"I didn't know it was white supremacist. I thought it had something to do with Trump."
--mother of James Alex Fields, Jr, charged in Charlottesville incident
When I returned home, I surfed channels and online platforms.1
These included certain sites infested with alt-right extremists, edgelords, and generic online vermin-- sometimes all at the same time. While the news was fresh, many posters at these sites jubilantly called the killer a hero. And at these sites, and only at such sites, so far as Google and Bing could see, a specific, inaccurate identification was made of the car and its owner. They started posting a name, and otherwise doxxing a certain young man. Since his information identified him as a Trump opponent and someone who opposed the alt-right, they began a narrative absent from the mainstream. They decried the Hatred and Violence of the Left (moments after praising a guy who rammed a crowd, killing one) and promoted and guffawed over their new theory, that he was an anti-alt-right protestor who intended to hit alt-right protestors but misidentified his targets. SJW has one job and he screws that up, har har.
Of course, the police at that point had released no information about the car or the driver's identity, and witnesses consistently reported someone who was waiting and surveilling the scene before acting. Their theory did not really jibe with the apparent facts, even at that point.
Certain other online places less committed to the the Fine Art of Cranial-Rectal Insertion had also identified the license-- correctly, it turned out, linking it to a different car and owner entirely. They also emphasized certain obvious points: knowing who owned the car did not indicate who was driving the car, or if the vehicle or its plates had been stolen. Police soon identified that suspect, in custody and, in a not at all surprising development, he had been in Charlottesville to support the alt-right side. I don't mean to say that other groups cannot be violent: only that, in this particular case, a killer with any other affiliation would be unlikely.
Back in the sewers of the internet, opinion divided. Some were back to congratulating the killer, whoever he was. Others wouldn't go that far, but suggested, come on, one death, a few injuries, what's the big deal, hoss? Some spun narratives about how the driver had been provoked, had faulty brakes, or other scenarios supported by no available evidence. Finally, others had donned their tinfoil hats2 and were convinced that it was all a false flag, sure, maybe it really happened, but the driver was either probably or obviously a plant of Teh All-Powerful Leftist Elite to make the gathering look bad. Because a group that includes neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members needs help looking bad.
Meanwhile, I wonder when the American president will issue the words "radical domestic white nationalist terrorism" and I'm amusing myself, darkly, imagining his supporters' responses if anyone called him "the founder of the Charlottesville incident."
1. Canadian and British news certainly covered the Charlottesville, Virginia story, but not with the intensity of the Americans. On the CBC, the Korean situation and one specifically Canadian story received precedence.
2. As a bonus, some mad Tinfoil Hatters noted how much video there is of this event, but not of all of those shootings they claim are faked false flags. I'm no expert here, but I'm pretty sure a violent rally planned months ago and running for a couple of days would have several cameras recording it pretty much continuously, from within and without. Witnesses to an unexpected mass shooting, however, wouldn't already be recording events, and would most likely duck for cover once bullets started flying, rather than standing up and filming and getting shot. But perhaps I lack the conspiracy theorist's fine-tuned understanding of logic and human behavior.