Hey, White Nationalists, Go Away

White nationalists marching in Charlottesville. Image credit: Washington Post

Hey, white nationalists, go away. We don’t want you. Nobody wants you. I, too, am a white person, and I, too, am appalled by the identity politics of the Left. But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness. You and your torch-light marches only fuel the Left’s narrative that America is an irredeemably racist nation. The opposite of left-wing tribalism isn’t right-wing tribalism, it’s individualism. If you want to stand up to Leftist identity politics, work to build a society that provides equal treatment under the law to all and empowers Americans to rely upon their own initiative, not the government, to better their condition.

Update: I made this post this morning before the violence took place. I share the sentiments of Governor Terry McAuliffe who said this afternoon that there is no place in Virginia — or the United States — for the kind of violence we saw this afternoon or the hateful sentiments that motivated it. The perpetrators of violence need to be prosecuted with the full power of the law.

I also support the statement of the House Republican leadership:

The rhetoric and actions of racists, white supremacists, and Nazi-ideologues in Charlottesville last night and today are disgusting and vile. We are heartbroken that innocent life was taken in what appears to be a violent act of terrorism. This is not what Virginia believes in or stands for and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. We are grateful for the bravery and professionalism of local law enforcement, the Virginia State Police, and the Virginia National Guard. They are heroic public servants.”

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78 responses to “Hey, White Nationalists, Go Away

  1. There is not much humor in this, but the image of these people standing in line at Lowe’s to buy these lawn torches by the packing barrel has a kind of Saturday Night Live quality to it. The 21st Century version of the true terrorists of the old KKK is laughable, a parody,and laughter is the right response. The violence that might erupt this afternoon, that is just giving them what they want.

  2. uh… ” But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness. ”

    Jim – you must not have noticed.. these folks have been around since slavery… or you don’t think it’s the same folks?

    all these bleeding heart “identity politics leftists.. came along . long, long after that . actually in response to some of it.. .. Not that long ago.. in the 1960’s in fact, the “left” used to be called “N- lovers”.. remember?

    • We’re still called that – I have been called that in person in Virginia for the dread crime of riding in a car with my Black friends. This shit isn’t that long ago because right now isn’t that long ago.

  3. Looks like America is heading down the same path Europe took in the 1920s.
    Stalin was a Communist, Hitler was a National Socialist and Mussolini was something similar. Trump’s electoral path followed those very closely. Trump reminds me of Mussolini marching with his troops into Ethiopia. Bernie is not much better and neither party, Democrats or Republicans, has a path to follow to out do the Alt-Right.

    • Bill Bolling on Facebook
      The hatred and violence on display this day in Charlottesville is disgusting and unacceptable. Those who participated in it truly represent the worst among us. In America we are all entitled to our point of view, but with that right is the civil expectation that we be tolerant of those with different views. Unfortunately, the extremism of the right and the left seems to be on the rise, and it threatens a civil society. When civility breaks down, violence ensues. We are witnessing a sad commentary on the state of our politics and civil discourse. There are no winners here, just losers.

  4. I say let them walk. The reason why is I know who people are, where they truly stand, and that way I can stay away from them. If you don’t want any part of that, simply let the people walk and find out who they are solely to keep away from them.
    I don’t want to be a part of such things, but it is truly better the devil you know than to be fooled later on.

  5. McAuliffe has said his information suggests most of the demonstrators are not from Virginia. Isn’t that becoming more typical? Garbage from the extremes come to other people’s communities to putrefy in public. A pox on them.

    • Yes, a pox on the protesters who came from outside Virginia to Charlottesville. A pox on the racist miscreants spouting the absurdly anti-American theory of white supremacy.

  6. Some of the the things that drive me away from the Bacon’s Rebellion blog are its unholy and one-sided financial relationship with Dominion. The other is the attitudes of the commenters. Here we have a huge warning sign of the Alt-Right ascendancy thanks to Donald Trump whose administration has been an unbelievable disaster. Then you have the horrors of Charlottesville where my daughter lives. Bacon turns this terrorist event into a tome against leftist “identity” politics. JWGilley is even worse. He somehow turns a Dodge Challenger slamming into a crowd of counter-protestors in what is obviously an act of domestic terrorism into a comparison of Mussolini and Bernie Sanders. Bacons Rebellion has lost its soul in recent years. It used to be a place where you could find intelligent and diverse debate. With the current thinking of Bacon and jwgilley, that time has past. Maybe I can get them Steve Bannon’s phone number. Go get’em, rich, white boys!

    • James Bacon cannot even take the simple step of disavowing people who are outright and vocal neo-Nazis without trying to equate groups engaged in social justice work with them. All he has to say is “Nazi Punks Fuck Off,” which Jello Biafra managed to articulate despite being a total asshole, and leave it at that.

      But Jim can’t do that. And I honestly can’t tell if it’s because – like Trump – he’s sympathetic to their point of view and/or afraid of alienating people who are, or because he’s so upset at the thought of people of color agitating for equality he has to rhetorically tie them to white supremacists.

    • Peter, I filed this post this morning, before the violence took place, in response to the Washington Post story based on yesterday’s events. The photo accompanying this blog post comes from that article. I’m pretty sure the other commenters were responding before the violence occurred, too. So, take a chill pill.

  7. we’re acting like this a new thing and in reaction to “political correctness”.. let me help jog the memory..

    and though this is Glen Echo- Virginia has an abundant similar history…

    there’s plenty more pictorial history for those that can’t bring themselves to admit what it really is..

    it’s not about individuals and their abhorrent views.. it’s a movement.. that marches.. and advocates laws and policies… to reflect their views.. and we have a POTUS who cannot bring himself to without equivocation – strongly reject it – instead he says “both sides” should “behave”… as if both sides have legitimate views but too much passion.

    Apparently – it’s “political correctness” to call racism for what it really is.

    better off to just “stay away” from it.. eh

    and sorry…. Europe did not go down some path with opposing political groups in the 1920s… … it continued on until one “side” went forward with the killing of 6 million people… and the thinking and symbols that were part of that movement – now are using Nazi symbols next to KKK symbols . in the USA … but they’re just one “side” … of the issue… and a reaction to … “identity politics” and “Black lives matter”.. talk about re-writing history!

    so today- we have the racists and the anti-racists… and both of them are “misbehaving”.. ugh… it’s okay to be racist .. as long as you’re not “violent”… and get into it with the “left”… then both of you are “guilty”, eh?

    good lord.

  8. ” I, too, am a white person, and I, too, am appalled by the identity politics…”

    Meanwhile, not 24 hours in the past!

    “Does Virginia Higher-Ed Discriminate against Asians?”

    Identity politics sure are bad, though! Unless they can be used against something you already want to dismantle, then they’re good! I guess the Devil’s tools make the best use against the Devil’s work!

    “But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness.”

    You must be hitting those narcotics hard post-op if you’re willing to write something this risible.

    Let me throw a difference out there, the National Council of La Raza advocates for policy reforms to immigration, our legal system, voting access, education and economic stability while Black Lives Matter is founded on the simple principle it would really be great if the state would stop killing unarmed Black citizens without consequence. To my knowledge, no one in these groups have driven a car into a crowd of people who disagree with them.

    Meanwhile, on the side of the people marching to Unite the Right you have people who recite the 14 Words formulated by member of The Order and murderer of Alan Berg, David Lane. You have people wearing the same 88 paraphernalia preferred by Charleston assassin and mass murderer Dylann Roof. You have groups showing up who share direct organizational ties to men like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols whose ideas of white identity allowed them to murder over 100 people and children without compunction. These people are out there chanting “Blood and soil” is solidarity with the Nazis who killed thousands of Americans during World War II.

    The idea that these two groups are similar because of “identity politics” is absurd to such a degree that the only reason I can think a human being would write it is because of an opiod haze.

  9. It is a cliche that freedom of speech does not extend to shouting fire in a crowded theater. That is what has happened over the past twenty four hours. Anyone who cannot see that both sides came spoiling for a fight, hoping for this very outcome, is intentionally blind and contributing to the problem. I have no qualms with condemning everybody on both sides. A plague on both your houses.

    • “…both sides came spoiling for a fight…”

      A schoolyard bully and someone tired of being bullied beat each other up one day, both of them were “spoiling for a fight,” but of course one of them is the aggressor and one of them was defending themselves. In Charlottesville over the last 24 hours you had a group of people who wish for the extermination of people not like them and people not like them defending themselves. If you think they’re the same then you’ve already displayed your true sympathies.

      “I have no qualms with condemning everybody on both sides.”

      Such a courageous, considered stance – the side that is ramming cars into crowds of people is the same as the side that is marching against people who would do that. If this were a French Muslim no one would bat an eye before calling it terrorism, but here you are saying it’s just another side of two bad groups.

    • I think an investigation into the facts will prove you wrong.

      My suspicion …

      The neo-Nazi protesters were planning and prepared for violence. The counter-protesters were reacting. While reacting to taunts with violence is wrong it is a far cry from proactively inciting a riot.

  10. Peter, I could be wrong, but some of the posters like Jim and jwgilley may have made their comments before they knew of the Dodge Challenger terrorist attack. Not sure if that changes your interpretation or not.

  11. re: “both sides”.

    I watched Massive Resistance in Virginia – and characterizing it as two-sides with each side doing bad stuff… is about as absurd as one can get.

    These folks today are little different than the racists in Va during Massive Resistance. They are brewed in the same hate.

    blacks have been systematically savaged from hanging to imprisonment…to denied access to restaurants and even drinking fountains and restrooms and schools – and we say that the folks who did this to them… were – no worse than the folks they were abusing? just a difference in values?

    so now… we’re saying the modern equivalent of those racists of the past are just reacting to identity politics and political correctness and deserve equal consideration for their views?

    in a pigs eye.

    • Massive resistance was the formal policy of the political elite in Richmond. It is an indelible stain on the history of Virginia.

      I cannot believe that the events in Charlottesville yesterday had any official support from any sector of the Virginia political establishment.

      I suppose we can take some small solace from the fact that yesterday’s events were the result of a fringe group of miscreants rather than the official policy of Virginia’s state government.

  12. “Chill pill?” Give me a freaking break! Bacon, you don’t seem to understand just how ridiculous your argument is. You are pretending that we have two equal sides here and each is worthy of their say. The First Amendment does give the hard right, alt-right, white supremacists and their ilk the right to protest. The ACLU realized that and joined them in their lawsuit to use Emancipation Park as they were so permitted. But to give these supposed two sides — the radical right and the “identity” liberals — a moral equal standing is not just outrageous, it is disgusting. It shows just how out of touch you have become. I suggest you go back to your basement echo chamber.

    • Events like this need to be viewed through three prisms … morality, constitutionality and legality.

      Morality – the protesters who came to Charlottesville are immoral. They are un-American, they are the anthesis of Christian belief, they are criminals, they are frauds. In short, not only are they disgraceful; they are the exact opposite of what they claim to be.

      Constitutionality – The disgraceful protesters had the Constitutional right to protest.

      Legality – They did not have any right to incite a riot, commit assault or murder an innocent person with a car.

      Once they crossed the line from legal to illegal the protesters opened a door. It’s now time to go after the bastards with the full measure of the law.

  13. Larry, your reference to the racist reaction to Brown vs. Board of Education and the racist reaction to the post war Civil Rights movement is worthwhile. Yes, the racists today are the same, but they are far less numerous and their tactics are overwhelmingly rejected. That is largely because they were met not with force in the 50s and 60s, but with reason and sacrifice and a strong effort to remain non-violent. It was easy to recognize evil with that contrast. That is why we honor MLK as a great American – for that, among other things.

    Non-violent counter protest is how many reacted as the modern racists assembled in Charlottesville today – the local C’Ville news covered a non-violent rally in another location. Fine. But others had other plans, sought confrontation, and based on what I’ve seen today it appears both sides got the violent confrontation they wanted.

    Am I saying the racists should be ignored? No. Were they the prime instigators? Sure. And I do not begin to equate the person who committed homicide by vehicle with people who were throwing punches or fruit or pepper spray back and forth. But violence was inevitable because there were those on both sides who wanted it, who see political profit in it. And to accept it on one side and condemn it on the other, in either direction, is not sufficient.

    I predict another deep navel gazing session for police, who may have their own thoughts about a federal judge who didn’t listen to their warnings that – as earlier noted – this was a crowded theater waiting for a shout of fire.

  14. Steve – I appreciate the measured response.. seriously but these racists came to Cville – to cause trouble.. they came carrying weapons.. and shields.. and helmets.. and yes.. some on the other side took the bait… but to say that both sides showed up to rumble… I don’t think that’s any more true than when people showed up to watch the KKK march in the 1960s’

    Let’s recognize also that the scene in C-ville may well be repeated in Richmond.. and other cities.. if they also decide to do something with monuments.. I guess we could call the thing with the monuments as “provocative”?

    • “I appreciate the measured response.. seriously but these racists came to Cville – to cause trouble.. they came carrying weapons.. and shields.. and helmets.. and yes.. some on the other side took the bait… but to say that both sides showed up to rumble…”

      I agree completely.

      However, look at you photo again Larry. Look at the cars and bus. Do you really think that photo is from the 1960s?

  15. here’s a real interesting one:

  16. tell me the difference between these clowns or the black panthers, black lives matters– hands up don’t shoot?

    • How about 150 years of stuff like this:

      this is the heritage of the KKK and Nazi movements..

      the Black panthers and Black Lives Maters are REACTIONS to this kind of treatment …from folks who associate themselves to the KKK and Nazis… which are REAL.. not comic book characters…

  17. Unlike some.. there ARE SOME GOP who WILL stand up:

    Cory Gardner ✔ @SenCoryGardner
    Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism.

    Marco Rubio ✔ @marcorubio
    Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists

    ChuckGrassley ✔ @ChuckGrassley
    What ” WhiteNatjonalist” are doing in Charlottesville is homegrown terrorism that can’t be tolerated anymore that what Any extremist does

    Senator Hatch Office ✔ @senorrinhatch
    Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, & have no place in civil society.

    We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH

    Rob Portman ✔ @senrobportman
    The tragedy in Charlottesville this afternoon was domestic terrorism. We must all condemn hatred and white nationalism.

  18. I am surprised by this commentary. And revolted.

  19. I feel badly for Jim Bacon. He published this post before the shit really hit the fan. At the time it was published I think it was a reasonable statement of opinion. As of now it seems very underwhelming in light of the events that actually unfolded.

    Rather than take this event as an opportunity to discuss the larger issue of politics in America or hatred in America I will concern myself with the specifics of the horrible event at hand. Drawing larger conclusions is legitimate. It’s just not what I chose to do in this comment.

    Before I start, let me be clear … all parties involved who are charged with breaking the law should be granted their full Constitutional measure of due process. A complete investigation needs to be performed, videos reviewed, eye witnesses interviewed, arrests made, indictments handed down, juries empaneled, etc. My commentary as to what I think happened is speculative but I will bet, in the final analysis, I get it more right than wrong.

    1. The views of the neo-Nazis (or whatever they are) are abhorrent and should be personally condemned by all clear thinking Americans. However, they do have the right to express their vile thoughts in public as the US Constitution, courts and ACLU have maintained. However, this went far beyond protest and seems to have clearly crossed the line into criminality.

    2. This was an intentional, pre-meditated effort to cause violence on the part of the neo-Nazis / alt-right / white supremacists (or whatever these idiots call themselves). Mere protesters so not show up in battle gear. The leaders of this “movement” need to be investigated, arrested and charged with inciting a riot (at least).

    3. Criminality is an individual matter. I am confident that some of the neo-Nazis spouted their venom within the constraints of the law. I am confident that some of the counter-protesters overstepped the lines of legal behavior. Make no mistake – this was instigated by the neo-Nazis, they came to Charlottesville, they had armed members. The question of conspiracy for their leadership is legitimate. However, each and every neo-Nazi cannot be arrested and prosecuted for this “event” no matter how satisfying that might be.

    4. Criminality is a matter of degree. My suspicion is that the leaders of the neo-Nazis planned to incite violence. That is a very serious charge. My suspicion is that there was no such planning on behalf of the counter-protesters’ leadership (if they even had an organized leadership).

    5. If the facts are as they presently appear, the driver of the Challenger is a murderer. In fact, he may well be guilty of murder with special circumstances such as terrorist activity and / or hate crime. If properly charged and ultimately convicted I believe one possible sentence should be the death penalty. While I am personally opposed to the use of the death penalty in any situation it is the law of the land and would seem to apply to this incident if the facts are as they seem.

    This was criminal activity fueled by bigotry. While the bigotry is a very legitimate concern I believe the first order of business is to investigate and prosecute the criminal activity.

    In deference to the solemnity of these terrible events I will withhold my opinion as to the adequacy of the preparations for this foreseeable fiasco by our local and state political leadership for a later time.

  20. In regard to President Trump’s response to the horrible events in Charlottesville … better than usual but still not nearly sufficient. I respect the fact that Trump must speak as both President and as a person. I respect the fact that he should wait for the facts to become clear before opining. However, I think he could have been more clear.

    1. As President the real issue was the violence. Regardless of one’s opinion of their motivations the protesters had the right to protest. Nobody has the right to riot. As President Trump did a decent job of making that clear.

    2. As a person Trump is entitled to his personal opinions and is expected to make those personal opinions known. In this, he fell down badly. While respecting their right to hold abhorrent beliefs he should have personally condemned the white supremacists’ theory of white supremacy in the strongest possible terms.

    3. Trump should have disavowed any pledged support for him by the leaders of the white supremacists (e.g. David Dukes). A quotable quote might have been, “If you believe in white supremacy as a philosophy I would rather you write in Adolf Hitler’s name on the next presidential ballot than vote for me.”

    4. I happened to be in a restaurant in Northern Virginia eating lunch when the breaking news of the disaster in Charlottesville came on CNN. I watched as I ate and stayed after I was was done to see what would happen. Eventually several tweets from Donald Trump appeared on the screen. He said nothing wrong or controversial but the message just didn’t seem to go far enough. As I was leaving I heard a young man (about age 12) say to his parents, “President Trump doesn’t sound as dumb as usual.” That’s almost exactly the same way I felt. Unfortunately, times like these demand more from our president than sounding less dumb than usual.

  21. Let me say – if you are a black person – the images above are what you “see” as associated with White Supremacists thinking .. the historical original acts themselves .. and anyone today who associates themselves with the groups that did those acts… there is no room for equivalencing .. if you are black

    However, f you are a white guy and you don’t “see” this – the same way- and you tend to think ANY group that gets involved in any violence for any reason.. IS the SAME, I would suggest you do not have the same view as black folks do – many of whom do believe that to not oppose it – even physically it is tantamount to being complicit in it, encouraging it.

    Further, in my own white-guy view, – physically opposing those who advocate harm to others – as a philosophy / movement – is not the same as those who actually engage in those advocacies to physically harm others.

    It’s like saying being “violent” to the Nazi’s who were killing Jews is no better than what the Nazis were doing themselves or violently opposing a lynching of someone is no better than those who would themselves – lynch others….

    and that’s the problem I have with folks equating Black Lives Matter with the White Supremacists… as if “both sides” are “wrong’.

    I’m AGOG that these distinctions are not self-apparent to folks and they have to carefully try to parse their thinking..

    We went through this in Virginia in the 1960’s.. Many, Many white folks stood silently off to the side and did nothing.. even as other whites, their neighbors, co-workers, fellow-church goers were advocating and actively involved in harming black people…

    Those whites that actually did have the courage to stand up were called “N lovers” and suffered harm themselves from other whites…

    With today’s White Supremacists, you’re looking at the SAME PEOPLE – the prejudice and hate is exactly the same kind that we saw in the 1960s .

    Trying to “moral equivalence” … is untenable and morally reprehensible and yes.. people who abhor it now as well as back then are losing their patience.. and trying to equate their view as merely the opposing side of the White Supremacists .. is truly mind boggling – to me.

    • “I would suggest you do not have the same view as black folks do – many of whom do believe that to not oppose it – even physically it is tantamount to being complicit in it, encouraging it.”

      Either we are a nation of laws or we are not. Our existing laws allow for people to espouse any abhorrent view they choose in public. They further criminalize any violent reaction to such espousal.

      In yesterday’s situation I believe an investigation will show that the protesters were intent on causing violence in Charlottesville. There are just too many “coincidences” ….

      1. The choice of Charlottesville. A city sufficiently small that an overwhelming counter-protest was unlikely. The protesters could have chosen Alexandria, another Virginia city removing Confederate monuments. However, I suspect that being outnumbered 20:1 would have been unappealing to the protesters.

      2. The timing. Just before UVA students returned for classes.

      3. The “armaments”. I saw too many home made shields with black tape Xs to believe that the protesters just “grabbed what they could” in case there was trouble.

      I see no reason to make excuses for the counter-protesters. There is a difference between peaceful protest and inciting a riot. Once a group does the latter it is no longer a matter of “losing you patience”, it is a matter of defending yourself from criminals.

      In the general case of peaceful protest I cannot agree that violence is allowable no matter how vile the philosophy of the protesters. In the specific case of Charlottesville yesterday I believe the so-called protesters came to incite a riot and they got one. Now they must deal with the criminal implications of their actions.

  22. re: ” defending the RIGHT to ADVOCATE violence on others – and showing up with weaponry and shields”.

    is that inciting violence? If Black Lives Matter showed up similarly attired?

    Generalizing that the White Supremacist tactics and goals are the same as Black Lives Matter… they”both do it”.. does not stand the test of history… one has a long history of violence … and advocating harm to others .. and the other side is basically a reaction to having such violence visited on them – for generations.. the two are not the same …

    If Black Lives Matter showed up with weapons and shields overtly threatening violence – the police would go ape-crap… The Neo-Nazis show up with weapons and shields and they are considered “peaceful until proven otherwise”…

    not even going to get started on “identity politics”… “causing” these things..

  23. re: ” I believe an investigation will show that the protesters were intent on causing violence in Charlottesville. There are just too many “coincidences” ”

    how many people and hours of “investigation” are we going to see of who threw what and if the target was justified in then going after someone else on the “other side”.. where are you going to get the explicit videos to go through all of this and how are you going to identify the participants and track them down?

    the “investigation”? are you kidding me??? DJ.. have you been watching too much CSI or NCIS on TV guy? geeze guy..

    Maybe from now on – both sides have to get fingerprinted and PHOTO-IDed , first ..before the “riot”, eh? 😉

  24. I bristle at any inferred equivalence of left tribalism and right tribalism, given the blatant and violent proclivity of the latter, stimulated by Trump’s ignorant nativism. (Know Nothingism revisited.) But I’m fully aware and critical of the degradation of “free speech” at some colleges — like Middlebury and, sadly, at my Quaker alma mater Haverford. See the article in the Post today on that problem and the heydays of the 1960s. And imagine that I had a job interview with the CIA at the U. of Chicago campus in 1965! Perhaps no such event possible today, I fear. But the bullying, bigoted and violent Nazis/KKK/alt right fanatics lie in another alien universe.

  25. Best I can discern so far is that:

    Significant parts of two opposing groups came to town looking for a fight. The local police made tactical mistakes that allowed opponents too much room and far to much time to mix and fight, allowing emotions and their consequences to flare out of control. This spilled violence up and down streets, a flux and flow of violence that apparently went on for hours, scattered attack and counter attack by small groups, until order was restored by perhaps daylight and exhaustion as much as any police action.

    What is the bigger picture as to why this happened. I suspect the seeds of of this violence have been allowed to gestate for far too long by our irresponsible leaders of all kinds on all sides.

    And that now already one sees the usual suspects rising to the spin the facts of what just happened for their own private advantage and personal interest, and selfish disregard of others. If so, this unfortunate fact may well flare this social illness up into clashes and dysfunctions on a far greater scale, nation wide even.

    The Big Question? If this violence, and what spawns it spreads and intensifies, will the center of our society and nation hold. This will depend on all of us. Recent history suggests that many of us are not up to the task of holding our center together. Just like has happened in so many places so many times before, especially in democracies and Republics, since the dawn of written history began to record such events.

  26. As others have noted, this post came from Jim’s observation made before the violence and the order to disband. But c’mon guys, look at what Jim ACTUALLY argued. He said: “The opposite of left-wing tribalism isn’t right-wing tribalism, it’s individualism. If you want to stand up to Leftist identity politics, work to build a society that provides equal treatment under the law to all and empowers Americans to rely upon their own initiative, not the government, to better their condition.” That plainly does NOT elevate these political extremes to moral equivalence! I’m with DJR here, these out- of- towners came to C’ville spoiling for a fight and attendant publicity, and the local, lawful counter-protesters found themselves on the receiving end of deliberate unlawful violence. Shades of the Civil Rights era indeed.

    The original point should not go unmentioned. Tribalism is not the answer. If there’s anything that marks the Trump phenomenon it is the uncritical, unquestioning acceptance of his alternative-fact universe by those core supporters who have the entire Republican Party so cowed today. Marc Fisher’s comparison (yesterday, WaPo) of Trump’s with Joe McCarthy’s supporters is apt — it took years to convince the electorate to abandon the Red Scare and its false prophet. Individualism at least means reading, listening, arguing, thinking for oneself. Individualism implies independence from blind political party loyalty. That does NOT mean logically that all forms of one alternative, tribalism, are morally equivalent.

    As for left wing tribalism in particular, there’s a challenging piece about it in the WSJ on Saturday that’s well worth reading in this context. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-liberal-crackup-1502456857 Enjoy!

    • “… the local, lawful counter-protesters found themselves on the receiving end of deliberate unlawful violence.” Based on the reports that I have read, you’ve jumped the gun on that statement, although given the twisted quality of today’s news, it might by understandable.

      Also, like Jim, I despise white nationalists, but thought his post was gratuitous, and risked making a bad thing potentially worse.

      • No real disagreement with you there. But Jim deserves a break considering the context: yet another sorry chapter in the “Demotion Of Confederate History” Saga. We’ve had some good discussions on that topic here; can’t blame Jim for revisiting those themes. This, however, wasn’t just another questionable bureaucratic cleansing of dusty memorabilia. It wasn’t even a political rally for or against the same (I haven’t heard a peep out of Corey Stewart, for example). This was a barely-related mass gathering of societal swill organized and dominated by the worst sort of publicity-seekers mostly from out-of-State. And we should expect to learn that many of the counter-marchers were there for the same reason — to attract/invite attention — although (based on the TV coverage) not nearly as hell-bent on violence, e.g., by inflamatory conduct while draped in paramilitary equipment and in some cases armed. Jim commented (initially) before the worst of it. Given the press coverage and reactions afterwards it was both gratuitous and risky to have said anything; but I’m glad he did, as it has given his readers a chance to vent some serious frustrations!

  27. re; ” “The opposite of left-wing tribalism isn’t right-wing tribalism, it’s individualism. If you want to stand up to Leftist identity politics, ”

    If Jim had said : “The opposite of RIght-wing Neo-Nazi, KKK hate and violence… and acknowledged it’s role in our sorry history of lynchings, and other racial violence.. it would have been appropriate to cite that generational scourge of hate and violence… compared to the more recent “problem” of tribal-left “identity” politics to my knowledge has never advocated killing people much less doing it… THAT would have been accurate and truthful and rightly not equate the two.

    he did not do that..

    and to NOT .. NOTE that difference.. wins no points.. sorry

    equating the two – as recent contested points of view is to deny the history .. of the KKK/neo-nazi movement – and it’s violent role against black people and jews in this country.. that’s unacceptable.

    this is so ludicrous.. it’s like saying KKK/neo-nazi lives matter!

    • I think Jim’s mistake was associating the clowns who came to Charlottesville yesterday with anything or anybody other then the fringe group of racists, nutcakes and fruit loops they are. They don’t represent anything other than a tiny speck of the population consumed in hatred.

      There are similar black separatist groups monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center …. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/black-separatist. Do I care what they think or say? No.

      There’s always going to be a fringe element of loons calling for one crazy plan after another. Fine. They have that right as Americans.

      It’s when they overtly foment violence that we all need to start being concerned.

      My disagreement with Jim is that I don’t think these fringe groups represent anything that matters with singular exception of a potential for violence. So, when a fringe group comes to Charlottesville with its zany ideas I don’t see an escalation of identity politics. I see a distraction with the disturbing possibility of violence.

      As for mainstream identity politics – Jim is completely right. It is a tool of unscrupulous politicians used to chase votes and contributions to the detriment of America – no matter who is using that tool.

  28. characterizing the kkk/neo-nazis as a tribal-right “reaction” to the tribal left/identity politics is not an accurate portrayal of the history.

    THe KKK/neo nazis have been around a LONG TIME – with a horrible history… of violence against entire classes of innocent people over decades.

    equating them to the tribal left a fairly recent labeling of a group that does NOT have a history of advocating violence against entire classes of people – is wrong … and a distortion …. revisionist history if you like.

    If you cannot and will not recognize the history of the KKK/neo nazis.. how can you really be objective?

    ” It’s when they overtly foment violence that we all need to start being concerned.”… what part of this is not recognized for the KKK/neo nazis decades long history? how and why would you equate this to “leftist identity politics”?

  29. I think Jim is getting unfairly painted into this ugly picture. Don’t forget that the title is “Hey White Nationalists, Go Away” and he goes on to say that they are not wanted here in Virginia (the alleged perpetrator of the car attack was from out of state). He addresses the one original paragraph post specifically to White Nationalists. The wording suggests to me that he is trying to reach a component of that group (small though it may be) that may be reasoned with and think their participation is in any way justified by as a reaction to left-wing politics. He concludes that it is not in any way justified and it actually makes their situation worse if they disagree with the far left.

    He made the original post before the car attack. He added an update saying he agrees with the statements of the Governor and the House Republican leadership, which appear very reasonable and specifically cites the actions and rhetoric of the white nationalists as repugnant.

    Jim places blame directly on the white nationalists (unlike the President, who went on to cite “both sides”). I also note that Jim doesn’t send out incendiary, ill-intentioned tweets early in the morning and appears to me to fight against fake news. (I know some will question his relationship with Dominion, but I distinguish that from fake news, which has no basis in fact — even alternative facts).

    He was accused here of drawing an equivalence between the white nationalists and the left. I don’t hear that. I hear him saying that he disagrees with the politics of both the far left and alt right, and there is no place or justification for the violence we saw.

    No one is going to write an opinion blog post specifically the way we may want them, nor should we want or expect that. I think we should focus more on the obvious substance and direction of what it is said rather than parsing it and then reinterpreting it.

    • Izzo –

      Allow me to sharpen my earlier comment. Perhaps Jim and many others knew beforehand far more about this upcoming event and its start than I did. Perhaps had I done so – looked into who organized and showed up for and participated in this event, I would have known what most everyone reading and commenting on this blog apparently did and/or now assumes- namely, that all the people in this march were ALL out of town White Supremacists akin to Neo-Nazis, fascists, and modern day race baiting bigots, who came to Charlottesville to beat up people, particularly black people.

      I did not assume this when I read his post. And I still do not know this is true for a fact, other than at least a part of this group are bad actors who committed crimes and should be punished appropriately if found guilty by a court.

      No, what I assumed was that the great majority of these people, whether local or not, were protesting the proposed removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, historic figures that they deemed part of their history and culture that others were demeaning and washing aside like so much else of American history and culture that is being washed aside, save when it serves someone else’s special interests such as Thomas Jefferson.

      On this blog I have written at great length why I disagree with the erasure of our history and our unfair and intolerant treatment of others based on race or culture, whether by the many or by the few, including erasure of ancestors of all Americans.

      So, by the time I finished reading the words of Jim’s post:

      “Hey, white nationalists, go away. We don’t want you. Nobody wants you. I, too, am a white person, and I, too, am appalled by the identity politics of the Left. But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness,”

      I assumed he was painting all involved marchers with this broad brush. If all were such people, I still think the post unwise. If many marchers were not such people, the post would not have made the impression it did, if that was made clear up front.

      • I took it the same way — it only became clear part-way in that Jim was distinguishing not only between right and left, but also between identity politics and individualism, and demanding that we not forget the difference.

  30. I’ll say it again – portraying the KKK/neo nazi movement as a reaction to leftist identity politics is not the truth… and it’s wrong to make that portrayal – no matter all the rest of the back and forth..

    why can’t you folks admit this?

    The KKK/Neo Nazis did NOT form as a tribal reaction to the left..

    Here’s the quote: ” But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness.”

    did the KKK/neo nazis suddenly form in reaction to BLM and La Taza?

    this is simply not the facts.. it’s a false portrayal.. a false equivalence..

    and worse that that – it IGNORES the HISTORY of the KKK/neo-nazi movement…

    THIS is the history :

    is this “tribal identity politics” on the right – in reaction to tribal identity politics on the left?

    this is not about Jim – this is about each one of us and how we say we perceive the issues – and history..

    • “portraying the KKK/neo nazi movement as a reaction to leftist identity politics is not the truth” —

      But who is disagreeing with you here? Jim never said that, in my opinion. What he did say was, “the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness.” The “identity politics” problem of race clearly began in Virginia in the late 17th/early 18th century when perpetual enslavement of native Americans and imported Africans began to replace the contract servitude of “indentured” white immigrants imported from Europe as a source of cheap labor in the New World. The problem today is that portion of the population that doesn’t acknowledge the 13th Amendment or the war to enact it; that doesn’t acknowledge the long struggle to reverse the Jim Crow laws and attitudes including segregation; that doesn’t acknowledge the necessity for the Civil Rights laws to achieve that reversal; that doesn’t acknowledge the racial bias out there, unconscious or deliberate, that plainly still exists. People like that undoubtedly find BLM provocative! But theirs was never a “reaction” to any recent political phenomenon but an ingrained attitude among certain of our fellow citizens reflecting a primal hostility to “otherness” that permeates some sorry episodes of European and American history, and that we still have not found a way to eradicate in our modern society.

  31. This reminds me of the 1960s when I worked at colleges and when the situation escalated nationally to the point that Martin L. King, Bobby Kennedy and George Wallace and others were shot and some died. At Kent State the National Guard of Ohio opened fire on students demonstrating killing several.
    We may be at a flash point and the President needs to be President.

  32. Izzo has it about right in that if you read Jim’s initial post while remembering when it was submitted it is about as well stated as possible. LtG can post all the incendiary photos he wants but that also is not helpful to the dialog. As for PG, maybe he’ll leave the blog again but that might not serve his agenda, whatever it is. Lots of “Sunday” morning quarterbacking going on.
    .

  33. Sad day for Virginia and our Country. Yes reminds me of my college days at Penn State when we had anti-Vietnam war rallies and sometimes mobs of students would spontaneously form outside the dorms and it was hard to predict what was going to happen – usually damage. Free speech yes but I don’t know how we can control demonstrations with everyone being allowed to carry live fire torches (per Jim’s picture) and military weapons. Seems to me a public safety nightmare.

    • My wife was in the Woman’s March in DC and they were not even allowed to have wooden posts to hold up their protest signs. I am just saying public safety should dictate certain rules for large demonstrations.

  34. To echo what Acbar said, I don’t think Jim was saying the “KKK/neo-Nazi movement” is a reaction to leftist politics. Clearly the KKK dates all the way back to Reconstruction. I read what he wrote as trying to appeal directly to people today who are drifting to the alt-right because they don’t like what they see on the far left.

    I agree with TBill that this is a sad day for Virginia and the country. For some reason, I was somewhat relieved when I heard the alleged murderer (and terrorist) is from out of state. The victim, who was counter protesting the white supremacists, was a local paralegal.

  35. re: ” … dentity politics of right-wing whiteness.”

    the KKK/neo nazi’s are not a group fostering “right-wing whiteness” in response to left-wing identity groups fostering their views…

    The KKK/neo nazis are NOT just another political group advocating a political philosophy that is comparable to other groups also pursuing their political philosophies..

    We are trying to “normalize” and morally equate them when we do not specifically recognize that they are NOT just another player in the tribal identity politics conundrum…

    and when you say this:

    ” Nobody wants you. I, too, am a white person, and I, too, am appalled by the identity politics of the Left. But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness. You and your torch-light marches only fuel the Left’s narrative that America is an irredeemably racist nation. The opposite of left-wing tribalism isn’t right-wing tribalism, it’s individualism. If you want to stand up to Leftist identity politics, … ”

    What I get out of that sentence is essentially it equates the two groups but questions the tactics of the “right wing white group”…

    this is not just some right wing group formed in response to left wing politics – guys

    This is the KKK/neo nazis and they were “formed” a long time ago and have a long history of Much much more than a group practicing “identity politics of right-wing whiteness.”

    To me , Jim was equating a group whose own words – and actions actually advocate and practice genocide… make no mistake.. this group has lynched thousands of blacks .. over it’s history… it’s not just some right-wing group formed in opposition to left wing groups.

    This is normalizing this group.. equivalencing it with other political groups instead of condemning them as a group.. to specifically recognize that they are NOT legitimate in any way, shape or form – in our society.

    This condemnation has nothing to do with any specifics in Cville – it has to do with this group – IT’s IDENTITY – no matter where they go or what they do.. this group should NOT be any part of right-wing politics – at all – EVER – and that’s EXACTLY what you ARE hearing from a wide range of political figures in the last few days – left AND right!

    This group has no place in American politics – period – EVER.

    We REJECT .. ANYONE and ANY GROUP who believes that entire classes of people should be discriminated against and be attacked .. and even killed.

    When someone says or implies they are some kind of a countervailing force to the left’s identity politics – we’ve gone astray..

  36. Dear Jim,

    I am late to the proceedings but will just say that I knew of this event and stayed away expecting there to be trouble, even though I agree with the marchers opposition to the movement of the Lee statue. I would argue that it is the Left that bears the responsibility for such things because it is they who are launching aggressive attacks on the heritage of Whites, and indeed, of America as a whole. These rally-goers, at least two of whom I know personally, are trying to defend this heritage from such aggression. It is sure to follow that if the Left keeps attacking, then the Right will meet those attacks. If you want to keep these things from recurring, then it is the Left that needs prior restraining. Also, both of my friends who attended blame the police for allowing the Leftists to attack the marchers. In short, the local / state Democratic Party, through its control of the police force was complicit in the mayhem that occurred. Whatever you think of the march and the marchers, they had a lawful right to be there, as the ACLU agreed, too. About Peter’s heartache at BR’s taking non-Leftist points-of-view: Get over it. We still have the vestiges, at least, of a free country.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • I am a white Virginian from the same hometown as Robert E Lee (Alexandria, VA). While Lee represents my history as an Alexandrian, a Virginian and an American he does not represent my heritage. For one thing, my Kentucky-based forefathers from the Civil War Era fought for the Union. During the eighteen years I lived in Alexandria and the four years I lived in Charlottesville Robert E Lee did not represent my heritage.

      I have no problem with a statue of Robert E Lee in Charlottesville, Charlotte or Christchuch New Zealand for that matter. Robert E Lee was a matter of historical fact. Understanding history is important whether you agree with the protagonists or not. However, it seems a majority of the good people of Charlottesville want the statue removed from their city. I struggle to tell them what statuary they should or shouldn’t want.

      One thing that might help the southern heritage argument would be the addition of some statues of Union generals in those areas where the Confederate statues now reside. I would think that changes the emphasis from Confederate celebration to Civil War history and remembrance. Because … whether you like it or not … Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman and all the rest made themselves part of your heritage too.

      For example, the City of Richmond could add a statue of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox to its row of monuments in an effort to tell a more accurate story as to what happened during that ill-conceived, unnecessary and immoral war.

  37. Dear DJ,

    I really don’t think that this is rooted in just anti-Confederate views. Shakespeare was no slaveholder nor were many of the other examples of WHITE writers, artists and statesmen being purged from the literary canon by “multiculturalist” activists. The Confederates and other slaveholders are but the “low-hanging” fruit for these Leftist agitators. Even “Abe” Lincoln, himself, will come under the Leftist ban, owing to his racial views. Remember, he and many other abolitionists saw Africa, not America, as the “final destination” for the Freedmen.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Andrew:

      I have no issue with Confederate imagery. I honestly don’t think that those who think clearly on the left have any issue either. The problem arises when the imagery is entirely from the Confederate perspective. If Monument Ave in Richmond had statues portraying all aspects of the Civil War it would be a testament to history. George Thomas was one of the North’s best generals. He was from Southampton County, VA. A West Point graduate he felt that the United States was his country and that fighting against the United States was treasonous. Under any reasonable concept of southern heritage he was a southerner. Where is his statue? David Farragut was a Tennessee native who also lived in Virginia and New Orleans. The North’s foremost naval leader he is credited with the quote, Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” as his Union forces won the naval battle of Mobile Bay. Where is his statue?

      True southern heritage must have copious room for recognition of the slaves who built the plantation economy against their will, the union loyalists who fought for the north, the bombastic orators like Fredrick Douglass who spoke so eloquently for freedom and the Confederate soldiers who fought bravely in a losing cause. Why do southern cities only seem to remember the Confederate soldiers who fought bravely in a losing cause?

      Being proud of the south is one thing, being proud of the Confederacy is something else altogether.

      Thanks,

      DJR.

  38. Larry, We all know how the KKK originated, and, of course, it was not in reaction to contemporary left-wing identity politics. However, the nature of the movement has changed. Over time, as Roger Simon observes in today’s WSJ, the KKK membership has diminished from representing about 4% of the entire nation’s population in the 1920s to maybe three one-hundredths of a percent of the population today. Throw in the Nazis and allied groups, and white supremacists may account for one tenth of a percent of the population. Their appeal today, as limited as it is, is mainly to white grievance (the mirror image of black and Hispanic grievance) pitched to whites who feel marginalized by modern society. It’s a different phenomenon entirely and to equate it with the KKK of old serves only to obscure reality.

    • Jim – the KKK/neo nazis are NOT a legitimate part of American politics no matter their numbers – no matter ‘other’ issues and dozens of GOP leaders said the same thing.

      You don’t bring up “leftists” in a conversation about the KKK/neo nazis unless you are equivalencing.. in some way.. and that legitimizes the KKK.. and that’s wrong.

      there is no KKK of old.. they have the same views.. the same hate of blacks and jews…they say are “inferior” to whites – do you not listen to them?

      • I have never remotely suggested or implied that KKK/neo Nazis are a “legitimate part of American politics.” I think their views are totally illegitimate, repellant, and beyond the pale.

        What I have said is that the nature of the movements have changed over the decades, and that the white nationalist sense of grievance has been fueled in modern times by left-wing identity politics.

        • well here is what I saw that keyed me to this idea: ” But the answer is not to match La Raza and Black Lives Matter with an identity politics of right-wing whiteness.”

          you equated the KKK with BLM .. right? legitimate political grievances.. wrong tactics..

          then you went on:

          “You and your torch-light marches only fuel the Left’s narrative that America is an irredeemably racist nation. The opposite of left-wing tribalism isn’t right-wing tribalism,…”

          as if the group views are legitimate but the tactics need to be different…

          you normalized them Jim.. and you essentially confirmed that by saying the modern KKK is not the KKK of old.. so yes.. you ARE legitimizing the “modern” KKK…

          and you’ve apparently got support of that view here in BR..

          My view is that the KKK – “modern” or not has the very same attitudes towards blacks and Jews that their forebearers had.. and while they are much more severely prevented from their lynchings of the past – they are no better .. and to see them as a legitimate group on the right is just plain wrong… and more than a few GOP leaders agree .. there is no place for them in our society.. they are not a legitimate group – modern or not.

  39. In today’s papers there is an obituary of a man, a friend of mine whose memory I hold in the highest of regards.

    He was an extraordinary advocate. A man deeply learned, unfailingly courageous, and a powerful presence, yet a humble man, as truly great men invariable are. Fearless, kind and wise, all at the same time, he often acted alone and quietly but with great force, on behalf of others, most particularly people otherwise alone and in great need.

    And typically when this happened, he would step out of the marching line of his powerful peers and he would go quietly, undetected if he could, to the aid of struggling souls who often had been abandoned by others. This exceptional man was keen student of history, particularly southern history, and he had learned deeply about human nature, and was a man of deep engagement and experience. Illusion, naivete, and sentimentality were totally foreign to him. And, never ever, not even once, in my experience, did he preen his virtue. Or use his words cheaply. His words worked like actions instead.

    I would mention his named here but for the fact that I don’t want to soil his name by its use in the current discussion. You see he kept a portrait of Stonewall Jackson in his office. It sat on a side table, always in his plain view from his leather swivel chair where he sat behind his desk.

    Like my deceased friend, we all need to teach and care for our children and those need, instead of preen our virtue, and take the feel good easy way out.

    For example.

    The Civil war and everything it touched was horrible, complex, and saturated in pain and destruction for all involved, the vast majority of them innocents struggling to survive the awful forces rampant in their lives. For those of us who bore none of this pain and but now sit proclaiming our own high morality, our words tell us volumes about ourselves, and typically little or nothing worthwhile about others long dead.

    At the First Battle of Bull Run Union soldiers pulled the papers off a young dead Confederate soldier and on their way back into Georgetown DC, they hauled that dead young soldier’s mother out of her house, ransacked her home and confiscated it for their own barracks. Several of her other children didn’t learn of her plight since they were far off fighting on the Union side. Two other sons couldn’t intercede because they were Confederate soldiers. Fortunately, yet another son, strong Unionist New York Lawyer heard the news passing through Baltimore on his way back home. He turned his horse around and, within 24 hours, Lincoln had reversed the confiscation order, returned the ransacked house to the mother, and made other restitution as best he could. She was one of the very lucky mothers.

    By chance that young dead Confederate solder died in the army of Stonewall Jackson, a deeply religious man who spend much of his free time and money teaching and otherwise coming to the aid and support of poor black slave children in Lexington Va. For example, he got “… a famous black Sunday school underway. Whites had taught to tenets of Christianity to slaves and freedman as early as 1843 (but) local (Lexington Va.) opposition and lack of participation doomed all three … initial experiments … So Stonewall Jackson when in Lexington “studied” those earlier failures, organized a revival of Sunday school classes, and “threw himself into this work with all of his characteristic energy and wisdom … but the initial stages were stormy for all concerned. Many blacks were reluctant to engage in yet another attempt at Sunday school. Several residents openly laughed at the experiment.”

    “Apparently a small but vocal group of whites opposed what Jackson was trying to do. (Indeed it may have been the violation of Virginia law that forbade whites to teach blacks to read and write about any subject.) Some … of the “aristocracy criticized Jackson’s activities and even went so far as to threaten prosecution … and Jackson had to tolerate “taunts and scorns for the sake of those poor people that nobody cared for.”…. The truths of such claims are questionable; still Jackson had to toil long and dutifully to get the black class organized and meeting regularly. Once the starting pains had alleviated, progress surpassed everyone’s anticipation – except Jackson’s.”

    “He organized and managed, educated and monitored, encouraged and rewarded. The class, consisting of blacks of all ages, was conducted like a military operation with a benevolent hand in control. Black enrollment ultimately ranged from 80 to over a 100 if Jackson was there … Jackson used twelve teaching assistants “recruited from among the educated ladies and gentlemen” in town. (Jackson personally led the all the proceedings and studies and reported on progress of students)”

    “In Jackson’s mind, slaves were children of God placed in subordinate situations for reasons that only God could explain. Helping them was a missionary effort for Jackson. Their souls had to be saved. Although Jackson could not alter their social status as slaves, he could and did display Christian decency to those whole lot it was to be in bondage. He learned and used the names of each of his students. They in turn referred to him affectionately as “Marse Major.”

    “… It was a pleasure to walk about town (with Jackson) and see how the veneration with which to negroes saluted him, and its unfailing courtesy towards them … His servants reverenced and loved him, as they would have done a brother or father … He was emphatically a black man’s friend …”
    ” … Even after he left for the army and war, one of his first inquiries often made to Lexington friends who visited him in camp was, “how is the colored Sunday school progressing.” If the report was favorable (and it almost always was), “he never failed to respond with a strong expression of gratitude.”

    See Stonewall Jackson, The Man, The Soldier, The Legend By James I. Robertson, Jr. Distinguished Professor in History at VPI and State University in Blackburg, Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1997

    Jackson owned six slaves during the late 1950s. The first came to Jackson and begged to be purchased and offered to get a job and reimburse Jackson for the price he paid and thus gain his freedom. Jackson agreed. The second, a 45 year old women on the verge of being sold at public auction also begged Jackson to buy her instead. Jackson did and found her a home where she worked until Jackson had a home for her of his own. Jackson’s four remaining slaves was a woman and her two teenaged sons who were gifted to Jackson by his father in law (the Founder of Davidson College) on his mother in laws death, the slave mother had been Jackson’s wife’s nurse maid. The sixth slave who Jackson accepted the care of in 1859 was a 4 year old orphan that he took in at the urging of an aging widow who could not longer take care of the child.

    Recall that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (who died roughly 30 years earlier) were among the largest slaveholders in Virginia. Jackson bore no comparison.

    With regard to tolerance of the Civil War dead, and all peoples of all colors ravaged by it, also recall Abraham Lincoln who directed the War against the South, this from his 1st Inaugural Address:

    “I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passions may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will, by the better angels of our nature.”

    In his 2nd Inaugural Address, after four years of an inconclusive Civil War, Lincoln closed with this:

    “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nations wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

    I believe Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were noble men and noble soldiers, doing the best they could under terribly difficult times. Like in all wars there was a great splintering of selfish interests on both sides before, during, and after the Civil War. George McClellan, Lincoln’s preening failure of a General went from “the slows and constant excuses” to endless carping and scapegoating to chronic subordination then morphed into Lincoln’s political enemy bent on undermining all of Lincoln’s efforts to save the Union. A military commander gone bad, it’s a common plague. Those spoiling for a fight to gain private advantage or feed self-loathing or to seize power and control for its own sake, or to simply rape and pillage, use violence for obscene self-expression. These types typically operate on the edges at first to inflame bad situations into ever more strife by the use of cunning, demagoguery, rant and harangue to demonize imaginary enemies into real ones finally. Too often they succeed, ignite the deep-seated fears and worst instincts of people. And succeed again and again. Most frightening is the fact that they can succeed despite being few in number, as happened on both sides of the American Civil War. These extremists ignited flash points into the flames that drove America into civil war “to settle things once and for all” in ways that never do. Unless confronted and forthrightly addressed, such people keep evil spirals of violence going for centuries. Like is happening now everywhere around us.

    Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson were not these sorts of men. Quite the opposite. Our children – all of them have the right to know and understand this, and learn from these examples, among many others.

    Here too we can learn from Doris Lessing’s profound book Prisons We Choose to Live Inside:

    “Anyone who reads history at all knows that the passionate and powerful convictions of one century usually seem absurd, extraordinary, to the next. There is no epoch in history that seems to us as it must have to the people who lived through it. What we live through, in any age, is the effect on us of mass emotions and of social conditions from which from which it is impossible to detach ourselves. Often the mass emotions are those that seem the noblest, best and most beautiful. And yet, inside a year, five years, a decade, five decades, people will be asking, “How could they have believed that?” because events will have taken place that will have banished the said mass emotions to the dustbin of history.

    People of my age have lived through several such violent reversals. I will mention just one. During the Second World War, from the moment the Soviet Union was invaded by Hitler and became an ally of the democracies, that country was affectionately regarded in popular opinion. Stalin was Uncle Joe, the ordinary chaps friend, Russia was the land of the brave, liberty loving heroes, and Communism was in interesting manifestation of popular will that we should copy. All this went on for four years and then suddenly, almost overnight, it went into the reverse. All these attitudes became wrong-headed, treasonable, a threat to everybody. People who had been chatting on about Uncle Joe, suddenly, just as if all that had never happened, were using slogans of the cold war. One extreme, sentimental and silly bred by wartime necessities, was replaced by another extreme, unreasoning and silly.

    To have lived though such a reversal once is enough to make you critical for ever afterwards of current popular attitudes.”

    From Doris Lessing, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside.

    I suspect that we all need to study up and take a far deeper and more independent look at Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee – what went into their place in history, and what were its consequences and end results, including the alternatives their actions saved us from as well as the wrongs they perpetuated or delivered us into. Only then can we pull Lee and Jackson out from todays passions and ignorance, so as to gain a mature and clearer perspective of what actually happened: what went wrong and why or what didn’t go wrong but went very well under the circumstances, so as to learn and apply those lessons today. This is far better than getting caught up in todays trends and angry forces, our making “feel good” decisions that erase whole peoples, and cultures and histories of our fellow Americans, whoever they might be. For that solves nothing. It’s breeds only false solutions leading to ever more ignorance and violence.

    Names revered and admired, feared and reviled now, or at earlier times, erasing those names and their histories by the fiat of today’s popular opinion is most always a dangerous and counter productive exercise. One too easily done for no good end but to feel good by hurting others when what we need to do is to try to erase the myth, disinformation, and simplistic popular notions by confronting human history squarely, forthrightly, and honestly, in all its pain, agony, evil and greatness. Only this will deepen our learning and competence instead of handing out cheap victories that perpetuate ignorance, fear, and violence.

    Only respect for the past in all its ugliness, paradox, ambiguity, greatness and evil, and how it was overcome or it came to rule, only this hard learning will heal us and give us the means to escape the prisons that our minds now otherwise inhabit. For only then are we liberated to instead shape a better future fashioned from a clear understanding of our past, even when, indeed every time, we see the name Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson beside that of Grant, Sherman, Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass.

    Otherwise falsehoods mandated as certainties will always twist and distort our histories and our futures. The good and the great, the bad and ugly – it all must shape our chances for better future for all of us. And unless we each do this hard work of learning for ourselves and impose it on those we pay to teach and educate instead of leaving those critical tasks to those with axes to grind or special interests to promote, or hated in their heart feeding nothing but blind passions, we’ll be left with nothing more than cycles of evil.

    When one digs back into history, searching for ones best sense of the original, of what really went on, instead of what other people tell us, one is most always greatly surprised at what one finds, how much greater it is than our blind imaginings, and how it changes not only us but the world we inhabit.

  40. You have to ask yourselves.. who put the statues up? Did blacks join in those efforts? When did those statues go up? How about during the height of KKK influence when there were scenes like this:

    how do you think black people felt about statues of Confederate generals and the KKK marching in the streets celebrating those statues?

    I have to say – as White guys – you certainly have a viewpoint… but…

  41. Hey, Larry, what about all those Hollywood Commies who approved of the crimes of Lenin & Stalin? Or do they get a pass? Why is Leftist Terror so uninspiring to Liberals? There were plenty of Communists in Charlottesville. Why is so little heard about them. Sorry for all those rhetorical questions.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Andrew – did the Hollywood folks go out and lynch white guys in the USA as part of their activities?

      I LOVE the way that Jim says the KKK that went out and lynched people is the “old KKK” and the “new” one is just a right wing version of the left?

      geeze…. I guess all those GOP on TV over the week end have not heard about the “new” KKK, eh?

  42. Dear Larry,

    To approve from afar of the mass-killings and show-trials of the Bolsheviks is just a more sanitary version of “doing-it-yourself.” Saint Paul lumps in sinners who engage in actual sin with those who approve of them.

    And, Larry, I will not defend the KKK, NeoNazis, or Skinheads. They are pretty much losers and psychopaths. But, so are their Lefty equivalents. But the outrage is reserved only for the “Rightwing” nuts. Having said that, I would not put all the marchers in that category of “nuts.” Not having been there, I don’t know what the breakdown was. My sources who were on the scene say that it was the Lefties that attacked the marchers, and the police let them do it. That’s not right. Civil liberties apply to all groups, not just some.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  43. Andrew – ” To approve from afar of the mass-killings and show-trials of the Bolsheviks is just a more sanitary version of “doing-it-yourself.”

    BLM and La Raza do not go out and kill white guys.. and last I heard they do not advocate doing that – and there is no history of them doing that nor advocating it for others.

    Their primary sin seems to be “tribalism”, “identity politics” and “political correctness”.. right?

    so you guys then equate that to the depths of hate and violence that is openly advocated by KKK/neo nazis.. to select out entire classes of people to be discriminated against in favor of a white-dominated society..

    Clearly- there are folks even here in BR, who still support the KKK.. by apparenting thinking they are a more modern KKK-Lite , which means they are just as legitimate as BLM and “left” groups.

    correct?

  44. Dear Larry,

    Much “mere crime” of an interracial nature are racially motivated attacks against Whites. It just isn’t called that in most statistics. We should deplore all such things, not just the “politically sexy” ones, the kind that fit the Leftist narrative of the corporate media.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  45. Dear All,

    What we need now is a “way out” of this “grid-lock of oppressions.” To do that, we must stop intentionally spiting (i.e. spite) each other right here and now. This is the true source of our problems, not who did what way back when. We are not going to agree with each other on History or even the present, but we have to practice tolerance, without insisting on zero-sum gains. Leftist agitation, if you will forgive me, is about that: “You have to give up your statues and history, and very identity, or we won’t be happy!” That is guaranteed to fail, and I would argue, it is designed with that in mind, because the people who engage in such activism, seem to derive a perverse pleasure in it. It gives a kind of “negative meaning” to their lives. Likewise, there are rightwingers who not only feel a certain way about these issues, but also are trying to fill that “God-shaped hole” in their souls in their Cause, too. As a Christian, I don’t need, or want, that kind of activism. I hate the turmoil it generates in me. Everyone needs to stop agitating and trying to bring harm to their “devil other.” Alas, though, so much easier said than done, and so will continue the alliances of hate that march onward from strength to strength in this unhappy time.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

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