An intriguing week.
The first thing that happened was my gym making the news.
For those not in the know, weightlifting is a sport that requires specific equipment, namely bars with "life" or "spring" and rubber plates that can be dropped from overhead. You have to drive the weight up quickly and dive underneath it, and you're never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to be doing that at Planet Fitness or the YMCA, who were convinced by the lawyer brigade years and years and years ago that the best way to safe profit without risk of ambulance chasing lawsuit is to have nothing but rows of Nautilus machines.
There were two gyms where you could do this, and one closed when the owner had a stroke in his 70s and was carried out in an ambulance, never to return. The man had said that was the only way you'd ever get him to leave the gym, and his prediction proved right.
This left only the one gym. It's owned by a local trust fund baby, a man worth millions and whose father is worth almost five billion. That was inherited wealth, by the way - the matriarch of the family owns Cox Communications, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Val-Pak, Auto Trader, Manheim and dozens of other similar businesses. BILLIONS.
He's also a raging Communist. I'm not talking left wing, I'm talking full bore, Soviet flags all over the place, hates capitalism, has copies of The Communist Manifesto and other books around the place Communist. Most people, in fact just about everyone - simply accepts that the owner has every right to be into whatever he wants but it's a really good gym and whatever.
These people woke up on Wednesday to find themselves insulted, harassed and worse by hundreds of people. You see, the other part of the puzzle is that the owner hates the military (as they tend to do things like kill third worlders for corporate profit) and the police (racist agents of the state who only exist to protect corporate property) and neither are allowed membership in the club or are allowed on the premises. Therefore he put a sign on the door saying, and I'll quote, "NO FUCKING COPS". He also said "Fuck the Military" (in this instance it was about the Trump transgender ban) which angered a veteran, and the owner tossed him from the premises. "I'll be back with my own personal army" was basically the response. First CBS showed up. Then it got posted to Breitbart.
The same people that argued over and over again that "Christian" bakers should have the right to deny service to gay people are now up in arms saying you shouldn't be "racist" (unquote) against the police. As if being inborn to be something (black, gay, handicapped) is the same thing as a lifestyle choice (Nazi, cop, Scientologist).
Lots of "who are you gonna call if you get robbed huh" comments. But I know the owner's mind on this one. There are POC clients, and the gym's near a gay bar. There are transgender, gay and other members who really don't feel comfortable around the "fag joke" toothbrush-haired macho assholes who you find in many strength gyms. And naturally, the cops and cop apologists showed up to call everyone a fag, a skinny girl with short hair working there "a tranny or some kind of queer" and so forth. "How dare you say the cops are just violent thugs" said one guy to the news, "I offered to box the guy for charity to prove otherwise, but he chickened out." Lots of cops making veiled threats, too. "You know people who don't serve cops things don't work out so well for them or their business, or their clients." Laughingly, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police made some comment to the effect of "I've not talked to this man, but clearly anyone who hates cops is a criminal who has something to hide". Like, way to prove his point?
So while everyone was saying that the owner of this gym was the REAL racist, a bunch of literal Nazis and white power white supremacists showed up in Virginia to protest the removal of what at one point were veteran's memorials but are now flashpoints for racist worship. In the midst of hundreds of dedicated hate groups converging on the scene, there was not one instance of the National Guard coming in, or the army showing up pre-emptively, or rows and rows of cops in riot gear demanding pre-emptively that people remain peaceful, perhaps pulling some people aside pre-emptively to check warrants or search for drugs, like they tend to do if people of color have some kind of rally. In fact, Virginia only really considered that kind of thing after a white supremacist drove his Dodge Challenger through a crowd, killing one and injuring eleven more, two of whom are injured critically. There are photos of the point of impact, and bodies are flying. They were rammed by someone with the intent to kill.
The Episcopal Church is down there, has been for a while, as have other churches trying to defuse the situation.
But how interesting it is that the entire week has shown just how one-sided law enforcement efforts have been. Almost as if there's a double standard or something.