to create a response, and it will not be a discussion”

      The answer isn’t: riot in the streets.
      If you become a monster, to address a monster, what was gained?


  8. Norm,
    I am glad that you think PayPal has taken their censorship too far. I agree with you. Vdare dot com is not a racist organization in anyway. Once this politically motivated censorship gains steam and Fortune 500 companies see how the wind blows, we will all be in a very vicarious situation regardless of personal opinions. All the virtue signaling from the political center wont protect them.


  9. It has recently come out that an ad firm, Crowds on Demand in Los Angeles, was hiring photographers and actors for $25 an hour for Charlottsville. The ads were at least posted on Craigslist, and they would also pay travel expenses to get to the event.

    A year ago, Project Veritas taped Democrat strategist Robert Creamer of Democracy Partners explaining that they provoke violence at Trump rallies. He was frequently in the White House, met with Barack Obama several times, and claimed to coordinate with Hillary Clinton on a daily basis. He is also married to a Democratic congresswoman.

    It seems evident this calamity is more than an inch deep. I believe the Govetnor of the state is also a BFF with Bill Clinton, and plans to run for the WH.


  10. In the Buzzfeed article linked to, this is what happened outside of Charlottesville,
    Sheryl Gay Stolberg
    2. The hard left seemed as hate-filled as alt-right. I saw club-wielding “antifa” beating white nationalists being led out of the park 2/2
    Sheryl Gay Stolberg
    Rethinking this. Should have said violent, not hate-filled. They were standing up to hate.

    How is violent not hate-filled?


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