It Takes Two to Tango

The discourse over Saturday’s events in Charlottesville has evolved so rapidly that it is hard to keep up. If there’s one thing that most of us can agree upon, it’s that the mayhem and murder may have taken place in Virginia, but it does not define Virginia. Heather Heyer, victim of the car attack, was a Virginian. But the advocates and violence and the man who (allegedly) struck her down, came from Ohio. We Virginians may disagree about the merits of placing statues of Civil War generals in public spaces, but we are not Klansmen, Nazis, white supremacists or murderers.

To the contrary, as my friend Jon Wight observed on his Economics and Ethics blog, while out-of-state protesters and counter-protesters were bashing heads in Charlottesville, “thousands of people of all races gathered 70 miles away to celebrate ideas that unite us—the sounds of blues, jazz, and everything in-between at the Richmond Jazz Festival. The races of humanity mingled, laughed, shared food and fans, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company.”

It has been remarkable to see how the incident in Charlottesville has been hijacked by the national media to serve national political agendas and to observe how the battle has begun to frame the meaning of the violence. The national media seems particularly fixated on President Trump’s reluctance to denounce white supremacist groups by name in his formal remarks condemning “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” But even before Trump made his scripted and oddly detached comments, media pundits had been depicting the violence as exclusively the handiwork of the radical right — even as videos flashed on our TV screens showing confrontation between the far Right and the far Left.

Insofar as the most devastating crime that occurred yesterday can be attributed James Alex Fields, Jr., a white supremacist from Ohio, and insofar as participants in the rally came armed with shields and batons in expectation of conflict, the white nationalist movement deserves the lion’s share of odium for recent events. But that expectation of violence did not occur in a vacuum. It takes two to tango, folks. And it takes two to whack each other with sticks and clubs. The white nationalists we saw on those videos were not wailing away at phantoms.

I bring this up not because it is the most significant part of the story but because it is the most neglected part of the story and the most likely to be white-washed by the national media.

Here’s the truth: Both the far Right and far Left came to Charlottesville spoiling for a fight. Virginia authorities had plenty of advance notice. As Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a press release issued the day before the rally took place:

In advance of tomorrow’s rally there have been communications from extremist groups, many of which are located outside of Virginia, who may seek to commit acts of violence against rally participants or law enforcement officials. In the event that such violent or unlawful conduct occurs, I have instructed state public safety officials to act quickly and decisively in order to keep the public and themselves safe.

One can argue how effectively the Charlottesville police and State Police handled the events. Right-wing rally participants have already begun blaming them for letting the violence running out of control. But plenty of evidence suggests that both sides came ready to rumble. As Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Ned Oliver reported:

Attendees ranged from clean-cut young men in pressed white shirts to heavily armed militia members in body armor and camouflage. Others were outfitted more crudely, but nonetheless ready for battle, carrying homemade shields, sticks, and wearing all manner of helmets and face masks. Many attendees embraced Nazi imagery and chanted racist slogans. …

At least as many counter protesters, some also militarized and clearly prepared to fight, surrounded the square. By 10:30 a.m., extremely violent skirmishes broke out between the two groups.

Both groups repeatedly fired pepper spray and other chemical weapons at each other. At one point, the rally attendees launched at least four tear gas canisters on the counterprotesters, scattering them in search of medical attention. Sticks and batons also figured prominently in the clashes, which would flare up in a wild melee and then quickly die down as both sides retreated to regroup.

The reporting I’ve seen suggests that most (though not all) of the white nationalists came from outside Virginia. I have not seen a comparable level of journalistic curiosity about the identity of the counter-demonstrators, although perhaps someone will fill in those details. Based on my superficial impressions, the counter-demonstrators appear to have been a mixed bag. Most were Virginians — a friend of my son’s, who was hit by Field’s car, had come from Fairfax County — and their intention was to protest peacefully against racism. But I have questions about those who came to confront the white nationalists. Were they locals, or were they part of the so-called Antifa movement from outside Virginia looking for confrontation?

Some readers of Bacon’s Rebellion seem to think that violence emanates exclusively from the right side of the political spectrum. Yet the man who shot the Republican congressmen in Alexandria was a Bernie Bro. The murderers of police in Dallas and New York were agitated by Black Lives Matter rhetoric. Radicals have used violence to shut down conservative speakers on multiple campuses. The sad reality is that both the far Left and far Right are prone to violence. Further, the interests of both groups are served by confrontations like the one that occurred in Charlottesville. Both sides seek to polarize public opinion, and both benefit when violence and raw emotion encourage people to seek refuge in tribal (racial, ethnic, religious or class) identities.

It is the responsibility of those who don’t want the United States to descend into downward spiral of anarchy to push back. And that requires an honest appraisal of the dynamics driving the violence. Not surprisingly, I have seen no such honest appraisal in the mainstream media. (I do not purport to have conducted an exhaustive analysis, so my impressions must be regarded as anecdotal.)

Judging by the response to my previous post, I expect to be accused of drawing moral equivalence between the far Left and the far Right, so I want to make a few points crystal clear. Nazism is a loathsome ideology. KKK racism is abomination. The volatile mix of these strains of evil on display with the so-called white nationalists who demonstrated in Charlottesville yesterday is an affront t0 core American values and to the conservative/libertarian principles that I espouse.

But I’m not blind. What happened Saturday is part of a larger struggle between far Left and far Right. I expect the events in Charlottesville to further inflame both sides and to inspire even more violence. This time, the rightists committed the most heinous crime. Next time, it will be the leftists. People of moderation and good will serve no useful purpose by denying the reality that threatens to consume us all.

Update: Excellent piece by Robert Tracinski, a conservative, Charlottesville-based writer, who makes many of the same points I do. Hat tip: Reed Fawell.

Update: I took down a picture of Heather Heyer, victim of the terrorist-style attack by a white nationalist in Charlottesville, and replaced it with a photo depicting the melee between white nationalists and counter protesters. The photo in combination — “It Takes Two to Tango” — with the headline was potentially misleading. The photo of the physical altercation better illustrates the thrust of the post.

There are currently no comments highlighted.

68 responses to “It Takes Two to Tango

  1. Very well put, Jim. Thanks.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • Jim –

      I agree with Andrew. This post puts matters as well as best we can know for now.

      As you know, I was surprised at your last post after reading its opening and taking away the impression at all gathered to protest the removal of Lee’s and Jackson’s statutes and names on parks were White Supremacists. Until then with family and friends here for the weekend I had not been following the story.

      After expressing my dismay in my comments here, I went looking for facts as to what had in fact happened – were the marchers all White Supremacists beating people, especially black people, up, or was there a far different story, involving two sides as my intuition told me was the case.

      First I checked the WSJ. There I could not find the facts I needed to answer that most basic of questions that one way or another had to be driving the story. Instead I read gross conclusions of sensational consequences without the explanation or nuance necessary to glean with had happened.

      At this point, in frustration, I did what I rarely now do, I asked my wife for her I-Pad so I could read the Washington Post. Here I saw several articles, but chose I the one written at least in part by T Rees Shapiro, one of the handful of Post reporters I respect, given his coverage of UVA Jackie story. After reading closely and then rereading closely his article, I felt confident enough to write on Bacon’s Rebellion the following:

      “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 …”

      Next, looking for more information, I watched Fox Cable News from 6 to 6:45 before I turned off the TV in total disgust.

      I learned absolutely nothing from 45 minutes of Fox Cable News that any intelligent watcher seeking to understand what was going would need to know. The entire broadcast was similar to what I had earlier found in the WSJ – what I call garbage news – gross conclusions of alleged sensational consequences without any facts or explanations or nuance that are necessary for intelligent people to begin to understand or even glean what had happened. And I suspect thing trash reporting is going on most everywhere now in the Main Stream media as you suggest in your post above.

      Finally around 9, after some searching, I came across a piece just written by Robert Tracinski, a resident of C’ville who is a senior editor at The Federalists. That article can be found here at:

      http://thefederalist.com/2017/08/13/notes-charlottesville-state-emergency

      Once there this morning I found numerous other articles on the same topic just published.

      I few weeks back I opined here that the WJS news reporting, esp. on political matter had plummeted in quality. Its still in Free Fall.

      So to is Fox News Cable.

      • I called a number of my friends living in Charlottesville. Their conviction was that the significant majority of the trouble rode into Charlottesville on the white supremacy bandwagon. Many of these people have lived in Charlottesville since I graduated in 1981 and they have an extensive network in the city and surrounding areas. None of them are ultra right or ultra left although they definitely have left leaning and right leaning tendencies. Even the righties blamed the “white supremacists”.

    • My feeling is that the media was setting Charlotteville up as the “Thrilla in Manilla” between the left and the right days (weeks?) in advance. What’s a bunch of white guys goose-stepping around as they have now for decades unnoticed, without confrontation? A peaceful right-wing march would not further the media’s narrative, being pushed since day 1, that states unequivocally that “Trump is emboldening hate groups.” They needed blood to feed their rabid lust for another Trump-kill, and they got what they wanted. That they completely ignored Antifa, scoffing at the truth of what Trump initially said, regardless of ideology, that violence happened on both sides, only shines a brighter light on their single-minded agenda.

  2. re: ” I expect to be accused of drawing moral equivalence between the far Left and the far Right, so I want to make a few points crystal clear. …
    ………………….
    But I’m not blind. What happened Saturday is part of a larger struggle between far Left and far Right. ”

    so we continue here.. and I’m again flummoxed as to what you are saying….

    you think what happened Sat ‘represents” the struggle between left and right yet you condemn the folks representing the “right” view?

    true?

    so maybe a dumb question – what group(s) if not the white nationalists/kkk/neo-nazi types would you consider … better to represent the “right” in these demonstrations?

    I’m perhaps ignorant but only familiar with the groups that were in Charlottesville.. and whom I understand… plan to also be in Richmond shortly.

    how can you reject the group that is actually demonstrating and their values but support their apparent surrogate role in opposing the “left”?

    this is confusing to me.. and it’s the primary reason for much if not most of my angst.. and I do admit.. you are not alone in your view but it does not seem rational.. to me – if you totally reject the group actually in Cville..

    You want someone to oppose the left.. this seems to be the primary group… … and you reject them.. so who instead?

    do you understand my confusion? Do you have another group that you would prefer to represent the right?

  3. Larry asked, “How can you reject the group that is actually demonstrating and their values but support their apparent surrogate role in opposing the “left”?”

    Easy. I don’t “support their surrogate role in opposing the left.” I merely noted that the far Left and far Right are locked in a national conflict that played out in Charlottesville. Frankly, I astounded and mystified by how you twisted one thought into the other.

  4. re: ” Frankly, I astounded and mystified by how you twisted one thought into the other.”

    ” far Left and far Right are locked in a national conflict that played out in Charlottesville.”

    so simple question – do you support or condemn the “right” demonstrators in Cville?

    do you want that same group to come to Richmond?

    who would you support instead to come to Richmond to represent your views?

    • Larry, these are repulsive people. I wouldn’t walk half a block to save them from bleeding to death. But we have a First Amendment that allows for free speech and political demonstrations. They have a right to get a permit to demonstrate in Richmond, just like the left demonstrators had a right to get a permit to protest at the Trump Inauguration. What we cannot tolerate is any more violence.

      I would hope that, if a permit is granted for a demonstration in Richmond, McAuliffe would activate a couple of National Guard units to support the local and state police. Had this been done in C’ville and the groups kept better separated, things might have been better.

      Yet, there is always filth in this world like Fields who are bound and determined to commit evil acts. Hopefully he has a future date with a needle.

    • Simple question – do you support or condemn the “right” demonstrators in Cville?

      I tell you what, Larry, re-read what I wrote and see if you can answer that for yourself.

      • TMT – I appreciate your views.. I respect them.. as well as Jims and others but I still ask who represents the right at demonstrations if not the KKK types?

        it seems incongruous to me to reject the views of the KKK but support their role at demonstrations if defending the “right”… and there are no other groups to defend the right.

        If the KKK shows up armed with guns .. what I fear is the opposition people also showing up armed with weapons also .. then what?

        even the National Guard is going to be at risk if gunfights break out.

        should everyone who is demonstrating be disarmed?

        should anyone who shows up with a gun – be arrested?

        should people who throw stuff at others be immediately arrested?

        should demonstrations be denied in places where the participants cannot be searched and relieved of weapons before they go “in” like we see at most sports arenas.. and other public events?

        • Larry, I would think that the Sons of Confederate Veterans might be a group that would have an interest in defending existing monuments. I’d guess more of them voted for Trump than Clinton, but I don’t know any specifics.

          My family’s only involvement with the Civil War was with the 69th Pennsylvania & the 9th Indiana Legion (30-day militia).

          As time passes, I think more people will come to the conclusion that McAuliffe blew by not bringing out the National Guard for C’ville. This is not to justify or condone any conduct by the Nazis or white supremacists.

          • I think the criticism about the police is probably justified.. but do wonder if participants should be carrying guns.. any more than they would at the State Fair or other public events..

        • “TMT – I appreciate your views.. I respect them.. as well as Jims and others but I still ask who represents the right at demonstrations if not the KKK types?”

          How about the Patriot Prayer Organization who led the right wing rally in Seattle yesterday?

          http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/downtown-protests/

          Look up the Patriot Prayer Organization’s home page on Facebook. Apparently, their leader opened up the mike to anybody and everybody during the Seattle rally since the rally was in support of free speech.

          As much as I blame the right for Charlottesville, it was clearly the left being asshats in Seattle yesterday.

      • Oh Jim – I see what you wrote.. but it don’t make sense.. at least to me.

        if you don’t want the KKK demonstrating and defending the “right” – who do you want to do that?

        I don’t see any other groups.. but I’m willing to admit I’m ignorant so I’ asking you – someone who seems convinced that there needs to be groups defending the “right”.. so who are they? who do you want to do that?

        It seems to be a vacuum and the KKK is filling it.. no?

  5. Yesterday, in Seattle, there was another right wing demonstration. It drew the expected counter-protesters. However, the politicians in Washington State and Seattle acted with considerably more competence than our politicians in Virginia.

    Here’s a first hand account from one of the counter-protesters in Virginia (i.e. not a white supremacist) –

    But others, including Mr. Kessler and Ms. Caine-Conley, openly wondered if the violence could have been prevented.

    “There was no police presence,” Ms. Caine-Conley said. “We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park, watching. It was essentially just brawling on the street and community members trying to protect each other.”

    And here’s a first hand account from a counter protester in Seattle (i.e. not a white supremacist) –

    A protest organizer told NBC affiliate KING that police attacked and blocked them from entering the rally.

    “I think what they did today was actually a huge disgrace,” the unidentified organizer told the station. “Their job is not to protect Nazis.”

    ****

    Of course, the job of the police is to protect the Nazis – regardless of the abhorrence of their beliefs. When either side tried to break through the police lines that separated them they were pepper sprayed and stopped. At the end of the rally in Seattle there were no serious injuries.

    I have learned over the years that when looking at a fiasco and needing to choose between conspiracy and incompetence it is almost always correct to choose incompetence. In Washington / Seattle a competent government organized its law enforcement personnel to maintain separation of the opposing parties and prevent the initial brawling that inevitably leads to escalation. In Virginia / Charlottesville that did not happen.

    To be clear:

    1. I am sure the individual law enforcement officers were doing as they were instructed. This has nothing to do with individual policemen or state troopers.

    2. The people who committed criminal acts did so of their own volition. They need to be pursued, arrested, indicted, charged, convicted and incarcerated.

  6. my understanding was that there were a lot of guns on demonstrators and police were concerned what would happen if the police responded with force… one gun ..discharged.. then more..

    and if true.. it sounds like their traditional training needs to be updated as to how to handle crowds of people – who are armed..

    If true.. I can see how the police ended up with a “hands off”.. and perhaps that’s a tough problem with future events.. I do not envy them..

    Note that many other non-protest events these days actually have metal detectors and do not allow guns.. The State Fair coming up soon comes to mind.. if the KKK showed up there to demonstrate – they’d be disarmed at the gates..regardless of their “business”.. in fact.. people are relieved of other weapons also..

    ” KKK marchers say they will be armed Saturday at Charlottesville rally”

  7. Based on what happened Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Charlottesville, I would ask that no such permit ever be issued again in Virginia. The goal of the organizers was a riot. They came armed and prepared for a riot. They were met by counter-protesters and some of them (certainly only a small part) were equally eager and prepared for a riot. Guess what happened – a riot. Then a murderer took advantage of narrow cross streets to add his name to the pantheon of idiot domestic terrorists.

    If anybody wants to do this again (and remember the definition of insanity), let’s find a nice field far outside of a populated area. Not on Lee Circle. Not a block from my office, a half-block from the church where my grand kids are in daycare, and in an area where I know many fine folks who have homes and small businesses.

    I don’t want anybody demonstrating for me, Larry – not a living soul. Take a very close look at the Lee statue and you might find tears – for he would be the first to condemn what happened this weekend. If he could get up and move we’d wake up one morning to find him gone.

    • Perhaps we’ve reached the point where we need to set up metal detector screens that must be passed before one can enter a demonstration area. I say this only partly in jest. We cannot have demonstrations and counterdemonstrations turn into another Battle of Bunkers Hill.

      Not sure what the law permits, but I expect many participants in these demonstrations that are going to continue for years as we continue to judge our dead ancestors by standards we probably cannot meet ourselves.

      I can understand why a black person could have trouble with his hometown having a statue of a Confederate general. And I understand why a person descended from men who fought for the South is equally troubled by seeing his heritage banished from public view. Perhaps the common sense thing to do is for localities to form a committee of blacks and descendants of Confederate soldiers find a solution. Certainly better than the way we are handling this today.

    • “The goal of the organizers was a riot.”

      That’s how it seems to me too.

  8. re: ” I don’t want anybody demonstrating for me, Larry – not a living soul. ”

    me neither Steve..

    Just FYI – I grew up considering LEE a great man… he had to be.. he had statues all over the place.. schools and streets named for him.. Ironically the UVA Primary Care center is on LEE Street just a few blocks from the latest “unpleasantness”.

    but as I got to know more black people – I realized that the Civil War “memorials” were not viewed by them as “heroes” at all but horrible historical reminders of a time and place when blacks were systematically harmed.. legally and physically..

    Lee and others were no heroes to them even though their kids were forced to go to schools with their names… Few of them visit the Battlefield Parks to “learn” about the great generals and brave dying for their “cause”.. and few of these Battlefield Parks actually tell of the lives of the blacks during the Civil war so they really don’t tell the story of the Slaves.. who were really at the center of the reasons for the war…

    I don’t know how you “fix” this… but I don’t think you’ll ever convince the blacks that these memorials have the same meaning for them as they have for white folks.

  9. Most of the statues were indeed put up long after the war, long after the principals were dead, by people with a political agenda that benefited from waving the bloody shirt. (Democrats, BTW) My views on Lee, Grant, Lincoln, Davis and the others come from a couple of shelves of books – books I probably cannot even sell today. And then the horrible truth my own ancestors owned slaves. And the recognition that my own ancestors served on both sides and fought each other, then almost miraculously came together to form one nation. Again, Lee’s example was important to that healing process. He would have hated the way he was later exploited.

    I have walked the fields of Gettysburg and concluded that there was no glory in that Lost Cause, that the outcome was just. The sins of our fathers are still washing over us. And I recently stood on Omaha Beach and saw the memorial to the 116th Infantry VNG, the Stonewall Brigade, which stormed ashore with the 29th. Americans. They were Americans. No longer Confederates, but proud sons and grandsons of Confederates and I’m okay with that.

    If those skinheads want to stand around with their Nazi helmets and flags then they need to understand that on June 6th 1944 my fellow Virginians, members of a famous Confederate unit, went to France to annihilate them and their putrid ideology. And if I thought for one second that anybody might follow them today, I’d get a rifle and come after them myself. But in reality they are clowns.

    If taking down the statues makes you feel better, Larry, go for it. In your own town. Unless you are a Richmond resident or taxpayer, let my city make its own decision. At this point I’d move them over to one of the battlefields tomorrow before I will let Nazis and Kluckers claim them.

  10. re: ” If taking down the statues makes you feel better, Larry, go for it.”

    won’t make me feel better.. or worse.. we’re both on the same plane…

    but .. as long as we can’t heal our racial wounds.. I fear for us as a people who can find peace between us.. I cannot just dismiss the black complaints because I’m not them… when I can see and understand why they feel the way they do..

    Some say move them.. others say ‘add’ to the “context”.. perhaps like this:

    • Steve and LarrytheG-

      I share much of the background and views you have expressed in above, including Steve’s first comment posted here at 2:18 August 14.

      For example the bereaved mother in Georgetown referred to in my “essay” comment posted at 9:58 am towards the end of Jim’s article ‘Hey, White Nationalists, go away’, that mother with ransacked house and lost son was my Great Great Grandmother.

      So how to stop grieving and heal the wounds for good?

      The only way I know is to grieve together, all of us, those whose kin and/or Ancestors were on one side, or the other side, or both sides, or no side at all.

      Hence another earlier post of mine here on Bacon’s Rebellion:

      “Not so long ago I sat a church listening to a woman speak of her past going back 8 generations. She’d worked very hard to reconstruct that past. She had to. It had been stolen from her.

      It had been a theft of her own history, that of her kin and their people, and their world, and their place in the world and others living in it with them. So she quietly and respectfully told of a monstrous theft.

      One whose totality had been twisted and often deeply hidden, a history driven underground by brute force, coercion, fear, ignorance, and shame.

      There her and her people’s history had lay buried in an awful silence and web of simmering lies for 8 generations of two deeply intermixed cultures.

      The greatest of all holocausts is the destruction of a peoples’ history. All cultures know this. That is why the Romans destroying Carthage left not a stone unturned. Otherwise the pain and hate of victims easily multiplies, gathering force without solution for untold generations, before it returns.

      That evil that seeks such a cultural holocausts of whole groups of people and the hate that drives it is alive and well, growing daily right now in our time.

      Thus, the woman in the church quietly, with the kindest expression, told how her grandfather from 8 generations back, refreshing himself in a cove after a day’s work in the hot son, failed to walk out of that water on the count of four, so was shot through the chest and died.

      It was no accident.

      A overseer, the worst in the county, said the woman, told the young and new plantation owner to shoot her Grandfather 8 generations back in the chest to kill him. Otherwise, he said, the young new plantation owner would lose the respect of his slaves, their fear of his authority.

      So the young plantation owner shot his slave, and they hauled him off and that was the end of the matter.

      And there it remained for 8 generations of silence till the lady at the front of the church dug out the truth and ended the silence. So on that Saturday more than 150 years later, those two cultures sat in the pews of that church confronting that long hidden truth, likely the kin on both sides of the story.

      The power of her telling (gentle, quiet, authoritative) made me treble. I felt something more deeply and wisely than ever before. It was a gift, most likely to everyone there, in many deep and different ways.

      That’s how I heard her story then and later meditating on it.

      I suspect the lessons here, and motives they reveal, apply, at least two ways.

      Those who want to tear down other people’s history, erase the memory of other peoples dead, too often want nothing more than another Holocaust, or are too irresponsible or ill informed to appreciate the grave risks they run.

      And those who refuse to or try to stop building monuments to the history of other peoples, whose history has been stolen from them, are no better.”

      That story was told in a church in Unionville, Md. My kin were in that neighborhood at that time too, and so they were associated with that story and its hiding too. Best I can tell, if you grieve together you heal. If you don’t, you don’t, and instead just keep on passing your bitterness down through generations.

  11. Shhhhh – don’t tell AntiFa….but she was a Capitalist!

  12. Provide a caption for this statue in the comments section ….

  13. Running the picture of the woman murdered by an alt-right, neo-Nazi militant at the top of this blog post with the title “It Takes Two to Tango” is in unspeakably bad taste.
    These days I cringe when I look at Bacon’s Rebellion.
    Then I have to read all of this bullshit perspective from “conservative writers” and basic reporting from the Richmond Times-Dispatch that anyone could see if they bothered to turn on the TV news that afternoon.
    I have covered several KKK and hard right demonstrations as a journalist. As a student, I attended several anti-Vietnam War protests and was duly tear-gassed.
    In the case of the KKK rallies (this was in the 1990s), the police in Ohio and West Virginia would NEVER have allowed demonstrators from any side in with homemade weapons. They would not have allowed right wing gun thugs in cammies with body armor, magazine pouches and assault rifles. In West Virginia, a police officer told me, “They aren’t getting into here with anything bigger than a car key.”
    We do in Virginia because we’re so afraid of the Second Amendment maniacs.We have to kiss their asses.
    I say fuck them. If the police had taken a tougher line, none of this would have happened.
    Meanwhile, I am disgusted with Bacon’s headline and use of imagery here. I wonder what her family would think of Bacon’s Rebellion.I know what I do.

    • . If the police had taken a tougher line, none of this would have happened.

      At least we agree about something.

      As for the umbrage you take at the photo and headline, you seem to be looking for reasons to be indignant and enraged.

    • I’ve thought about Peter’s comment and reluctantly agree that the juxtaposition of the photo and the headline could be potentially misleading. I have taken it down and replaced it with another, and added this update: “I took down a picture of Heather Heyer, victim of the terrorist-style attack by a white nationalist in Charlottesville, and replaced it with a photo depicting the melee between white nationalists and counter protesters. The photo in combination — “It Takes Two to Tango” — with the headline was potentially misleading. The photo of the physical altercation better illustrates the thrust of the post.”

  14. “As for the umbrage you take at the photo and headline, you seem to be looking for reasons to be indignant and enraged.”

    No, all I have to do is click on Bacons Rebellion which I am more inclined not to do these days. You have major hate groups coming in from other states and you have local residents like Heather Heyer standing up to them. Then I have to go through your false equivalence arguments. I am getting more disgusted. Think I’ll click off.

  15. “The white nationalists we saw on those videos were not wailing away at phantoms.”

    You’re right Jim, they were wailing away at an unarmed Black 20 year old. Of course, he might have been associated with Black Lives Matter, which wants the cops to stop wailing away at unarmed Black people, and since in your repeated calculus Black Lives Matter and white nationalists are functionally the same he got what’s coming to him.

    Since I know no one else here will I want to specifically address this:

    “The murderers of police in Dallas and New York were agitated by Black Lives Matter rhetoric.”

    This is – frankly – total bullshit. The murderers of police in Dallas and New York were agitated by police killing unarmed Black people without consequence. In so much as Micah Xavier Johnson (Dallas) was influenced by any rhetoric it was from the Black separatist groups African American Defense League, Black Riders Liberation Party, and the New Black Panther Party. In so much as Ismaaiyl Brinsley (New York) had any influence outside his own head it was from the absolutely bizarre Nuwaubian Nation.

    I don’t get you. You seem to be generally distrustful of the government and state power, which means you should absolutely be sympathetic to people who are asking for restraints on government power. You also unreservedly attached this blog name to a violent insurrection, which means you shouldn’t have a problem with violent responses to abuses of state power. But you have a real problem with a group that is both not violent and formed in response to state actors killing unarmed citizens without repercussion. Such a problem that you’re willing to put them in the same basket as people advocating for ethnic cleansing.

  16. Agreed. Both sides wanted violence. Sad.

  17. Dear Jim,

    I posted these comments on my FB site.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    My summary of Charlottesville, for now. When Martin Luther King marched in the 1950s, some of his most devoted supporters, and even advisers, were Communists. For Liberal and Moderate opponents of Jim Crow segregation laws this was, while unfortunate, not something that made them re-think their opposition to the same. If legally enforced separation of the races in public accommodations was wrong, and if the Communists were supporting their repeal, then this was an area in which they could cooperate, because it was the right thing to do, while still opposing Communist ideology and the threat posed by the Soviet Union during this the earlier part of the Cold War. A distinction was kept among Liberals that agreeing with Communists on “an issue” did not make one a Communist. I would suggest that the involvement of Nazis and other extremists in movements that speak out in defense of Southern symbols and the rights of White people should be regarded in a similar way. An ideology of White supremacy that a) sees all other groups as less than human compared to Whites and b) that imposed demeaning restrictions on Blacks denied the Christian understanding of the brotherhood of man, is rooted in hatred and vindictiveness, and thus is evil. America fought a World War in part to defeat Nazi Germany and waged a Cold War over several decades to contain the Communist Soviet Union and its ideology, and our missiles and bombers and theirs were targeted at each others cities and military installations threatening “mutual assured destruction” (MAD) in case of war. Yet, the sensitivity to, and even awareness of, Communist crimes is so much less among Americans than those of the Nazis, yet in terms of numbers of deaths, the butchers’ bills of the Communist regimes actually exceeded those of the Nazis. Most Liberals, I believe, took principled stands against segregation not because they secretly supported Communism but because they regarded Jim Crows laws to be unjust, and the presence in the anti-Segregation of Communists, including in high positions, did not deter them from opposing them. However, when Conservatives today speak out about the rights of White people, the presence of Neo-Nazis and Klansmen in this movement, is treated as being not merely an unfortunate thing to be deplored, but as fatal not merely to the organizations and activities themselves, but removing any and all legitimacy to those arguing that a peaceful redress of grievances is called for. In another words, if have a grievance about the status of White people America and Klansmen and Neo-Nazis do, too, then you are a Klansman and Neo-Nazi in principle. This was the argument that segregationists used against Liberals: “Communists oppose segregation, and you, Liberals oppose segregation, therefore only Communists can oppose segregation.” The modern Liberal is thus saying: “Klansmen and Neo-Nazis are upset at the status and future of White people in America and the West, and, Conservatives are, too, therefore, you have Klan and Nazi principles, and are evil. You must denounce them! Oh, and we still are going to do what you don’t want us to do!” If Conservatives are not allowed, due to intense political pressure, to address real injustices committed against White people, then the field will be ceded to the extremists. Political ideologies, like religious heresies, often times exaggerate something that is true to such an extent that it is results in untruth, falsehood, and distort life. Christians are often called “haters” by secular Liberals on the subject of homosexuality, and “Westboro Baptist Church” is used in an effort to shame them. However, Christians who are mature and grounded know that this is spurious. Homosexuality does NOT comport with Christian morality and to deny that is to partake in sin. However, the followers of Fred Phelps, the founder of WBC, themselves sin gravely by their judgmentalism and complete lack of charity for those afflicted with this condition. In short, we must be brave against both extremes, the Rightwing extremes of the Klan and NeoNazis, but even more so, owing to their vastly greater power in society, of the Liberals who are mired in dysfunctional reaction and blinded to the many injustices of which they are author.

  18. Jim,
    You made the right call in switching the photo on this post

  19. re: ” But I’m not blind. What happened Saturday is part of a larger struggle between far Left and far Right. I expect the events in Charlottesville to further inflame both sides and to inspire even more violence.

    …. This time, the rightists committed the most heinous crime. Next time, it will be the leftists. …. ”

    Jim – are you NOT Calling the KKK .. “rightists”.. here ????

    Andrew – where are the “GOOD” “rightists” you and Jim are talking about? Why haven’t they signed up for permits?

    I have yet to hear any establishment/elected GOP portray Charlottesville as a battle between left and right.. to a man/women they have condemned.. the KKK and White Supremacy – without equivocation and I have YET to see ANY “rightist” group step forward to say they are not the KKK … where are they? and no I’m not taking about other “all-white Confederate defender” groups.. either.. we’re talking about a multi-color, ethnically diverse group of “GOOD” “rightists” to fit the role that Jim and Andrew claim – do exist..

    if you want a real example of someone being incited to violence – look no further than this guy who was brewed in KKK hate.. and violence.. .. who said:

    “I am not sorry, I have not shed a tear for the innocent people I killed” I would like to make it crystal clear I do not regret what I did.

    “I do feel sorry for the innocent white children forced to live in this sick country and I do feel sorry for the innocent white people that are killed daily at the hands of the lower races. I have shed a tear of self-pity for myself.”

    “I feel pity that I had to do what I did in the first place. I feel pity that I had to give up my life because of a situation that should never have existed.”

    This is the KKK who walk/talk and dress and “carry” that did show up in Charlottesville and this is who the citizens of Charlottesville came out to tell to get the hell out of their town and I predict will do also in Richmond.

    Heather Heyer was NOT some out-of-town agitator but her killer was..

    these guys are NOT
    “GOOD” “rightists” – they represent the same thinking that Roof was expressing.. no two ways about it..

    If Jim and Andrew want a better “relationship” – then NOT dress, walk and talk and be armed like Roof – and let them join the others in telling those who DO look like Roof to go away .. after they get their separate permits.

    How about it?

  20. Dear Larry,

    The problem as I first stated in my first writings on this blog back in 2015 is not primarily what the Radical Right is doing, but what both the “Mainstream” and Extreme Left are doing. It is the Left’s insistence that these statues must “go” that is provoking the rallies at these places. If the Left actually were tolerant, i.e. choosing to ignore what it disagrees with, then the Right would not be holding the rallies. Instead, the Left agitates in part to create the “crisis atmosphere” and in part because they are so intolerant of that which they disagree. I happen to think that groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) of which I am a member, have been very conciliatory and avoiding extremists. But they get tagged as “racist” anyway, by Liberals, in spite of their moderation. That is my answer to your question. Conservatives are put in a position of “unconditional surrender” by the Left. That is a recipe for continued conflict, in case you were wondering.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  21. LarrytheG is right in his comment immediately above. But I go further.

    Most ALL of our political and educational institutions in this country have failed this young man holding his Confederate Flag in the above picture whose image now threatens to tar the Republican Party, AND just about all our political and educational institutions have failed those young people on the extreme left that now comprise a rapidly growing part of the Democratic Party. And ALL have failed most all young people in between.

    These gross failures has been made starkly clear by most all of our responses by most all our leaders (left, right, and center) to the events over the weekend at Charlottesville. Are there any adults left in this country, outside the US military? Whether it be the leaders of Congress (GOP or Dem), the President, the Media stream media, the Governor of Virginia, the University of Virginia, and most all of us too, if we be brutally honest about ourselves, very very few have acted responsibly for quite a long time. And are directly to blame.

    • re: ” young people on the extreme left that now comprising a rapidly growing part of the Democratic Party”

      Reed – when I see BLM dress like that and go into a white church and systematically kill people praying.. I’ll reassess..

      surely you cans see the difference.. To this point, I do not see “liberals” walking around with guns and killing others..

      I don’t think you can say ” if and when that happens..THEN they’ll be the same”… guy…

      you guys keeps going back and forth between what the KKK/white supremacists are -and are not .. you keep acting as if they are bad guys and there are “good” versions of them.. and that …soon.. liberals will be doing what they are doing.. that’s just not the reality .

      you cannot equate “agitators” with gun-toting folks who actually do kill maim others.. and have a long history of doing so..

  22. Andrew – as long as you ignore how Black people feel about these statues… you are in trouble.. You can’t make them change their minds and you cannot decide for them what is “tolerant”. You have to deal with that reality.

    blaming “liberals” is evading the issue..

    If you are a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans then you do know that that group has been split over their role.. right? Can you explain what the split is about and also whether or not you have black membership?

    thanks

  23. Dear Larry,

    What I hear you saying is that Black people can be as “intolerant as they want to be,” that they should not be held to the same standards of deportment and attitude, that tolerance is “for Whites only.” When one group is held to a different standard of behavior, that will only increase animosity. To answer your other question, the SCV does have Black members. Every issue of its _Confederate Veteran_ bimonthly magazine usually has photographs of Black members of various camps.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • No Andrew.. I’m saying you are not in a position to judge it in others.. especially those have been the target of generations of hate and violence and view the monuments as every-day reminders.

      It’s not like they suddenly started abhorring these statues.. it’s that folks like you have ignored it and rejected it for a long time..

      and when you blame liberals instead of dealing forthrightly with the black objections. you’re just confirming the fact that you ignore them..

      when I see you and the black people get together – as a group – and work towards something.. I’ll give some credit for “tolerance”.

      you also need to read a few books about LEE and the how and when these monuments actually got created in the first place. Many of them are from the heydey of Jim Crow… in the same era where blacks were being lynched.. denied public school.. could not eat or drink or even poop in the same places as whites.. and then these statues got built.

      do you acknowledge the history here?

      On the group – looking at the website.. do not see any pictures nor any statements inviting blacks… nor disinviting KKK, etc.

      This group – has the opportunity – to open up communication with blacks over the monuments.. will they?

  24. Dear Larry,

    As I said, tolerance implies DIS-agreement. You don’t “tolerate” what you agree with, but disagree with. I don’t agree with Abraham Lincoln’s crushing of the South, but tolerate his presence on our money, in his “temple” in D.C. and in numerous paens from people today, including Donald Trump. People need to relearn the fine art of “agreeing to disagree.”

    I have written in the past about the evils inflicted by the White Supremacists. I don’t need to keep restating it. If you choose to ignore that, then that is your problem.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  25. Andrew – it’s not the White Supremacists .. they are the symptom guy.

    if you don’t want them to be the face of the whites – you yourself have to do that.

    as long as you refuse to meet with and find middle ground – you cede the issue to the White Supremacists..

    you have the choice – and the power to not let them be the white faces in the monument issue.

    you can lead or you can let them lead.. if you can’t or won’t then don’t be blaming others.. they can’t fix it.. and you can..

  26. Dear Larry,

    No, we disagree. The monuments were made into public issues by the Left, and the SCV and UDC have defended them. We cannot be responsible for all people at all times, only ourselves and those with whom we are most closely associated. The SCV has denounced White Supremacists numerous times, but to no avail. It the Left that is aggressor. If you want there to be kindly feelings, then you have to tell your Liberal friends to “lay off.” The monuments have been around in most cases 90 – 100 years. The heritage organizations repair them, lay flowers at them, and hold ceremonies, but we are not gratuitously antagonizing Liberals or Blacks. The proper boundary is stay away if you don’t like them. Just like if you are not a Christian, Jew or Muslim, no one will force you to go into a Church, Synagogue or Mosque. You are free to abstain from them. But there are Christians, Jews, and Muslims, and their beliefs may well differ from your own on issues. But don’t try to tell them they have to change their beliefs to fit your own, or they won’t be liking you. (That is an analogy, by the way ;-))<

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  27. As a person whose childhood sense of the heritage of place includes Independence Hall, I looked curiously at the Confederate flags I see all over the countryside here in Western VA. basically disregarding them until last weekend when I decided to try to understand how, 150 years later, the people flying that flag are proud to do so.

    Here is what I found in answer to the cries of … “ we are trying to defend out heritage” … and, ““You have to give up your statues and history, and very identity, or we won’t be happy!” This violence may be a plea for heritage. It may in part be a response to what some call ‘leftist politics’ with, as Larry says, some on the other side who took the bait, but what it really is finally, … is the taking down of an historical interpretation of the Civil War, know to historians as The Lost Cause, that was purposefully created immediately after the war. Amazing!

    As historian David Blight writes in his 2001 book Race and Reunion, … “Shortly after the war, former Confederate Gen. Jubal Early gained control of the Southern Historical Society and used it to ‘launch a propaganda assault on popular history and memory.’” Other groups joined his efforts like the Sons and the Daughters.

    The mythology said “the Confederacy was fighting for some vague conception of liberty, not the right to own slaves; its soldiers were unparalleled warriors defending their homeland who were only defeated because of the Union’s structural advantages; and the postwar subjugation of black Americans was a necessary response to lawlessness.”

    “The result was a popular understanding of the war and its aftermath that glamorized the valor of Confederate soldiers, downplayed slavery as a cause of the war and cornerstone of the Confederacy, recast Reconstruction as a period of tyranny and “black domination,” and justified the violent disenfranchisement and dispossession of black Americans for decades to come. Even after the narrative of a benign and honorable Confederacy fell out of favor with historians, it continued to dominate American popular culture in film and literature, from The Birth of a Nation to The Dukes of Hazzard.”

    Re this statue … The legend of the Confederate General Lee’s heroism and decency was part of that mythological propaganda.
    “In the Richmond Times Dispatch, R. David Cox wrote that “For white supremacist protesters to invoke his name violates Lee’s most fundamental convictions.” In the conservative publication Townhall, Jack Kerwick concluded that Lee was “among the finest human beings that has ever walked the Earth.” John Daniel Davidson, in an essay for The Federalist, opposed the removal of the Lee statute in part on the grounds that Lee “arguably did more than anyone to unite the country after the war and bind up its wounds.” Praise for Lee of this sort has flowed forth from past historians and presidents alike.”

    In fact, “Lee had beaten or ordered his own slaves to be beaten, for the crime of wanting to be free, he fought for the preservation of slavery, his army kidnapped free blacks at gunpoint and made them unfree—but all of this, he insisted, had occurred only because of the great Christian love the South held for blacks.”
    He thought that blacks were better off here as slaves than in Africa and said “the painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.”

    I now agree that these statues must come down but we need to address the myths. These historians say .. “The North’s acquiescence to this purging of historical memory is an essential part of this story and it is not only the sins of the South that must be reckoned with… but the damage wrought by this interpretation of history is immeasurable. It is only now unraveling. … We are now choosing to remember.”

    • yes.. the actual “history” of these monuments actually has been written – and ignored by those who want to believe something different.

      It’s not the “history” that is the real issue – it’s the memorializing of it.. in public places.. that all citizens frequent.. and it is and has been a continuing affront to black people.. that’s a reality.. not a viewpoint..

      • UI agree with you, this is the nub of the problem. My fear is that in our revisionist take on the very real fact of our Civil War, we grossly oversimplify its moral dimension. Undoubtedly the political motivation behind the initial State secessions was to preserve slavery. But the individual choices made by so many who heeded the call to defend their State were far more complicated, and their individual lives, their histories, deserve to be remembered. Monuments to the Lost Cause erected 50 years later in public spaces had a very different purpose: to make a political statement about Jim Crow. Mid-century re-namings of roads and public works with the names of prominent Confederates was not only to make a political statement about Civil Rights but deliberately mean-spirited. These were never intended as memorials to the very human, imperfect individuals whose names they appropriated.

        • There is of course some truth in what you say. There are a number of very fine books on this subject. And Yes, all history is very complicated. So to simplify is to brutalize history, and is typically the tool of the ignorant or ill intended. Sometimes, however, in some cases to try to simplify might be best in special circumstances. These times are surely not now, in our times. Most of that is happening today is driven by pure politics, prejudice, ideology, hate, or gratuitious violence, or a mixture of all these ills, too often ignored and overlooked by our leaders on all sides for personal gain or by reason of a society that is losing its confidence, and its way. Like happened on all sides to the Civil War – its prelude, its duration, and its consequences. What is happening at C’ville, and UVa. is a highly pertinent example.

    • Clean Air and Water-

      Your total ignorance of history, combined with the certainty of your hateful rant, together comprise a mirror image of the very thing you wine about. You and your type are part of the problem not the solution.

      • Reed,
        Please tell me what is a ‘hateful rant’ in my post that urged you to read the letters written by General Lee. The letters and the recorded actions he took confirm that he believed in slavery in all it’s parts. From one letter … “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation maybe necessary is known & ordered by a wise and Merciful Providence.”

        There are records of Lee’s Army kidnapping free blacks and unfreeing them at gunpoint….and more racially based actions – all with records.

        The people we revere says something about us. The Civil War was about maintaining slavery. Do you really revere those who lead the fight to keep other men enslaved? Taking down these statues is the right thing to do.

        • CleanAir&Water, You do raise legitimate points. At the end of the day, I’m on the same side as Reed on this particular issue, but I acknowledge that anyone who defends the Civil War statues has to wrestle with the question of why it is legitimate to honor men who did things and held opinions that today would be considered reprehensible.

          But I would ask you this: Where do we draw the line? Do we take down statues of all slave owners, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson? Al Sharpton has argued that we should close the Jefferson Memorial. Do you agree with Sharpton, and if you don’t, why don’t you?

          Following such logic, it would seem to be only a matter of time before we start tearing down statues to Abraham Lincoln, for, although he freed the slaves, he still held racial views that would be considered highly offensive today. Would you favor that? And if not, why not?

          • CleanAir&Water

            “why it is legitimate to honor men who held opinions that today would be considered distasteful if not downright reprehensible.”

            I think that misplaces the central idea of my question … which I should have framed differently. Can we hold up as our hero a man whose primary contribution to society was to lead a war to preserve the institution of slavery, an institution he firmly believed was right for those enslaved?”

            We choose our heros, none of which are perfect, from people who have made significant contributions to what we believe is the right course for all of us. To move to denounce Jefferson for owning slaves in the 1700’s is silly. I heard the President say something like that but don’t think it was Al Sharpton’s opinion. Sharpton had a lovely ioterview with the CVille mayor and an author who was a former Right activist.

            Jefferson’s contribution to the founding of this country was amazing. And as I recall from a very long ago history class at Smith, the founding fathers wrestled with the issue of slavery, but laid it aside in favor of forging a country free from Britain. You could say they ‘kicked the can down the road”.

            Again, can we really support as our heroes men whose primary contribution to society was to fight a war to maintain the institution of slavery?

        • CleanAir&Water:

          I respect your coming back with a reasoned reply to my comment.

          We cannot understand history, and its players, by snippets and soundbites. Nor can we apply to the past and its people the standards and social mores of our times or of us in lieu of theirs. If we did this, we could condemn every figure who ever lived in their world before our times or us, or even during our times but lived in ways different from us.

          Doing this, we can assassinate in words anyone. Such assassination, because it is so easy, and so thoughtless, is common as mud. So its been the weapons of choice by most people. Because it is very hard work to get into the era other people live in, and then takes very great effort and learning to place individuals within that context.

          For we, like all peoples from the past, are all Fools in own times, like they were in theirs.

          Each of us must struggle mightily to understand and escape the cage that we have been born in and the cage we can so easily live in, and accept.

          To escape that cage, and do truly extraordinary things or clearly understand without illusion, requires extraordinary effort that most typically will impose a terrible price, should we or any of us try to escape that cage and rise above it. This is a very old story. That of Homer, Thucydides, Socrates, the Stoics, Cicero, Christ, Augustan, Boethius, and countless others up to our time.

          Some of this dealt is with at length in my essay comment posted at 9:58 a.m., August 14, below Jim’s article on this website – Hey, White Nationalists, Go Away.

          So, for example, we can learn from Doris Lessing’s profound book Prisons We Choose to Live Inside, quoted there:

          “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.

          • CleanAir&Water

            Reed You are right when you say “We cannot understand history, and its players, by snippets and soundbites.” However, we can come to understand a man when we read his letters. We are not talking about ‘popular attitudes’ here. We are talking about statues and who we choose to hold up as fine examples of the best in us … as our heroes.

            The historians I have quoted are suggesting that the ‘popular opinions” regarding the Civil War were forged from a deliberate and successful attempt to change how that war was viewed. Popularly known as “Lost Cause” mythology, the Confederacy was fighting for some vague conception of liberty, not the right to own slaves; its soldiers were unparalleled warriors defending their homeland who were only defeated because of the Union’s structural advantages; and the postwar subjugation of black Americans was a necessary response to lawlessness. Professional historians like those of the late 19th/early 20th century Dunning School bolstered the popular perception.

            Maybe we should both read those books I mentioned.

  28. Andrew – it is the black people who hate these monuments , guy.

    The movement to take them down accelerated after Dylan Roof.

    and no you cannot “stay away” from them when they are in public spaces, names on schools and highways…. etc..

    I do not seek to have them removed because I agree with the Blacks but if most of them say these things are a symbol of hate to them – and it’s been that way for generations – then what have you guys been doing all that time?

    did you not know? did you not care?

    if your position is to refuse anything – then your position is not substantially different from the KKK types.. and all you really disagree with is their tactics… but that position is not going to resolve the issue with blacks.

    blaming “liberals” is evading the issue.. you could get rid of every “liberal” and the blacks would still be there.. you must instead be blaming liberals because they won’t be quiet and not support the blacks.. like they used to during Jim Crow.. that’s not today’s world.

    Some white folks, often younger.. Millennials, want to find peace with the blacks and they speak up for the – issue.. and apparently in some other white folks minds that’s “interfering” and “agitating”..

    Those monuments were considered an abomination and a symbol of hate – to blacks when they were first put up. It don’t matter how many years they’ve been there.. in fact.. the longer they are there , the more blacks believe there is a continuing and purposeful racial divide..

    you have to know this, guy.. these are Jim Crow symbols of oppression to them.

  29. Dear Clean Air & Water,

    A quibble, but Jubal Early was a Unionist until “fairly late in the game” in terms of the Secession crisis. I find it odd that such a one would be “mythologizing” a movement he had opposed until the break came.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

    • I can only tell you what I read in an article in the Atlantic …
      ” As historian David Blight writes in his 2001 book Race and Reunion,
      ‘Jubal Early gained control of the Southern Historical Society and used it to ‘launch a propaganda assault on popular history and memory.’”

  30. Dear Larry,

    I’m done “tango-ing” on this particular thread. Take care. Another time.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  31. WOW! Reed, Please tell me what is ‘hateful’ and “ranting” about what I wrote …. and before you jump on my recitation of what historians say you should take a look at a few sources ….
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/
    and what historian David Blight writes in his 2001 book “Race and Reunion.” Lee is actually quoted from a letter he wrote.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/08/arlington-bobby-lee-and-the-peculiar-institution/61428/
    and …”

    Elizabeth Brown Pryor helps round out the question of Lee and slaveholding in her tremendous biography, Reading the Man:” A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters.” (A C-SPAN presentation and Q-and-A with Pryor was highlighted by TNC back in April.) Pryor gives a far more detailed picture of Lee, his philosophical beliefs on slavery, and how he put those beliefs into practice; what emerges is a far more rounded, complex picture, but one that is far, far darker, as well.”

    Andrew …I can only tell you what I read …” As historian David Blight writes in his 2001 book “Race and Reunion”, … ‘Shortly after the war, former Confederate Gen. Jubal Early gained control of the Southern Historical Society and used it to ‘launch a propaganda assault on popular history and memory.’”

  32. Reed …You are right when you say “We cannot understand history, and its players, by snippets and soundbites.” However, we can come to understand a man when we read his letters. We are not talking about ‘popular attitudes’ here. We are talking about statues and who we choose to hold up as fine examples of the best in us … as our heroes.

    The historians I have quoted are suggesting that the ‘popular opinions” regarding the Civil War were forged from a deliberate and successful attempt to change how that war was viewed. Popularly known as “Lost Cause” mythology, the Confederacy was fighting for some vague conception of liberty, not the right to own slaves; its soldiers were unparalleled warriors defending their homeland who were only defeated because of the Union’s structural advantages; and the postwar subjugation of black Americans was a necessary response to lawlessness. Professional historians like those of the late 19th/early 20th century Dunning School bolstered the popular perception.

    Maybe we should both read those books I mentioned.

  33. Dear Clean Air & Water,

    Robert E. Lee would be the first to admit his own personal sinfulness, unlike the “whitened sepulchers” of our day, who preen themselves on their superiority to all ages and aspire to godlike power.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  34. I haven’t a clue who you are referring to as “whitened sepulchers” but I know the historical picture is much more complicated than you seem to acknowledge.

    TITLE: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
    Robert E. Lee was a more complex and contradictory man than his iconic image suggests. In her biography, historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor presents dozens of previously unpublished letters to draw a new portrait of Lee’s beliefs, his military ability and the times he lived in.

    Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s 1987 biography, “Clara Barton, Professional Angel,” is considered the authoritative work on the founder of the American Red Cross.

  35. Dear Clean Air & Water,

    The “whitened sepulchers” are today’s Liberals, of both parties, who pronounce their own goodness while funding Planned Parenthood abortions and launch wars around the globe.

    Sincerely,

    Andrew

  36. Well Andrew …
    I found the fact that there was a deliberate propaganda campaign to define the Civil War and discount the Southern motivation of maintaining the institution of slavery. I do plan to read those 2 books.
    Regarding your description of folks who don’t agree with you, I am reminded of what someone said, forget who, “You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.”

Leave a Reply