When the Racists come to town…

In the light of all that horrible business that is happening in Charlottesville, it might be of interest to consider a rather interesting parallel with something that happened in the UK back in 1977.

Perhaps there are two significant differences however- one, the fact that the army of white supremacists that gathered in Charlottesville were heavily armed with assault weapons. Two, they had been given political legitimacy and confidence by a President who had been happy to ride on the toxic populist wave of which their message was the most extreme.

Back in Lewisham in 1977, things did not go as well for the National Front. The interesting thing is that, by many accounts, the violence that erupted was in no small part caused by the violent response of the Police, aimed at the anti-racist protesters. In the end this supported a message very similar to that of Trump, with his ‘violence on all sides’ cant.

It seems to me that we can draw some important lessons from all of this; firstly, the importance of political leadership motivated by compassion and peace, secondly the need to stand against those who seek to incite hatred.

Here is the story in all its black and white chaos…

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