I Am the Alt-Left, Mr. President

Mr. President,

Thank you for giving me a name today.

I wasn’t quite sure until now, but you helped me find myself. 

“Alt-Left.”

That’s what you said.

That’s what you called me, what you called us.

Apparently of the two supposedly equally hateful sides in all this—I belong to that one.

Opposite us in Charlottesville this week (on the other side), I saw men with torches and handguns, men screaming “blood and soil”, men intimidating clergy, men beating people with pipes, men screaming anti-Semitic slurs, men so fueled with rage for strangers, that one of them plowed his car into a crowd of them.

Heather Heyer was in that crowd, Mr. President.

Heather Heyer died there in the street. 

That was her name, since you couldn’t be bothered to learn it.

She was 32 years old.

Heather was apparently on this side.
She was among the Alt-Left you condemned today.
She was one of us; the supposedly equally hateful ones, the alleged partners in this carnage, those you claim to be equivalently culpable for the bloodshed.
She was to blame.

Heather marched on behalf of people she didn’t know, but valued greatly.
She spoke for people who are so often silenced by people like you.
She stood for those who are pushed to the margins of this life by people like you.
She declared the worth of all people, regardless of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation or their religious beliefs.
She lived this way; open-hearted, generously, sacrificially, humbly.
She died proclaiming that another life was as precious as her own; that every human being is intrinsically valuable, that every person is worth dying for.

And if that is the Alt-Left, Mr President—you can count me in.

That’s the side I choose. That’s the side I will live and gladly die with.

I want to be on Heather Heyer’s side.

I want to be on the side of equality.
I want to be on the side of justice.
I want to be on the side of compassion.
I want to be on the side of decency.
I want to be on the side of love.

I want to be on the side that stands opposite men with torches and contorted faces and taunts and pipes, and weaponized vehicles targeted at strangers.

I want to be on the side that stands opposite those screaming “blood and soil”; those consumed with rage for people because of their pigmentation or their God or the person they love.

I want to be on the side that stands opposite the preachers spewing venom and damnation upon those who are working to make this country as diverse as Heaven is supposed to look.

I want to be on the side that stands opposite those who believe their bloodline or their place of birth makes them superior to anyone.

I want to be on the side that stands opposite racists and Nazis and radicalized Christian terrorists.

And I want to be on the side opposite you, Mr President, because you’ve made it clear where you stand.
You’ve made it clear your allegiance.
You laid it out in black and white.
You shown us all which side you’re on.

You are on the side of the men with torches and contorted faces and taunts and pipes, and weaponized vehicles targeted at strangers—and I find that unacceptable.

You are not worthy of this country, you aren’t worthy of leading our people, you aren’t worthy of the beautiful lives you endanger with every second of your hateful, fraudulent, toxic tenure. And most of all you aren’t worth the grief hateful people emboldened by you produce here.

And so yes, thank you for crystallizing it for me today; for all of us.

Thank you for aligning people of every race and religion, every age and orientation, every native tongue and place of birth; the millions who will not stand by you or with you—but against you.

Thank you for showing me where I want to be in all this.

Thank you for choosing the sides for me.

Yes, I am the Alt-Left, Mr. President.

If those opposing Fascism, bigotry, discrimination, and dehumanization are Alt-Left, then I will be that too.

And I’m in good, loud, determined company.

 

(Note: In reality, the “Alt-Left” does not exist. It’s a bit of fake news generated by the President to avoid his responsibility to call out racism, White Supremacy, and domestic terrorism from the very real Alt-Right. What Trump has done by creating the term, is allow all of us who oppose bigotry and hatred, to realize our solidarity and oneness, and to realize that we all stand in unison against this extremism.)

 

 

 

 

 

134 thoughts on “I Am the Alt-Left, Mr. President

  1. John, wonderful post. Thank you. I stand with you and all of the so-called “Alt-left”.

    One correction: Heather Heyer was 32. The man who killed her is 20, I believe.

  2. Great Speach John, Great comments
    But missing one thing
    Both sides are after thier own agenda.
    A nation divided.
    A Series of mistakes both on the protesters sides and the police Dept sides
    this is what happens when there is no accountability
    People just after thier own dimise.
    Law, Police , Struture breaks Down.
    This is what will happen to Godless , Selfish, ego Centric , Proud, Self Serving people who forget the purpose of making statements .
    They also have to have RESPECT for others
    RESPECT for other views
    Allowing other s to have views, appinions , lives different from ours
    That is why Jesus Christ Died For All men, Woman, Children , All Race, Color, Sects , no matter what they believe.
    To the pt of Death on the cross.
    YOU All See , even if I dont agree with you , I still have to love, respect , and let you have what ever you think is best.
    Mans wisdom leads to death, Eternal
    God wisdom leads to stability, peace, Godlyness, Holiness to the pt of loving you just the way you are and letting the word of God, The holy Scripture Change you As you grow in the Spirit.
    No Growth, No Peace, No holiness, No following of Gods ways
    God is letting man in his wisdom go his own way , so God Can prove who he really is.
    True God
    True Savior
    True Peace
    Truth

      • I totally disagree, possibly on some things we do agree.
        I work hard for a living , respect authority, and believe in change that stops violence and puts criminal s in Jail , or deports the bad , back where they came from.
        I believe in Taking responsibility for what one says, does, and thinks
        I dont support the liberal way of thinking that if you just give them what ever they want they will be happy.
        No
        Hardwork, Saving , Setting Goals, Achieving goals, NOT getting everything they want.
        Good old fashioned Talks at the table,
        NOT in the street where you have gang mentality, or mob rule, or where the biggest ego rules the crowd
        Wrong Values, Wrong Beliefs and Consequences for actions.
        NO more Glorifying the Thugs, Criminals, or Gangs Just because you dont want to make waves. or upset the poor , pitaful Gangsters in the crowd .
        Take A Stand, Stand up , Set Standards , And Enforce Laws.
        Same Law, Same Standard, Same Statutes for all .
        ONE Flag, American, not everyone who wants their own way.
        when I see the TV , I am ashamed of america , not because of trump , Because of the people in the crowds .
        the Thugs who belong in jail, or spanked
        Not enough discipline in the family s at home
        Not enough goals to get out of the Deep hole of poverty.
        Tooooooo much emphasis on Play, Party, Glory

        • Wow, I am “liberal” and I believe in all the things just said. I don’t believe in just giving away things to make people happy. If this is what Republicans are teaching you, you might be brain washed. I also believe that our Republic needs to adjust it’s sails. There are too many near monopolies that have allowed corporate greed to govern our country. I also believe every person has a right to universal health care. The only reason we do not is because of the greedy health insurance companies an their money that has bought our politicians. I believe in protecting the environment at all costs. I believe in universal public education so those who are marginalized can find a way out of poverty. I believe that anyone who is receiving government welfare should be required to do charity work. I don’t like taxes. But I don’t think the rich should pay less in taxes.

          • If you think universal healthcare is the solution research how well it works for the U.K., Europe, or Canada. People die waiting for treatment they need or denied altogether based on certain criteria.

            • John Smith:
              The National Healthcare System in the U.K., where I am from, actually works quite well. My relatives there are well taken care of. Preventive care is great. NO one worries about how they will pay for their cancer treatment. Do YOUR research. My cousin’s in Scotland receive excellent medical care, and one just had her knee replacement done. Your are incorrect.
              Single payer healthcare in this country would work well. Everyone would pay slightly higher taxes to pay for it, but ALL citizens would be eligible. Without having to pay for health insurance anymore, or co-pays or deductibles, cost for citizens would actually be reduced. In the U.K., there is the option to buy private health insurance, which some people do. The NHS is sort of like Kaiser Permanente here in the U.S. , but it covers everyone. Imagine the peace of mind in that.

              • Well, we in America have an example of government run healthcare, the Veteran’s Administration Medical Care. It is terrible unless you bark orders around and demand the care you need and are able to do so. The bureaucracy is a horrible nightmare. They “lose” documentation all the time. They make you wait months before an appointment, no matter what you re in for, asthma, possible cardiac disease, or possible cancer, and then they may cancel your appointment “with notice”, which many times they don’t bother sending a notice. They put active MRSA (antibiotic resistant) patients in 4 bed wards with non-MRSA patients, so that more people get more potentially deadly MRSA infections. Best practices are often unknown or ignored by enough of the staff. This is what government run healthcare would look like in America, a chronically underfunded and over bureaucratized mess.

                We have other models, like Canada and Australia, to use. A single payer, private healthcare system would work in America. First of all it would become more of a system than this balkanized mess of everyone trying to extract every single penny out of everybody. What we have before and after the start of the ACA is not sustainable. The massive unconscionable, but legal, drug price manipulation to extract billions of more dollars from sick people drives insurance rates up, along with a multimillion dollar raise of the health insurance CEOs, which stagnates workers wages, and makes us less and less competitive with other industrialized countries. Only America can afford this healthcare mess for the past decades. Other less wealthy industrialized countries has to institute some socialized healthcare system, either government run or single-payer, earlier because they couldn’t afford not to. If they wanted the healthcare of their people to get better, and not have rampant diseases run amok and people routinely dying of easily preventable diseases and conditions, they had to do it. Soon we will have to as well because the alternative would be a collapse of the healthcare system.

            • Somebody has believed the propaganda. In Canada, when people have conditions requiring specialists, advanced testing or surgery, they are treated according to their needs with people who are in dire condition being seen first, not the people with the most money. People aren’t denied treatment. The only criterium is unwellness. And if somebody does die, despite having received treatment, their family is not left bankrupt.

              As a Canadian, I am grateful that I can see a doctor whenever I want without any cost. This leads to better health outcomes as problems can be nipped in the bud.

              Life expectancy in Canada is 82.14 years. In the UK, it is 81.6. In the United States, it is 78.74.

              Europe is not a country with one unified health care system. It is a continent containing around 50 sovereign states and dependent territories, the majority of which do have universal health care, but they are all not all the same since each government has created what they feel is the best system for their people.

              • Patricia Brush, I envy you and your fellow citizens. We have been subject to rising health costs for decades. While the average wage earner sees health costs take a bigger and bigger bite out of their income, those with more money have not even felt a pinch yet. When people have to decide between food and a pill to keep them alive something is terribly, terribly wrong. When people lose everything they have worked for because of a major illness something is terribly, terribly wrong.

                We pay higher and higher costs because some CEO needs a multi million dollar bonus. The Board of Directors who decides on those wage packages are not taking it out of their pockets nor their profit margins.

                Our country is being run by greed. I can work myself into a frenzy thinking about the unfairness of it all. All my life has been about living with the hands I have been dealt. I know life isn’t meant to be fair. This is a matter of life and death against greed. Greed has been winning for a long time.

                I believe every system might have some glitches but your country has truly been able to put its citizens above politics for the good of everyone. It is a shinning light.

                Peace Ms. Brush

                • Thank you for your thoughts Joanne. I completely agree with you. I hope for your sake, and for the sake of friends and family I have in the US, and everyone else caught in this trap that rational thinking can prevail and good health care can be provided for all citizens, regardless of circumstance, and for free.

              • Thank you, Patricia.

                I am aghast at the number of lies that are told about the health care system in Canada and the UK, in particular.

                Obviously, the lies spoken here in the USA are said to benefit Big Pharma, the insurance companies…

                People are healthier and live longer in the UK and Canada and that is just a simple fact. They do not have people sitting at a desk in an insurance office, people with zero medical training at all, making the decisions about who gets what care.

                It is madness to entrust our care into the hands of unqualified people. Only our doctors should be involved.

                • I have a friend in California whose brother died of a relatively easily treated cancer. It was caught early and his prognosis was excellent. His health insurance provider refused to allow him to go to a specialist so he received inadequate treatment. If doctors are bound by “first, do no harm”, then surely health insurance companies should be following the same principle.

      • Thank you John for that. I am blown away by anyone who still stands with the President. They also stand with David Duke and his ilk, just to name a few. God help us.

        • Not all who support Trump are a bunch of white fascists. I voted for him only because he wasn’t corrupt Clinton, but he wasn’t my first choice which was Ben Carson. The only policy points trump made I did support were his stances against “free trade agreements” and curbing unvetted Islamic immigration because I don’t want what’s happening in Europe with their Muslim problem happening here.

        • Ok so I’m an historian and this is in my wheelhouse. Nazis are not socialists. Socialism and fascism are two very different political models. Kind of like how the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea isn’t a democracy at all, authoritarian movements often include the names of conflicting political ideologies as red herrings.
          Even Wikipedia could have given you that much.

    • Christopher, if someone is punched in the nose and strikes back, are both equally guilty of engaging in a fight? The alt-right protesters have the same mindset as those that have lynched countless blacks, and kept countless others from voting, or even registering to vote. They have the same mindset as police that assume every black man walking home is a threat and deserves to be mistreated. That every black suspect should be thrown in the squad car so their head bangs against the door frame. They are now making chants like they want to go back to those times. Is it a surprise that some of them do not have the restraint of MLK or Gandhi, and instead want to fight back? Are those that do fight back to protect their lives and their rights as guilty of engaging in the conflict as those calling to “put down” these uppity people that are threatening to take away some of their white privilege? You say both sides are after their own agenda, a nation divided. I’m not sure how you get to that conclusion. The “alt-left” appears to be seeking equity in this society, and that is seen as a huge threat to those that enjoy the privileges that are associated with political and police power.

      • At Guild Elementary School in Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1963, both were always guilty. The innocent bystander who was attacked got the same bad treatment as the bully from the Principal. The lessons I learned growing up in Gallatin were:

        (1) The rich and socially well placed are always right—even when they are dead wrong.

        (2) No good deed and no legitimate innocence will ever go unpunished—especially if you live on the other side of the tracks.

        (3) God just made some people to be better than all the other people. Check who has the most money and real estate because they are always better by a priori definition.

        (4) The important people in town are always watching you closely—especially if you are a tiny person. Do the slightest little thing out of kilter—and the word scrutiny will quickly become “screw tiny.”

        (5) Whoever dies with the most toys and Jesus wins.

      • When I was in high school, I was getting into my seat in the auditorium for an assembly. As I sat, I crossed my legs and the toe of my shoe accidentally tapped the back of the seat in front of me . . . once. The occupant of that seat rose up in a fury, turned around and started beating me about the head. I covered my head with my arms, but I did not respond with force. The vice-principal yanked us both out of the auditorium to be equally punished. It wasn’t right then and it isn’t right now.

        • I have had similar things happen in school. No fun. I especially hated group punishment. If we were supposed to be quiet and a couple of kids acted up, we all had to put our heads down on our desk.

          Kind of like things are now. For voting my conscience, I’m supposed to hang my head in shame as if I’m one of the itsy bitsy tiny band of losers in the KKK or similar groups (who have been denounced by Trump).

          Anyway, Trump wasn’t suggesting that good people who were peacefully protesting were culpable. Just the rabble rousers who exploited the situation for the sake of their anti-Trump, anti-Trump-voter politics.

        • Too bad I wasn’t there in High School with you. I would have found a way to “fix” that bully by helping some football players pass Algebra and Biology class.

    • The views of Nazi’s and white supremacists merit no respect. There should be no equivocation of the views of fascists and racists with those of anti-fascists and racists. They are not “different flavors”. They do not merit mutual respect.

    • Christopher-The German populace stood by and said nothing as the Nazi’s infiltrated their entire society. It is not noble to ignore hatred and I do not believe there is anything in our directive to love one another that leads to the assumption that we are to disregard evil. If we love, we do not allow evil to consume the good.

    • If you can’t tell the difference between hatred for Nazis on one side and those that wish me dead on the other, I can’t help you. I side on the alt-left because the alt-left wants me to have equal rights and the other side wants me dead.

    • Christopher Freeman
      It is all of this religious BS that’s being used for control and conflict. I believe in separation of Church and State. Religious beliefs have nothing to do with living a good life or being kind and respectful to others. All of this fake “Christianity ” in our government right now just makes me sick. Evangelicals are not Christians, and are using religion for power and control.
      You sound like DT.

    • I personally have no respect for the “other” side when it is comprised of the kkk, nazis, white supremacists and racists. None, zero, zilch, zip, nada. EVER!

  3. Thank you once again for saying what I have been thinking and struggling with for the last few days. You can’t know how much it helps for someone in your generation to say these things publicly. It gives my husband and I hope, hope for the church, hope for the country and hope for it’s citizens. I stand with Heather Heyer too. I am ashamed of some of my fellow citizens and my president. Thank you again, I send you Peace and Love,

  4. WOWZA, John, that surely did come from your heart.

    I’ve been laughing over the term “alt-left” because I am fairly certain the Emperor made it up as he wore his new clothes.

    I find the term “alt-right” repugnant because the white supremacists made it up to give credibility to their position as they are an alternative way to be on right. We need to stop using that term because evil never has credibility.

    But if claiming “alt-left” which I am pretty certain Twitter-In-Chief meant as an insult, then I’ll claim it because any insult he can dish out is really quite the compliment and validation that we of the alt-left are on the side of the angels. After all, if Obama could embrace the term “Obamacare” when it was clearly meant as an insult, then I am proud to follow in his and John P’s example.

    I am alt-left. I do not embrace the evils of authoritarianism, bigotry, destroying families, discrimination, fascism, gynophobia, hatred of the poor, homophobia, intolerance of a different of opinion, intolerance of people that are different, Islamaphobia, kleptocracy, misogyny, nonpartisanship, police brutality, prejudice, racism, in favour of rape, in favour of sexual assault, in favour of sexual harassment, in favour of sexual molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.

    • “I’ve been laughing over the term “alt-left” because I am fairly certain the Emperor made it up as he wore his new clothes.”

      EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

      Really, Sister Gloriamarie, didja HAVE to go there??

      roflol (>L<)

      • Scott Amundsen wrote, “Really, Sister Gloriamarie, didja HAVE to go there??”

        Yeah, I kinda did. It was irresistible. Thanks for “getting it.” I suspect it sailed over the heads of many. Too erudite a reference, doncha know?

  5. Well said, but hell no, I am not “alt-left.” I am not “alt” anything. I am a Virginian that despises what this president has tried to do. I am proud to be Southern and I want the Confederate iconography that white supremacists support to come down and the division they feed to never be a shrine for such cretins to visit again.

    I want permits to rally, protest, march and “redress” to be issued with restrictions on being armed, dressing in tactical gear, face coverings, and not listening to the police or security, to be deal breakers that shut you down.

    At what point in our history did anyone believe free speech rights could be used to incite violence or antagonize a community? Those are seen by normal people as crimes. Jeering and taunting from a group of armed and menacing people using racial slurs is hate not free speech we should respect.

    I want any community to be able to refuse the white supremacists, neo-nazis, white nationalists, sovereign citizens, oathkeepers, anti-government militias, the new Black Panthers and any other “hate group.” When did a nation that sacrificed and died fighting nazis decide to embrace their rights? When did a nation that fought a civil war, ended slavery and passed civil rights laws decide to embrace white supremacists? What kind of nation are we?

    No Donald Trump, we are not “alt-left” because we reject your white supremacist supporters. And IMO, those bringing violence to meet the violent have nothing to be ashamed of either. When it comes to that, all of us should.

    Out of the thousands there, a minority resorted to actual physical violence, but those who claimed to be there to “Unite the Right” made clear that they came with malevolence and violence. To expect the community and those incensed by their ideals and actions to be non-violent in the face of that is not realistic. And it is not “alt-left,” it is perfectly normal.

    Much is being blown out of proportion on the counter-protesters who were violent…who ended up with more people injured and more seriously injured? Who was obviously out-armed and who inflicted more damage? If the counter-protesters were the more violent, why wasn’t it the white supremacists most injured? The dishonesty needs to end, the defense of the indefensible is disgusting. I

    Hate is not going to be welcomed. Hate is not going to be respected. Hate is not going to be ignored. Meeting hate with what it brought is not wrong. Trying to make the false equivalencies Trump did today is to cover his base and everyone knows it. Those defending hate because it was met with the violence it came with are alt-Americans. They are not us. Neither is Trump, he made that clear today.

    • Sandi, your response to John crystallizes my problems with John’s embracement of “alt-left”, even if is only rhetorical. Being a decent, compassionate, courageous human being who believes in the equality of all as a fundamental human right is not a characteristic of a radical leftist; it is, or should be, what every human being is called to be by both our Constitution and one’s God. I will not be labeled with a term created by a white supremacist that implies that I am part of a fringe group, a mere reflection of them. I will not allow this repugnant administration to control the story by using a framing term that they have created.

      In a world driven so far to the right by manipulators and misanthropes that up is down, in is out, the Old Right is the New Left, and the center has vanished, we must reestablish a New Middle Way, a New Commons. And it starts by calling it what it is and we what we are, not what an amoral narcissist wants it, and us, to be.

      • Mosswings, you are assuming that the alt-left means radical left, a word that didn’t exist until Tuesday. Since Trump coined it for those that vehemently oppose the alt-right I think we all here are part of the alt-left.

        • Robin, I think you are right. And I for one am and have been all my life vehemently opposed to what the alt right stands for. In case anyone doesn’t know, it is HATRED. Peace and Love,

    • That being said in all genders, race’s , ethnics
      No more preferential treatment because your special and we dont want to affend you
      Follow the law , work to change it, work for what you get , have, value.

    • I stand with you Sandi. It is about time we stopped worshiping traitors in this country, because that is what they are doing. I am not a Southerner, but that shouldn’t make any difference. I thought after the Civil War we were all one, obviously some are still living in the past and it is time, long past time that this ends. So Thank you for what you said Sandi. Peace and Love,

    • You are condoning violence from the left?

      They SHOULD toss bricks at cars and take swings at protesters?

      Interesting.

      Anyway, that’s what Trump was speaking against. IMHO, I agree with you that those extremist groups should not be allowed to protest, but they were, and because they are repugnant or even spoiling for a fight, it’s wrong to engage them and taunt them, or be violent towards them. It was also wrong that according to what I have heard that the police didn’t intervene soon enough and were told to “stand down.”

      This is not his “base” BTW. There are not enough of that type or those who support them to fit in a teaspoon or affect the vote. But that’s what the hate-Trump media and other Trump-haters are striving to do–to tar and feather good people who voted for Trump for good reasons as racists, KKK, etc. etc.

      Margaret Sanger, a hero of your anti-incubation culture, btw, was a racist. You embrace a culture rooted in racism.

      • I condone driving out white supremacists.

        I definitely condone it, just like I condone the armies that marched against the Nazi regime.

        btw, I was the person on the playground tackling bullies.

        There is a time and a place for it.

  6. Today thing got real for me. Today a “red alert” started to go off in my head after listening to Trump’s speech today. After reading the myriad of comments to your last post supporting the President’s side I am totally dumbfounded. I always thought I was right-of-center but it appeared I have been drafted into the alt-left. You will know where to find me.

  7. I think he was referring to the violent opportunists and not to Heather. Just because we might loathe a white supremacist, we have no right to throw a brick at him. Who knows, some day he might see the error of his ways as did long time Democrat Senator Robert KKK Byrd. Heather is a victim of the violent alt-Left. These are the same people who rioted and destroyed property and beat up Trump supporters after Trump was elected. They are not seeking justice. They are seeking to cause and continue unrest and thwart the policies of a duly elected president, and nullify the votes of those who put him in office. They are as despicable as the racists and KKK and need to be called out.

    • Joe, Why would you say such a lie? Heather Heyer was the victim of James Fields who used a car as a weapon to commit murder. He was not being attacked by anyone.

      Your President just threw every Republican under the bus. They have enough problems trying to justify their gerrymandering and voter rights policies. Many are speaking up against Trump’s words. Trump, sooner or later will manage to throw anything and everything under the bus, including this country.

      Do you think he cares about abortion? He doesn’t even care about God except when it comes to votes. I wonder if he wouldn’t throw one of his children overboard to save himself. He has said himself he had nothing to do with raising them. What kind of man is that? The biggest lie he said yesterday was that he cared about facts. He certainly does not care about committing mortal sins or honoring the Sacraments – especially Matrimony.

      Be a Republican, but stop telling lies to provide cover for this soulless man – he does not care one wit about you or your issues. If you want to be seen as excusing Nazi’s or the KKK behavior, I wonder how your church would feel about that. Nazi’s persecuted Catholics also. Honor your Church.

      Peace Joe – You will need it when as you gave fodder to those who love making you their favorite whipping boy or their manic obsession that you are lurking behind every poster even when you say truths.

    • Sorry, no, Joe. It was not the alt-left, or any other left, or decent human being who decided to get in the car and mow down a crowd of protestors. Heather Heyer was killed by a despicable, far right, white supremacist scumbag of a human being. Don’t try to pin her death on the people she chose to stand with. The people I choose to stand with.

      • I agree of course that the murderer was a supremacist or worse and the victim was innocent.

        I also believe there were good people who were protesting in good faith, and who were peaceful.

        I also believe that there were some on the left who exploited the situation for their own political gain and who were violent and who incited violence.

        I should have thought a little more before having made that post. It’s not exactly what I meant to say.

    • Dear John Pavlovitz and Reader:

      Bourgeois Joe’s ‘two sides’ line normalizes Nazi behavior!

      In Bourgeois Joe-speak, opposing class oppression IS unrest.

      Criminalization of opposition/dissent is on the class agenda.

      Let’s see who mounts a permanent, national campaign agin’ it!

      Blessings!

    • No. The antifa protestors are extreme and violent, yes, but in response to centuries of violence inflicted by white supremacists, Nazis, etc. You’re drawing a false equivalence that negates the violence inflicted and intended by white supremacists and Nazis. The last time “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us” were chanted by government sanctioned mobs, 8+ million died in death camps.
      In this, there is no middle ground. Either you are for universal human rights, or you are not.

  8. I was sent a link to your site by a good friend who thought I might find it sympatico with my own distaste for divisive religion.
    Read your introduction about your book on not being horrible when it comes to religion and thought how good of an idea it was until I came across your claim to being the alt-left and that you were in good company.
    I have been watching the alt left squelch free speech, riot,smash windows ,burn buildings and cars,and physically attack people simply for their political affiliations. Those people sometime go by the name of antifa. i. e. anti-fascist , but them seem to lack the knowledge to know they use fascist tactics when suppressing the 1st amendment.
    If this is the company you seek,and you claim it to be good company ,you might wanna read your book again about not being horrible because you seem to have lost your way already.
    Nihilists and anarchists are not good company to keep.
    Good luck with your venture..I still find it to be a good idea.

    • You’ve missed the point, my friend. John is not claiming to be an anti-fascist extremist, he’s saying that if Trump calls unarmed people who stand up for fairness and justice and equality alt-left, then the term now means “people who stand up for fairness and justice and equality”.

  9. Trump made it very clear today that he stands with white male supremacists. BLM seeks equality; white male supremacists want to be “better than”. Wonder why equality is not enough for them… ?

  10. Donald J. Trump has done everything now except shoot someone on the street on Fifth Avenue. Is that next?
    I stand with my brothers, sisters, and fellow Americans of all races in denouncing DJT and all he stands for.
    Looks like I’m an Alt Left too.
    “Lord help our country to reject hatefulness as the norm. Give us hope in our tomorrow. Rise up leaders who will reject this evil that is in the world. In Jesus Name. Amen.”
    Thank you again Pastor John for your moral leadership!

    • I don’t know about you Steve but it looks like I got drafted into the alt-left. I don’t know how any of this works, being such a new thing as being “alt-left”.

  11. WOWZA, John, embrace the insult and make it a compliment just as Obama did with Obamacare.

    I was wondering what was meant by Alt-right, but John has spelled it out and I am proud to wear the term.

    The term alt-right should never be used because white supremacists thinks it makes their brand of hate-filled evil an acceptable alternative to the conservative right. It doesn’t. It never will because evil is never acceptable.

  12. “I want to be on the side that stands opposite those who believe their bloodline or their place of birth makes them superior to anyone.”

    Oh, the irony. There are many, many Blacks who can trace their roots in this country back many further generations than many Whites. These same Black have been born in this country. So what makes the White Supremacists think their bloodline or place of birth makes them superior?

    I read a couple of years ago of a Black woman who traced her ancestors back to a White slaveholder who was a some number great-grandfather who had served in the Revolutionary War. She applied to the Daughters of the American Revolution for membership which was granted.

    I watched the 20-minute video made by Vice News tonight. That was disgusting and sickening. And these people consider themselves “superior”? G-d help us. I remember one of your followers on his blog talked of three dreams he had where he thought he was being told that the Republican Party was going to be destroyed. I recently contacted a professor of theology that I know about my anger and disgust, and he responded that it was going to work out, that the Republican Party is going to be destroyed and be reformed. Please, G-d, make it soon.

    • Thanks for stating the obvious, most of these people do not have the history in this country that blacks do. When I read the names, a lot of these people’s families came over here in the past 100 years, yet they think because of their color they get more rights than people of color who have been here for 200 yrs or more. Perhaps their families shouldn’t have been allowed in. Hmmm kind of like the President’s father who was a racist. Peace and Love,

  13. Excerpts from President Trump’s press conference yesterday made the main BBC news here in the U.K. last night.

    You can’t imagine the damage President Trump is doing to the America’s image abroad.

  14. Amen and amen again, John. Thank you for once more being the voice of people of good will everywhere. I am proud to stand with you, and with all good people. We’re the ones who need to “take our country back”. Back from evil, from hatred, from bigotry and from oppression.

  15. I cant even call this person, President, as he doesnt deserve the dignity of that title. If he wants to call those who believe in peace and equality alt-left, maybe it should be called the Heather Heyer side in honor of her, who died in the name of peace and against this undignified person holding the American people hostage while he lives in the white house.

  16. There is such a thing as fighting for a good cause. I am all for pushing the racist off the podium. We don’t need to hear their ignorance or give them a platform at all.

    Maybe Americans are waking up to the truth that freedom of speech has it’s limits– and freedom includes responsibility, not the ability for morons and hateful extremists to recruit other idiots and morons to their cause.

    I am all for tearing down the statutes that represent racism and driving the racists out of your city centres and government . You don’t have to listen to their ignorant ideas anymore.

    If the KKK and other white nationalist groups are truly the smallest group of your society, now is the time to act and prevent them from gaining a foothold [again] in your nation.

    It is okay to keep them out of the spheres of influence.

  17. Sorry , I dont agree with you all
    Not trumps fault
    Obammmmmmmma left a mess
    Did no know what to do , so he did his own thing.
    America is what ever the people turn to.
    Truth, or false gods
    Godlyness or holiness
    or Judgement on the horizon for false Gods, Pleasure of Passion, Demoralization , Devaluing
    The Right Thing and doing Wrong in the form of Good.
    Right will be wrong, and Wrong will be right
    Sound s like we are heading into the end times.
    where no one seems to know truth.
    Just pleasure seeking fools on thier way down
    ships a sinking , pay attention

    • As much as I disagree with Catholic Joe, at least he has a grasp of the English language, unlike you, Christopher. I can see that you are one of those white guys who think they are the only ones making a contribution to our country. Please quit denigrating everyone else because they don’t fit your narrow definition of a “good person.”

  18. But Pastor, how could we possibly begin to penetrate the ingenious rhetorical mastery of 45’s famous “I know you are but what am I?” argument? Few 4th graders could ever hope to outwit this Philosopher King’s intricate projections.
    (sigh)…Alas, first there was Cicero. Then Marcus Aurelius and Benjamin Franklin. Now we stand in true awe of Donald J Trump, who is as much of a towering intellect as he is handsome and skilled with self-tanner application.

  19. I find it extremely disturbing you would accept the “alt-left” name. If you allow your enemies to name you then they will define you. I prefer to define myself, thank you. They will use it to create a (false) moral equivalence between the fascists and the people protesting them. I’ve been working on the far, far left and movement politics for many years. I’ve only heard of the so called alt-left from the right-wing crazies trying to attack their opponents with the term. Please don’t fall for their trap. Do not let other people call you “alt-left.” Reject it at every turn.

    • Why not own the label that our enemies hurl at us? Besides, the definition of “alt-left”, according to Trump, who coined the new word, seems to be a group of people that vehemently opposes the “alt-right”. The next “alt-left” rally I go to I will bring my “covfefe” and leave behind the “alternative facts” to protest our “alt-President”. I have a right to bring my “covfefe” under the 3rd and 7th Amendments.

  20. I totally agree with you, and applaud your continued articulate clarity, courage in speaking out, and leadership. Although I’m not a religious leader, I keep thinking of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and his Agony when he foresaw all of humanity’s sins and evil. Imho, what he saw included the evil of DT & Co. I wonder if some Christians might “wake up” if they realize this? Also wonder if you could articulate this for folks as imho, it might be a helpful way to realign certain perceptions? I think using the language of people you’re trying to communicate with can be effective. This is something that you’re terrific at! Keep leading the way! With gratitude, Imogene

  21. I don’t like that designation. Alt right is their own smokescreen to not use Nazi, Aryan Nation, etc. Progressives are not trying to hide their true intention.

  22. Good words, John. Trump is clearly using this rhetoric to polarize people and foment conflict in this country. As Lincoln said (and before that, the Bible!), “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Failing to condemn these terrorists for what they are, simply because they happen to be white, is going to go down in the history books as one of the most atavistic, cowardly actions of a president ever.

    He’s had more than enough chances to show true leadership where it counts, and he has failed at every juncture.

  23. I know there is a certain dichotomy to the biblical directive to” love one another” and to “love your enemy” that perplexes many wise people when society is confronted by hate. But I cannot believe that loving one another means we should ignore evil and stand by when injustice threatens to consume the good in the world. I stand with you, John.

  24. All I can say is thank you, John. This piece is powerful and I hope it’s okay if I share it w/ my group of gay seniors here on the Olympic Peninsula. Unlike some others here, I embrace the “alt-left” title, much I did the title “dyke” back in the day. To own it is to render it powerless to defeat us.

  25. Using the term altleft by Trump was a deliberate attempt to equate the altright with the left and you can bet he didn’t think of it all by himself.We should not allow Mr. Trump to identify us in that way.

    I understand where John is coming from and it may not have crossed his mind that Trump and Bannon and others would love nothing more than for us to define ourselves with this term. I don’t even want him to accidentally misrepresent those of us who stand against racism of all kinds.

    The altright and the christian right has been defining the left in the most negative of ways for decades, and the repetition alone has worked well for them. Let’s stop allowing them define us in negative ways, that help them politically to use their policies against us.

  26. Obama was a part of the alt-left too and he supported a bunch of cop-hating, city burning thugs. So basically you’re on the side of those thugs.

  27. When I think of the alt-left I first think of all the weirdos with hemp shoes, white guys with dreadlocks who haven’t bathed in a month, and oppresses any opinion and their speakers they disagree with (Yiannopoulous, Coulter anyone) while calling themselves tolerant and open-minded.

    Secondly I think of all those who are burning down cities because of some arrest or because their candidate (Clinton) lost, and go around beating up whites and Trump supporters.

    • John Smith, you are mistaking peaceful protestors for the anarchists– and stereotyping people. People are diverse even those who hold similar ideologies.

  28. Thank you John for the post and for those who do not agree with it should have left it alone instead of smearing on Heather’s death because she is not here to defend herself. And for those who think alt-left is the problem, get your facts together because I did and I stand with them.
    Peace and love to all even to those who don’t get it.

    Steve

  29. Pingback: Alt-facts, Alt-left, Real Alt-Right, Real Patriots, Right Wing Riot, Bannon Spores – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  30. “Black Farmer Gets Real in Viral Post About the Type of Subtle Racism He Fears Most”

    “It’s easy to identify racism in fringe conservative figures like white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    “But protests condemning such flagrant racists often overlook the systemic prejudices and injustices that exist in everyday life, which one black farmer in Virginia honestly addressed in a viral Facebook post last week.

    “Chris Newman’s Facebook post called out the counter-protests that were organized after Spencer led a march of torch-bearing white nationalists on May 14. Spencer’s group was protesting the planned removal of a Confederate monument.

    “While the optics and sentiment of the demonstration were disturbing, Newman said he felt “far less bothered by the flag wavers in this picture than this town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them.”

    More may be read here and shoud be read by anyone who thinks that even though they are white, they are not part of the systemic racism and white privilege that infests all of the USA.

    https://www.attn.com/stories/17287/farmers-post-about-racism-going-viral?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=direct-share&utm_campaign=shares

    • ”I know some folks are really feeling themselves about this whole Love Trumps Hate counter-rally to Richard Spencer’s punch-worthy shenanigans in Lee Park. I’d like to appreciate it, but frankly I just don’t.”

      I find myself a tad irritated with Mr. Newman. I’ve very much appreciated seeing more ordinary people stepping into the streets to oppose racism and bigotry. One should not underestimate or dismiss the power in numbers alone, coming out against ism’s, period.

      I wonder if Mr. Newnam realizes that he is not the only group of people racists target for intimidation and worse. Does he think the suffering of his people and his ancestors negates the suffering of other groups at the hands of bigots? Are we measuring suffering by the kinds of abuses, physical measured against emotional? Are they not both just as damaging to an individual and to an entire group?

      Is he concerned with other groups who are marginalized, vilified and discriminated against, who don’t feel safe to be who they are either? Is he asking the same question of himself and his small town? Some how he doesn’t appreciate those that are out there. Does he not understand that for decades there have been small groups of people making a difference all over this country on race etc, and if it were not for them, the streets wouldn’t be filled with people he says he doesn’t appreciate.

      Humans will always find justifications for their bigotry, homophobia, sexism, and other ism’s, much of it justified by our bible. A book, which in the hands of too many believers has done more to divide us than bring us together. And continues to pit one against the other, and is still passed down from one generation to the next.

      That is a bigger problem than thugs marching in the street with tiki torches, because the bible doesn’t evolve, and too often those that follow it, don’t evolve either.

      So Mr. Newman, in 2017 you aren’t special, nor am I as a woman, and lesbian and dare I say feminist who believes equality should exist between men and woman. I am equally despised by many overt racists in our country and maybe more so by self righteous religious people. I retired to a small town and am more isolated than I ever was in a larger town, but in being here my influence has changed some small minds, and that’s worth something in a town with a church on every corner.

      I used to have a christian, black, gay, feminist, female friend? She could tell you what it is like to be looked down upon by blacks in her own community and discriminated against or seen as ‘less than’ by her own people in her own church, which she eventually just walked away from. She can tell you how not special she is either, even among blacks.

      We also won’t change a thing if blacks themselves, who adopted the white man’s bible based bigotry, turn around and target other groups for similar treatment. No one can escape the ugliness of ism’s especially when it’s driven by religious belief systems.

      Even if you can’t appreciate ‘progressives’ and others coming out into the street to oppose racism and homophobic attitudes, I certainly can appreciate it even if my small town won’t change over night.

      One person caring makes up for 10 people not caring in my book, even if I would prefer the entire country grew past their ignorance and antiquated belief systems.

      It took thousands of year to adopt these ugly attitudes and it will take thousands more to evolve past them, maybe longer if we don’t stop teaching bigotry from the pulpit.

      Oh and privilege won’t insult us from the consequences of growing and festering divisions, as larger numbers of people evolve beyond ism’s.

      It would be a good time for social conservative Christians both black and white, to take a long hard look at the beliefs that helped bring us all here.

      Mr. Newton, both black and whites need to deal with the shared bigotry we have adopted from the bible and inflicted on others.

      Hard core bigots rarely change, many may sit on the fence looking for a place to land, if we don’t bother to show up, who do you think they will follow?

      Mr. Newton, it just might be helpful to you and your family to appreciate what ever effort is out there. Even in small towns we have cell phones and cable tv. Efforts are seen everywhere, so please do not underestimate the power of marches in favor of a better world.

      I won’t live to see a world with out bigotry but I hope that young people in the future experience it for me.

      • Correction: Oh and privilege won’t insult us from the consequences of growing and festering divisions, as larger numbers of people evolve beyond ism’s.

        That was supposed to be insulate, not insult……

      • “So Mr. Newman, in 2017 you aren’t special, nor am I as a woman, and lesbian and dare I say feminist who believes equality should exist between men and woman. I am equally despised by many overt racists in our country and maybe more so by self righteous religious people.”

        Feel better?

        That kind of self-righteous lecture serves no purpose. It merely alienates us from one another; we are all targets of the alt-right and we all get it equally. As you said.

        Hurtful remarks are only going to keep us pushed down. For God’s sake quit being so defensive and confrontational.

      • jaime richards wrote, “I find myself a tad irritated with Mr. Newman.”

        Thank you for reading this article and engaging with it. Clearly, it provoked thought. I am glad.

        It strikes me that it is utterly useless to address remarks to Mr. Newman here or question his motives. No one here can speak for him or represent him. Talking behind a person’s back accomplishes nothing but the additional misunderstandings.

        Within the article, there is a link to his original post on Facebook. I suggest you take your comments to Mr. Newman directly and engage him in constructive conversation.

    • I gave what was a thoughtful and honest response to your post, Gloriamarie, and it wasn’t accepted. I would be good to know if my responses aren’t welcome here, so that I don’t waste my time. I’m not a trouble maker or a troll and won’t stay where I am not welcome.

      If a critical view of religion is not welcome I would appreciate knowing that as well. I generally take my time to write a post, and rarely respond to blogs across the internet because they seem to want posts that only agree with a party line so to speak.

      I had thought this blog was different because while John is a practicing christian he is quite open and critical of both the religion and it’s followers. If I am wrong to think this please correct me so I can make better use of my time elsewhere. If this response is also removed, I will take the hint and unsubscribe and be on my way.

      J Richards

      • Jaime Richards, I do not understand what happened to your post. I would imagine it was some sort of unintentional glitch. Many different views are posted here and yours reflect mostly the consensus here. Not everyone becomes hysterical when greeted with a real or imagined opposing view.

        Lately only creepers who want to post vile and disgusting words have been banned because they offer nothing which is as it should be.

        I hope you will continue to post. How do we learn if we close our ears or our eyes?

        Peace Jaime Richards

      • Jaime, your post was accepted. I have found that anything I post late in the day won’t go up until the next day. John reads each post before it is posted. He has a family and I would imagine that his family takes precedence at night over our personal schedules or thoughts.

      • jaime richards wrote, “I gave what was a thoughtful and honest response to your post, Gloriamarie, and it wasn’t accepted.”

        I don’t understand you. Not accepted? What do you mean? John P posted it, how is that not accepting it?

        I don’t know if my response to you has been published or not, but I thanked you for reading it.

        As your comment were not directed to me but to Mr. Newman, I don’t feel able to respond and suggested you take your comments to the source. No one here could ever respond for Mr. Newman, so if you really want those issues addressed, take them where they can be.

        And, no, I don’t personally welcome your expectations that I can discuss your views of Mr. Newman. It is between you and him.

        Your comments remind me of a complaint I read on a local neighborhood site where a resident of 30 years complained to the group about newcomers to her street parking where her husband always parks his truck on the street. Aside from the fact that no one owns a parking place along the curb, it achieves nothing to complain to us about it. Many of us suggested that she speak to her neighbor directly.

  31. This is a huge mistake identifying with the Alt Left because they are anti Alt Right. This is the same battle with the same ideologies back in Hitler’s time. Both are left and both are socialist and both are anti-human. Would the world have been better off if the Alt left had defeated the Brown Shirts? Nope, they would have sided with the Soviets and how many people did the Soviets kill? Many Many More and most of it was not through war.

    It is shallow to think the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The Antifa is giving power to the Alt right. If nobody showed up at their rallies, they would fizzle out. The problem now is both sides are taking the Enemy of my enemy is my friend. We need to stand against both sides.

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