Murderous Nazi Going To Jail, Where He Belongs.
On Friday afternoon, James Alex Fields, the neo-Nazi scumbag who killed 32-year old Heather Heyer at the Charlottesville Unite The Right rally, was found guilty of first degree murder, five counts of aggravated malicious wounding, three counts of malicious wounding and a hit-and-run. He will be sentenced on Monday, and could potentially spend the next 70 years of his life in prison. If he is found guilty of the federal hate crime charges for which he has been separately indicted, he could even be up for the death penalty.
During the trial, the defense attempted to argue that Fields didn't run over Heyer and other protesters with his car because he wanted to hurt them, but because he was "scared." This turned out to be rather difficult to prove given that he backed up and then drove faster into the crowd, clearly intending to hurt or kill people.
The defense also made a lot out of the fact that Fields cried when he was told that he killed Heather Heyer and injured several others, to suggest that he didn't mean to do it on purpose, which he absolutely did. He had previously shared memes of running over protestors, making it clear that he thought it was a cute thing to do.
Meme shared by James Alex Fields
His lawyer argued that his sharing of the meme "was not an expression of intent."
Except the thing is, it was an expression of what he thought was a perfectly acceptable thing to do, at least in the abstract. It was when he was confronted with the fact that these were, in fact, real human beings and that he was very likely going to jail for killing and maiming them, that he cried.
The prosecution also used a text message he had sent to his mother as more evidence of intent. She had told him to "be careful" and he responded by sending her a message reading "We're not the one [sic] who need to be careful," with a picture of Hitler attached.
In order to be a neo-Nazi in the first place, you have to be willing to think of other people as being less than human, you have to block out your own humanity. That is pretty much the gist of that entire belief system and that is what James Alex Fields did that day. He thought of those protesters as being less than human. He imagined himself being hailed as a hero by his alt-right friends -- the ultimate edgelord Nazi, courageous enough to do the things they'd only ever meme'd about. He didn't think he'd get arrested, he didn't think he'd go to jail, because he didn't actually think he was doing anything wrong. And someone like that needs to be in jail for a good, long time.
NOTE: James Alex Fields is a garbage nazi, but prison rape is not a funny joke and the idea that anyone should be punished with rape for any crime is abhorrent. So no "don't drop the soap" jokes please.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse