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Protesters gathered in protest of the "Unite the Right" rally in Washington, DC, on the first anniversary of the Charlottesville protest. EFE

Fascist Washington rally fizzles out

Well, no, the fascists, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the rest of the assorted racist fauna polluting the country’s streets aren’t so brave after all.

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Actually, they are such cowards that their much-hyped Unite the Right protest in Washington on the first anniversary of the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., intended as a provocation, provoked only a loud, collective belly laugh.

It’s hard not to become a joke when your much-publicized massive protest draws, as we say in Spanish, “cuatro gatos” (four cats). OK, perhaps not four, but all of 24 “patriots.” And not a tiki torch in sight. Pathetic.

Even the rally organizer, white nationalist Jason Kessler, has admitted his troops are scared. Obviously, fond as they are of saying they want to “take the country back,” they are willing to do so only if it doesn’t mean confronting throngs of decent people like those who “welcomed” them in Washington, eager to let the fascist fauna know in no uncertain terms how much their hatred is despised. For all their bravado, the fascists’ commitment to their despicable cause ends when they realize they could be publicly exposed as the lowlifes they are — and lose jobs and friends. It has already happened to several of the most violent and abusive thanks to some great reporting by ProPublica and other media. Brave they are not.

Yet, they feel this is their moment. After all, there is someone in the White House who shares their warped and malevolent view of themselves and the world.

“The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division,” tweeted president Trump the day before the fascist rally. “We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”

But as someone tweeted in response: “Unless... You're Bob Mueller, @HillaryClinton, any democrat, Colin Kaepernick, a black person, a Muslim, you work at @harleydavidson, you're @BarackObama, @JoeBiden, @NancyPelosi, Michael Cohen, you are a journalist, you are a Mexican, or you're the entire island of Puerto Rico”.

And I would add: Never, never come together with hateful white supremacists, racists and Nazis, even though Trump thinks there are “good people” on both sides.

The fascists’ miserable failure is something to celebrate, but it would be naive to believe it is a sign that the rightwing extremists are about to change their ways.

Actually, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found there were 1,038 hate crimes recorded in the 10 largest cities last year, an increase of 12% from 2016 and the highest figure in more than a decade. If anything, that number is bound to go up as long as cruelty, hate and racism against immigrant children and families, women, and African Americans remain the pillars of the Trump administration.

As to dispel any doubts about the White House bigotry, NBC reports that “ICE ‘administrative’ arrests of immigrants without criminal convictions have spiked 203% in the first full 14 months of Trump’s presidency compared to the final 14 months of the Obama administration, growing from 19,128 to 58,010, according to ICE figures. During the same time period, the numbers show that arrests of undocumented immigrants with criminal records grew just 18%.” In other words, no immigrant, legal or not, is safe from the administration’s cruelty.

Sobering figures that should prompt everyone to make a firm commitment to vote on November 6. What is at stake is nothing less than our future.

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