Good Job, *&#$-Heads

The white nationalists who sparked violent confrontations in Charlottesville Saturday pose as champions of Western Civilization, white rights, Confederate heritage, and the like, but they managed only to discredit what they supposedly value. Photographs and video images of Confederate battle flags interspersed with Nazi and KKK regalia indelibly reinforced the association in the public mind between the battle flag, hate and prejudice. An appreciation of Southern heritage, including the statues of Civil War generals, need not equate with bigotry. But it will be a lot harder to persuade anyone of that now.

Meanwhile, the morning news brings the revelation that Bragdon Bowling, who had applied for permission to hold a pro-statue rally at the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond, may reconsider holding the rally on the grounds that he doesn’t want violent people showing up. Bowling had hoped to hold the rally in the context of the (mostly) civil debate initiated by Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney over how to contextualize the history of the city’s Civil War statuary.

“Things have changed somewhat thanks to the Charlottesville problems,” Bowling told the Richmond Times-Dispatch¬†yesterday. “I’m not saying we’ll call it off. I kind of have to watch and see what goes on. I don’t want to see David Duke at this rally. I don’t want to see Antifa. I don’t want to see Black Lives Matter. I don’t want them there.”

Update: The T-D reports this morning that Bowling has withdrawn his permit request: “I do not want to be part of an event where people are hurt or killed. Our purpose is to save monuments, not be engaged in social and racial issues.”

Congratulations, white nationalists, the violence you brought to Virginia has effectively suppressed the right of monument-heritage supporters to assemble and be heard. Good job, *&#$-heads.

As I wrote yesterday, it takes two to tango. Among the mostly non-violent protesters there was a confrontation-seeking minority — generically referred to as Antifa (for antifascist) — that contributed to the mayhem. But Antifa didn’t murder anyone — a neo-Nazi did. And the only reason the Antifa radicals came to Charlottesville was because you white nationalists came to Charlottesville.

So, as a Virginia citizen, I repeat my call to all white nationalists, if you haven’t left already, go home. And don’t ever come back. And take your vile, foreign ideologies with you. You are alien bodies. You are HIV, ebola, and bubonic plague bacillus rolled into one. Nobody here shares your way of thinking. (OK, maybe one or two tenths of a percent do, but that’s almost nobody). We’re trying to build a civil society here. All you do is stir up ugly passions, legitimize the Left, strengthen the forces of political correctness, and leave death and destruction in your wake.

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12 responses to “Good Job, *&#$-Heads

  1. Naw – that is an excuse.. like me blaming the most extreme left for screwing things up.

    Nothing prevents “good” rightists from differentiating themselves from the KKK .. not just demonstration venues…

    they work with the “good” leftists.. in a wide variety of ways that demonstrates it’s not just about one issue at one venue.

    If you really care about how Black folks feel about these monuments – you actually do engage them .. instead of the opposite….

    blaming others for what you will not do.. ain’t going to cut it….

    walk-the-walk or admit you won’t.

    I’m willing to try to understand the Blacks and the monument issue – does that make me a “leftist agitator” for being willing to do that?

    Now look at ME.. not those real leftist agitators.. guy..

    don’t use them as excuses for not doing anything yourself.

  2. Jim,

    America was set up for 1st amendment rights, including those whose views are not compatible with our own. Much as I disagree with their ideals (most of which I don’t know, but the ones I do are not compatible with my views) they have a right to speak in public without physical violence both to them and by them.

    What I think would have better served the purposes of unity and to show a better response is to vote for candidates for office who foster communication for all people. Respectful communication is what is called for by the constitution. Violence only indicates a weak hand. It doesn’t matter who does it.

    Fill groups with memberships who work together. Violence is not going to change hearts. Maybe these people will never change. Violence will harden their hearts and wills.

    Let us resolve to be better. I have seen blatant discrimination. I choose to financially support and vote for candidates who are open to ideas and people.

  3. Dear Jim,

    I hope they do not hold such a rally in Richmond. It attracts a bad element.

    Larry, people are not always going to agree on things. However, that does not mean that we cannot, in the words of the bumper sticker, Coexist. Other issues we can agree. To try to insist that there be agreement on all things is the wrong road to take.



  4. The permit request came from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a quite benign group compared to those invited to Virginia by Mr. Kessler last weekend. SCV is not KKK. But the word on the street (and in this case read Monument Avenue) is that SCV’s withdrawl will be followed by a renewed push for a similar permit by the groups which are not at all peaceful or benign.

    Turn it down. I would rather fight over a denied permit in a federal court than have another street battle, this one in a Richmond residential neighborhood. And if the judge disagrees, right up to SCOTUS, tell them to go pound sand. I will send the first food package to the mayor and the AG if they are packed off to prison for ignoring a ruling and blocking the rally!

    • Not understanding why the SCV can’t have their demonstration in public, asking for police to be there and show the public that the KKK is not the sole face of those who want to keep the monuments.

      By doing what they are doing – they are ceding this to the bad actors.. and they will have the ACLU on their side and almost surely will prevail.

      Part of what happened in Cville was that the city was concerned with security in the park and wanted it move to where the police had better control – but they lost in court..

      I do not agree with the position of the SCV.. it’s the same position as the KKK – it’s the tactics that are different – and in that light – in the end – the SCV is likely not going to be able to prevail with no changes although the Mayor is on board with only “adding”.. and some of those monuments are so massive.. I cannot imagine them being torn down.

      And I’m truly sorry this came to where you live Steve and on that end of things I hope you and your family.. your community does not get harmed as a result of all of this.. and if I were you I’d probably be opposed to a rally that would turn into one like Cville did..

  5. Andrew – I understand your position – and your principles but they are untenable.. the wider public has decided that these monuments are hated symbols of Jim Crow and have to go..

    • Dear Larry,

      You might be right. I am reminded of the Iconoclast frenzies of the 8th and 9th centuries in the Church, and later, during the Reformation, when the Holy Icons or images were smashed by those convinced that they were doing “God’s work” by enforcing the Decalog’s prohibition on “graven images.” The Orthodox faithful, or in the latter example, the Anglican faithful, hid what they could from the clutches of these people, until, later, after the frenzy, they could be brought out safely again. I have thought that someone could buy some land and erect the rejected statues and make a home for them and charge admission to visitors.



  6. Blame for crimes committed rests with the perpetrators themselves, along with any conspirators. Nothing that anyone else did or did not do changes that. Justice demands investigation, a supportable decision to prosecute or not, a fair trial and appropriate punishment upon conviction. In the case of the person who drove his car into the crowd, that would be the death penalty IMO.

    But Charlottesville teaches us that the government needs to perform better–a helluva lot better. The President needs to respond promptly and directly, in this case by calling out the white supremacists, neo-Nazis and KKK. Trump didn’t do this. I suspect he will do a better job next time.

    The Governor needs to take a strong role by ensuring local government police resources are supplemented by the state police and the National Guard and that they keep the parties separate. (Witnesses from many perspectives have stated or written that the state and local police seems to stand down as violence was increasing.) McAuliffe didn’t do that. Here too, I expect the Governor will do a better job in the future.

    Local government needs to smooth the waters not go into partisan campaign roles. The mayor of Charlottesville is not doing this. Trying to motivate voters for the 2017 and 2018 elections by arguing Trump directly caused the trouble is disgusting and conduct below what is expected from a public official. (Especially with a black vice mayor who verbally attacked white women only a few years ago.) I doubt this jackass will improve over time. But I suspect the majority of mayors and other local officials will want to act in a way that avoids stirring up the public and provoking partisans of all stripes.

    Local government also needs to come up with a fair, consensus building way of dealing with Confederate monuments so as to minimize the anger and risk of violence. They should consider establishing a community committee charged with discussing the issues and proposing plans that can be accepted by all but the radical right and radical left. Such a committee needs members that fairly represent the stakeholders (such as blacks, Sons of Confederate Veterans, black veterans, local historians, and a few other reasonable people with different political views). Allow these people to get to know each other and the various points of view. Give them time to make their arguments and understand those of other stakeholders. Let them try solutions and make counterproposals.

    I suspect if the issues arises in Fairfax County, the BoS would adopt such an approach. The morons on the School Board, not so much.

    This issue is going away. We need better performance from all levels of government.

  7. I’m sure you meant “not” going away but I cannot disagree with anything you say and do note that the movement to get rid of the monuments really got into high gear with Dylan Roof and now is accelerating further with Cville.

    Most young people, Millennials now days do not have the racial and ethnic baggage that older folks, especially white folks seem to harbor.. and if their black friends tell them that the monuments are racist symbols of Jim Crow and they then see folks like Dylan Roof and the idiots in Cville.. they’re going to agree to dump the monuments and I strongly suspect if you just took a straight vote – a referenda – they’d be gone in a lot of places.

    So .. NOT doing that and attempting to find some common ground that is LESS than that – is REALLY up to the non-KKK opponents .. to make their case for retaining.. them….

    and I agree – any kind of public gathering – unfortunately these days – has to have police …and sometimes lots of them…

    TMT – do you have Confederate monuments in NoVa? what’s going on up there with them?

    • NoVA dealing with school names for last several years.
      JEB Stuart HS will be renamed per recent school board decision. Robert E Lee HS has been discussed but so far no action, to my knowledge.

  8. Here is what looks to be a thoughtful approach by the Mayor of Dallas. Also note the link to a second story about a group of Dallas-area residents who oppose moving the statutes and the ethnic makeup of the group. I add the second reference only to show the issues are more complex that the simpletons in the MSM portray and not to argue for or against removal. These are local decisions that need to be made carefully and thoughtfully.

  9. TMT, thanks for the Dallas link. “Monuments of propaganda” indeed, erected on public land. It’s complicated, and simplistic treatment of these powerful symbols does not do them merit. Take Lee, for example. Yes, his virtue is a centerpiece of the Lost Cause mythology. But there is some truth there too: Lee really did devote himself to reconciliation after the war, to patient Southern acceptance of defeat and rebuilding of the Union, to fundraising for the education of a new generation. He was not a Lost Causer like Early, but his virtuous image was co-opted by them anyway. Does that make Richmond’s monument to him erected 20 years after his death a “monument of propaganda” or just recognition of a fundamentally good man, who rose to the occasion when leadership was thrust upon him by circumstance? Elements of both can be found on Monument Avenue. I’m with Andrew here: let’s hide these monuments from the iconoclasts until it all blows over, then be glad that some them have survived, like stained glass windows on the past, even if we no longer understand the crushing medieval faith and church levies that created them.

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