- Arizona Republican State Rep. Mark Finchem said that the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville wasn’t led by white nationalists and supremacists, but by “Democrat mobs,” according to a recently unearthed blog post.
- Finchem, a three-term member of the Arizona House and member of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia movement, is known for his extreme political views and ideas linked to the far-right.
- Finchem has represented Arizona’s 11th Congressional District since 2014.
Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, who serves the state’s 11th Congressional District, said he believes the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, wasn’t started by the far-right, but rather by “Democrat mobs fighting for control and narrative foundation,” according to an August 2017 blog post first reported on by the Phoenix New Times.
The violent gathering led by far-right white nationalists and white supremacists sought to capitalize on racial tensions in the US and left one woman dead, and injured many others.
Finchem’s post was written just three days after the Virginia rally, during which neo-Nazis and white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters in the streets of Charlottesville. Then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in response to the protests.
In his post, Finchem claimed that “the legacy media industrial complex are peddling the story that ‘far right’ and the far left are at each others throats, and that they are behind the violence that erupted in Charlottesville.” He also said that while he did acknowledge violence occurred, “there was no ‘far right’ there.”
As Joseph Flaherty of the Phoenix New Times acknowledged, “although his article was riddled with misleading and false information, for Finchem, the blog post is not out of character.”
Finchem, a three-term member of the Arizona House and member of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia movement, is known for his extreme political views and ideas linked to the far-right. But, as the Huffington Post acknowledged, the Republican State Leadership Committee, which provides financial support to GOP candidates, has remained silent when politicians like Finchem tout extremist views.
In the post, he referred to the Ku Klux Klan, whose members participated in the Charlottesville rally, as “an organization that has been with the Democrats since it was formed up during the post-civil war reconstruction period.”
That thinking aligns with a far-right conspiracy theory that claims Jason Kessler, the primary organizer of the rally, was a “liberal double-agent, actually an Obama-supporting leftist,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Center describes Kessler as a white nationalist blogger.
Despite his extremist views, Finchem, a former Michigan police officer, has represented Arizona’s 11th Congressional District since 2014. INSIDER reached out to Finchem for comment.
- Read more:
- White supremacists, nationalists, and the alt-right are disillusioned with Trump – and some are joining the Yang Gang
- A white nationalist conspiracy theory was at the heart of the New Zealand shooting. This isn’t the first time it’s been associated with terror attacks.
- Rep. Steve King could be censured after asking why terms like white supremacist and white nationalist were offensive in an interview