Conservatives across the country have been sounding the alarm over this weekend's "Unite the Right II" anniversary rally in Washington D.C.'s Lafayette Park. Those on the right ranging from Dinesh D'Souza to Jack Posobiec to 4chan users have called the event everything from a bad idea to a trap designed to sow discord ahead of midterm elections.
In fact, many conservatives have been urging people to donate to a fund for Heather Heyer, a counter-protester who died after a Unite the Right attendee drove his car into a crowd she was with.
In anticipation of violence, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, stating “I am urging Virginians to make alternative plans" to avoid the event- while the Alt-Right Exposed blog noted that a left-wing "Resist" group called Shut It Down is planning to confront attendees.
Fueling speculation that the event is a setup is organizer Jason Kessler - a known provocateur who was a leftist "Occupy" activist less than two years ago, only to be kicked out of gatherings after he allegedly advocated for violence against the police.
“I don’t remember exactly what he brought with him, but it was very violent in nature,” he says. “He quickly went from talking about this and that to ‘we need to have Molotov cocktails’ and ‘we need to dig up the bricks to throw them at the cops.'” -WINA.com
In a December 9, 2015 blog post, Kessler stated "I can’t think of any occupation that I admire more than the professional provocateur, who has the courage & self-determination to court controversy despite all slings & arrows of the world."
Kessler also had a Jewish girlfriend, two roommates from Africa and even performed African revenge-porn poetry in 2014 - slamming the "evil" white man for stealing natural resources and African women. Not exactly material for a David Duke rally - a former KKK grand wizard who will be speaking at this weekend's Unite the Right event.
After counter-protester Heather Heyer died, Kessler tweeted "Heather Heyer was a fat, disgusting Communist. Communists have killed 94 million. Looks like it was payback time."
This caused white nationalist Richard Spencer to disavow Kessler:
Kessler would later blame his tweet on drug and alcohol use.
Life comes at you fast, scumbag pic.twitter.com/7Cc52RM889— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 19, 2017
Conservatives push back
In response to the event, conservatives have been warning the right to steer clear of the event. Conservative author and scholar Dinesh D'Souza told C-Span on August 3rd that the Charlottesville event does not represent the right.
Greta Brawner, host of the C-SPAN program “Washington Journal“, asked D’Souza:
“How do you respond to people when they point to Charlottesville, and the president said there were bad people on both sides?”
Dinesh D’Souza responded:
“This is really, I would say, the trump card, and I use that terminology in the movie, because, I have uncovered an aspect of Charlottesville, that is not in the public debate, and that is… the whole point of Charlottesville, there was a tragedy in Charlottesville, and that won’t change. Somebody was run over and killed, and so it was a tragic event in that sense.”
“What I am contesting is the meaning of that event. Because, from the left’s point of view this was right wing white supremacy, and that was the whole point for Trump to condemn it. I deny that. I deny that, and I deny it, based on a close analysis of who was there and who these white supremacists are, and in this book, “Death of a Nation, I go through the list.”
“Jason Kessler, the organizer of Charlottesville, turns out to be an Obama activist, and an Occupy Wall Street guy.” -Alt Right Exposed
“Think about this. Does it make sense, someone who is an Obama voter and supporter becomes a white supremacist? That makes no sense to me. You think the media would be, like ‘Let’s check this guy out.’ , but there was a Charlottesville paper that did. It looked into his background, and it turns out he has a long left-wing history. They interviewed his girlfriend, and she goes ‘he broke up with me because I am too conservative.’ This guy, Jason Kessler.”
And as the Gateway Pundit's Cassandra Fairbanks reports, "supporters of President Donald Trump are taking a firm stance against it and urging people on the right to donate to the Heather Heyer Foundation as a show of goodwill."
As the next event looms, and people in the media — and even rally attendees — attempt to blur the line between the people who would attend such an event and your every day Trump voter, many on the right wanted to strongly come out against what Unite the Right represents
The large group of outspoken Trump supporters banded together and decided that the purest way to condemn the event would be to ask followers to donate at least $8.12, representing August 12, the day she died, to the scholarship fund in Heyer’s name. -The Gateway Pundit
The one-year anniversary of Charlottesville is 8/12— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 10, 2018
Let’s use this as an opportunity for unity for the USA
Donate $8.12 to the Heather Heyer Scholarship Foundation #812Campaign https://t.co/fu3954FuS5 pic.twitter.com/f1kO2WQGQZ
Meanwhile, attorney and conservative commentator Will Chamberlain said "we vehemently denounce this overtly racist spectacle," and encouraged Trump supporters to donate to the Heather Heyer Foundation as well.
“Apparently not content with causing the death of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville, these noxious white nationalists have decided to reprise their disastrous rally. We want to make America great again for all Americans — not just white people — and we vehemently denounce this overtly racist spectacle,” Chamberlain said. “We encourage Trump supporters to donate to the Heather Heyer Foundation as a way of opposing this contemptible display.”
Also noted by Fairbanks was author and journalist Mike Cernovich's opposition to the event, who said of Jason Kessler:
“Jason Kessler is a toad. He looks like the kind of creepy person that you could imagine staring into someone’s bedroom late at night. We of course want nothing to do with him and recognize that he is so desperate for attention that he will use the death of a woman — and step over her body — as a way to get it. That is disgusting and he’s a loser,” Cernovich said.
Also voicing his opposition is conservative film director and producer Robby Starbuck, who urged people not to give the rally any attention.
“The Republican Party has a proud history of anti-racist activism and progress. That’s why what we’re seeing happen with White Supremacists marching in D.C. is so distressing. It reminds me of the pain Heather Heyer’s mom must be feeling. I believe in advancing progress and extinguishing hate so I’ve decided the best way forward is to remove the outrage and instead take action. I believe in taking action by ignoring these hateful racists. Turn your backs on them. Let them be the sad splinter group that they are. Let’s remove what they crave the most: Attention,” Starbuck said. “Instead I choose to honor a wonderful young woman who lost her life senselessly just one year ago. I urge everyone who can to take part and donate $8.12 to Heather Heyer’s scholarship fund, together we can counteract the evil that seeks to divide us. Together we are a force for change, do not let hateful people divide us. We can disagree but at the end of the day we are all Americans.” -Via The Gateway Pundit
This weekend a group of racists plan to march in D.C. I urge everyone to turn their backs on them. Let them be the sad splinter group they are. I’m a Republican and I choose to counteract their evil with good. Join me in donating $8.12 to https://t.co/NyNRZmAk4N #812Campaign pic.twitter.com/H3zDOQLR9E— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 10, 2018
Also opposing the event is the Black Conservatives Fund, who told the Gateway Pundit: “There are three groups that will enjoy the circus in Charlottesville: the Antifa Left, the Fake ethno-right, and Media. No Trump conservative or Trump republican would be caught dead at an event at doesn’t want to make America great again, but instead seeks to enthrall us into some fake proxy race war using talking heads on cable TV channels. Everyday Americans get along with all other persons. These fake right-wingers won’t fool anyone. We’re still mourning those injured and lost in last year’s careless actions by a crazed Democratic governor and these fake-right organizers.”
You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity.— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) August 10, 2018
This is an opportunity ALL sides to unite and stand against this abhorrent ideology.
I just donated $8.12 to the Heather Heyer Scholarship Foundation.#812campaign https://t.co/lU8AWdcT3M pic.twitter.com/qxmYxxzSmg
Donated to the Heather Heyer Foundation in opposition to the rally that’s taking place in my city this weekend.— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) August 10, 2018
We’re urging everyone to do the same by donating $8.12 or more here—>> https://t.co/q9JCJDimOU#812Campaign pic.twitter.com/7sE0rRvpXl
Jason Kessler is organizing an anniversary Charlottesville rally and has invited 7 white supremacist speakers.— Mike Tokes (@MikeTokes) August 10, 2018
Take a stand against Kessler by joining in the #812campaign and make a donation to Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer’s foundation.
Link: https://t.co/258blb9hir pic.twitter.com/QsixJq0CR2
Even 4chan users warned people about the event:
With any luck, it will be a dud.