Jason Kessler, the white supremacist who planned last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, is back at it again, albeit with some humiliating caveats.
Last year’s events spiraled out of control and led to the tragic death of 32-year-old counter protester Heather Heyer, who was murdered when a deranged white nationalist participant plowed his vehicle into her.
Kessler has been unable to secure a permit for another rally in Charlottesville this year, denied because of public safety concerns. But even more embarrassing is his complete failure to convince any of his fellow neo-Nazis to commit to participating.
Michael Hill, president of the white supremacist group League of the South, has announced that he will not come. Richard Spencer and Brad Griffin, both prominent white supremacists, have also voiced their refusal. Mike Peinovich, an alt-right podcaster, cited “antifa thugs” as his reason for not attending.
“I have no plans to attend this rally, nor am I involved in any of the planning. I was not involved in the planning of the last event either, just an invited speaker. After the unfortunate events and the violent attacks, we suffered, I am reluctant to return to Charlottesville. I hope the event, if it happens, is peaceful and that Antifa thugs do not disrupt it with violence as they did the last one,” Peinovich said.
In reality, of course, the violence emanated from one side, a side that has since suffered severe consequences. Per The Independent:
“Two participants have already been found guilty of beating of a black counter protester at the rally. The man accused of killing Ms Heyer has been charged with first-degree murder and multiple other crimes. And Mr Kessler himself is facing a federal lawsuit accusing him of conspiring to incite racial hatred and violence.”
Undeterred by a lack of attendees, a venue, or crippling litigation, Kessler has vowed to take the hate rally somewhere even more iconic should he fail to secure a permit in Charlottesville: the White House.
“If Charlottesville denies our permit for any reason, it’s not safe, we’re going to get in vans and we’re going to go to Lafayette Park in front of the White House,” Kessler promised.
President Trump, who has previously referred to the rally’s attendees as “very fine people,” may be his best bet to secure a permit for another white supremacy event. Chances are, however, that even the Republican Party – rife with neo-Nazis in its own ranks – will be decidedly unenthusiastic about being linked to another such rally after last year’s devastating coverage
And so this sad, petulant, dissipating minority of hate-mongerers is left grasping at straws – within eyeshot ironically, of the president and the administration that once restored its vile voice.