car drives into counter-protestors in charlottesville

Recent Forum Topics Forums The Public House car drives into counter-protestors in charlottesville

This topic contains 25 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by wv wv 3 days, 14 hours ago.

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #72369
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    ===

    Car rams into crowd during white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia
    A vehicle has plowed into a crowd marching in downtown Charlottesville, killing one person.
    <strong>Earlier, Virginia declared an emergency when clashes broke out between white nationalists and counter-protests.

    One person died and 19 people were injured when a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters at a violence-ridden right-wing rally in Charlottesville in the US State of Virginia on Friday.
    Footage showed the car slowing down before accelerating towards the crowd, sending people flying and seemingly crushing one person between two other stationary cars. The silver sedan then reversed away rapidly.
    A state official told the Associated Press that the driver of the car had been arrested. Several hundred protesters were marching through the university town for a second day in opposition to a 6,000-strong crowd of right wing protesters when the car struck.
    “Charlottesville Police and Virginia State Police are on the scene of a three vehicle accident,” confirmed the Charlottesville Police Department in a statement. “Multiple injuries are reported.”

    The mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer, said on Twitter that he was “heartbroken that a life has been lost here” and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted images from its local chapter showing people who had sustained various wounds.

    DW correspondent Maya Shwayder reported from the scene saying that the assault was a visibly traumatic experience for those present during the protests and adding that there had been reports of people being covered in blood.

    Shwayder said that although the scene of the car attack calmed, authorities feared clashes could continue throughout the night.

    Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency on Saturday morning “to aid state response to violence” at the Charlottesville rally.

    “I want to urge my fellow Virginians, who may consider joining either in support or opposition to the planned rally, to make alternative plans,” he said in a statement.
    US President Donald Trump tweeted that Americans should be “united” and not allow violence to drive divisions.

    During a press conference about an hour after the assault, Trump said the scenes in Charlottesville were “sad,” adding that “no matter what color, creed, religion, or political party we’re all Americans first.”
    “We have to heal the wounds of our country,” he said.
    Trump ignored questions from two journalists about how he felt about his widespread support from white nationalist groups.
    A total of 34 people have been injured in clashes between the right-wing protesters and counter-protesters.

    As many as 6,000 white supremacists, including supporters of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), descended on the university town of Charlottesville for a second day on Saturday to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a public park. Charlottesville is situated about 160 kilometers (100 miles) outside of the US capital, Washington, DC.
    White supremacists and members of the KKK oppose the removal of a statue of Lee. They claim it is a benign symbol of southern heritage, but critics call it an overtly racist symbol of slavery.
    Hundreds of white nationalists marched Friday night on the Charlottesville campus of the University of Virginia, carrying burning torches – a symbol associated with the KKK and its lynchings in the early to mid 20th century.
    The Klan had officially endorsed Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2016, and appear to have been emboldened by his administration’s fierce crackdown on immigrants.

    Lee led the Confederate South during the Civil War in its bid to secede from the United States in order to, among other things, maintain slavery. He, and other figures related to the history of the Civil War, remain widely popular across much of the US south, as evidenced by statues and roads commemorating their war-time leaders. The Confederate flag is another such potent symbol that has faced a great deal of scrutiny in the past few years.

    The protests were met by a number of counter-protests throughout the day
    In addition to plans to remove the statue, officials have named Lee Park where the statue stands to Emancipation Park, which those opposed to the changes called “empty political correctness.”
    Rally organizer Jason Kessler described Robert E. Lee as a symbol of white people threatened by immigration and “ethnic cleansing.” Mimi Arbeit, an organizer of the counter-protests, however, rejected Kessler’s claim that the rally was about freedom of speech.
    “Fascism functions,” she said, “by using the institutions of a democracy towards its own ends.”

    #72373
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    #72374
    wv
    wv
    Participant
    #72447
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    From Facebook.

    It’s a comment that accompanies a picture of the person being discussed, but I just didn’t feel like posting the picture.

    Bruce DeSilva

    A son of a bitch named Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, posted a photo of the smashed car that had rammed into a crowd in Charlottesville and said this about it: “The real tragedy is what happened to the car. It was a very nice car, worth much more than the life of whoever died.” Here he is, and of course, he is wearing a Trump cap.

    #72455
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    From Facebook.

    It’s a comment that accompanies a picture of the person being discussed, but I just didn’t feel like posting the picture.

    Bruce DeSilva

    A son of a bitch named Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, posted a photo of the smashed car that had rammed into a crowd in Charlottesville and said this about it: “The real tragedy is what happened to the car. It was a very nice car, worth much more than the life of whoever died.” Here he is, and of course, he is wearing a Trump cap.

    ===================

    Yeah, I think if one looks at the totality of circumstances, one sees:

    1) One of Trump’s core factions is indeed, the White-supremacists/Hard-core-Racists.
    2) There are other non-racist factions that also make up Trump’s Core.

    My question would be, is that any different than Nixon, Reagan, Bush, McCain?
    I dont know, I’m just askin.

    It ‘feels’ different but I think that might just be because Trump is more brash and vulgar about all of it. I dunno. I wonder if anyone has actually studied the numbers in some way that reveals whether ‘more racists’ voted for trump than Nixon or Reagan?

    w
    v

    #72456
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Car driving into crowd is a ‘clash’ – link:http://fair.org/home/for-media-driving-into-a-crowd-of-protesters-is-a-clash/

    The Washington Post, Boston Globe, AOL News, The Hill, BBC and Sky News UK all chose to frame the ramming of a car into anti-fascist protesters as “clashes.”

    The BBC’s breaking news tweet, “One dead amid clashes between US white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville,” is an extremely odd way to describe a person driving a car into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters—as was AOL’s “1 Dead, 34 Injured in Clashes at Virginia Rally.”

    The term “clashes”—as FAIR (10/14/15) has noted before—is a term designed to obscure blame, presenting a picture of two equal sides engaging in violent activities. Reading “one dead” after “clashes” at a white nationalist rally gives us no idea who died, or who did the killing.

    (Alternatively, one can veil responsibility by attributing agency to an inanimate object and disembodied emotions, as with the New York Times‘ headline, “Car Plows Into Crowd as Racial Tensions Boil Over in Virginia.”)

    There are times when things can be ambiguous, but after a person the police say “premeditatedly” rammed into a crowd of anti-racist protesters with a car, it’s fairly clear the anti-racist protesters aren’t to blame for the death. But one would hardly know this, reading these “clashes” framings.

    Most of these articles would mention in the text (or later change the headline after social media backlash) to make it clear it was the anti-fascist protesters who were mowed down, but the initial instinct to obscure who did what to whom speaks to the pathological fear of placing blame on the far right.

    #72462
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    From Facebook.

    It’s a comment that accompanies a picture of the person being discussed, but I just didn’t feel like posting the picture.

    Bruce DeSilva

    A son of a bitch named Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, posted a photo of the smashed car that had rammed into a crowd in Charlottesville and said this about it: “The real tragedy is what happened to the car. It was a very nice car, worth much more than the life of whoever died.” Here he is, and of course, he is wearing a Trump cap.

    ===================

    Yeah, I think if one looks at the totality of circumstances, one sees:

    1) One of Trump’s core factions is indeed, the White-supremacists/Hard-core-Racists.
    2) There are other non-racist factions that also make up Trump’s Core.

    My question would be, is that any different than Nixon, Reagan, Bush, McCain?
    I dont know, I’m just askin.

    It ‘feels’ different but I think that might just be because Trump is more brash and vulgar about all of it. I dunno. I wonder if anyone has actually studied the numbers in some way that reveals whether ‘more racists’ voted for trump than Nixon or Reagan?

    w
    v

    I haven’t read any comparative analyses yet — between the various presidential elections. But I do know that this one, in survey after survey, showed the number one common denominator for the Trump voter was white grievance and the belief that white people are discriminated against more than blacks. No other factor, economic, social, geographic, etc. etc. seems as determinative.

    That said, it is true that the GOP has marshaled the forces of racism and bigotry now for roughly the last two generations. Nixon was probably the first Republican to make it a key part of his attempt to win the presidency, though he was far more subtle about it than Donald “Many sides” Trump. Nothing ever works in history in some perfect linear progression, but it does seem that subsequent GOP efforts have gotten more and more overt in their wooing of the white nationalist sentiment, going from dog whistles to openly retweeting neo-nazi propaganda.

    Perhaps Trump added a right-wing fringe that previously sat out electoral politics, hoping he was their champion, and the Internet weaponized this. Perhaps a previous champion with the help of the Internet, or his celebrity, would have done as well with that group. Impossible to say. But I do think it’s dangerous, and double dangerous because Sessions is himself a suspect. He’s not as openly “white nationalist” as a Bannon, a Gorka, or a Miller, but he’s rather liked in those quarters.

    It’s one more case of the wolf guarding the hen house, and it’s not going to end well.

    #72463
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    WV,

    I noticed that “clash” thing too. The right has been pushing that meme for a long time, trying to frame Occupy, for instance, as violently clashing with the police, when it was almost, without exception, peaceful, non-violent, and beaten up by police while being so.

    Same thing with BLM. I read a lot of right-wingers trying to equate BLM with neo-nazis, etc. And this Sunday, catching one of those horrible political talk shows via the rabbit ears, one guest was trying to argue that antifa should be condemned for its fascism.

    Yeah, that makes sense. Not. A disparate, widely scattered group of mostly young people who believe passionately in fighting against fascism are fascists? Fighting against racism is as bad as racism itself?

    Sheesh, this country is just beyond belief, and I wish I could afford to leave. Next best thing, escape into a crazed, Medieval world for an hour or so, coming up soon.

    #72468
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    But I do know that this one, in survey after survey, showed the number one common denominator for the Trump voter was white grievance and the belief that white people are discriminated against more than blacks. No other factor, economic, social, geographic, etc. etc. seems as determinative.

    It might be useful to re-post that kind of thing.

    .

    #72569
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    #72573
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Lee Camp of redacted tonight, witnessed the car-murder:

    #72574
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Lee Camp of redacted tonight, witnessed the car-murder:

    #72584
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    I suppose, if there is any kind of ‘positive’ to all this violent-racism,
    its that at least its more in the open now.

    Maybe it will be easier for people to understand what minorities
    already know.

    Thats all i got.

    w
    v

    #72608
    Zooey
    Zooey
    Participant

    I suppose, if there is any kind of ‘positive’ to all this violent-racism,
    its that at least its more in the open now.

    Maybe it will be easier for people to understand what minorities
    already know.

    Thats all i got.

    w
    v

    I gotta think a lot of lifelong Republican grandpas are having real misgivings about what’s going on under Trump. I am looking forward to the next set of polling numbers.

    Overt fascism is not popular. I think a lot of people are okay with covert fascism, but the KKK is unpopular.

    #72623
    nittany ram
    nittany ram
    Moderator

    I suppose, if there is any kind of ‘positive’ to all this violent-racism,
    its that at least its more in the open now.

    Maybe it will be easier for people to understand what minorities
    already know.

    Thats all i got.

    w
    v

    I gotta think a lot of lifelong Republican grandpas are having real misgivings about what’s going on under Trump. I am looking forward to the next set of polling numbers.

    Overt fascism is not popular. I think a lot of people are okay with covert fascism, but the KKK is unpopular.

    Yeah, but as we found out, you can’t trust polls when it comes to Trump.

    Of all the Trump supporters I know, and I know quite a few, none of them have changed their opinion about him. With every heinous thing he says they just burrow in deeper. Now they are responding to the events in Charlottesville with ridiculous false equivalencies about BLM and Trump’s fabricated movement, the alt-left. If anything, they are more fervent in their support.

    #72625
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Trump has a point about the statues. The statue issue is interesting to me. I ‘hope’ people are not focusing on statues. I ‘hope’ they are focusing on drug laws, health care, inequality-POLICIES, education, etc.

    Knocking down statues is easy though. Maybe its the only thing people feel they can do.

    w
    v

    ================
    link:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/trump-says-there-were-very-fine-people-on-both-sides-in-charlottesville/

    Trump Says There Were “Very Fine People on Both Sides” in Charlottesville
    At a press conference, the president refused to blame the violence on white nationalists and Nazis.

    ….“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right?” Trump also remarked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

    The president appeared to criticize the movement to remove Confederate statues—wondering aloud how far proponents of the removals would go. “Was George Washington a slave owner?” he asked. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? What about Thomas Jefferson?”

    #72626
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    The “alt-left” slur is being used more and more by mainstream Dems, it appears. It’s an umbrella term, kinda like “Bernie Bros.”

    Burying the Lie of the “Alt-Left” Branko Marcetic It’s time to stop pretending that the same people fighting white supremacists are somehow exactly like them.

    I also found this article helpful with some other terms, far right, especially, which I didn’t know:

    Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language

    An excerpt:

    Alt-Left

    Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the “alt-left.” Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and “anything vaguely left-seeming that they didn’t like.”

    Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term.

    “It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network,” Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. “It’s just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they don’t like ‘fake news.’”

    On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said the “alt-left” was partly to blame for the Charlottesville violence, during which a counterprotester, Heather D. Heyer, was killed.

    #72627
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    Trump has a point about the statues. The statue issue is interesting to me. I ‘hope’ people are not focusing on statues. I ‘hope’ they are focusing on drug laws, health care, inequality-POLICIES, education, etc.

    Knocking down statues is easy though. Maybe its the only thing people feel they can do.

    w
    v

    ================
    link:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/trump-says-there-were-very-fine-people-on-both-sides-in-charlottesville/

    Trump Says There Were “Very Fine People on Both Sides” in Charlottesville
    At a press conference, the president refused to blame the violence on white nationalists and Nazis.

    ….“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right?” Trump also remarked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

    The president appeared to criticize the movement to remove Confederate statues—wondering aloud how far proponents of the removals would go. “Was George Washington a slave owner?” he asked. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? What about Thomas Jefferson?”

    Well, it’s not so easy in the South. Public sector workers received death threats when word went out they were going to remove statues in Louisiana, and they had to do so at night, with snipers on tops of buildings to protect them.

    And in some Southern states, GOP legislators have made it illegal to remove them. They actually went out of their way to write laws saying you couldn’t.

    I was cheered to hear that Baltimore got rid of their four monuments last night and into this morning. Even in Blue State Maryland, it appeared they had to work at night, too.

    #72629
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Trump has a point about the statues. The statue issue is interesting to me. I ‘hope’ people are not focusing on statues. I ‘hope’ they are focusing on drug laws, health care, inequality-POLICIES, education, etc.

    Knocking down statues is easy though. Maybe its the only thing people feel they can do.

    w
    v

    ================
    link:http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/08/trump-says-there-were-very-fine-people-on-both-sides-in-charlottesville/

    Trump Says There Were “Very Fine People on Both Sides” in Charlottesville
    At a press conference, the president refused to blame the violence on white nationalists and Nazis.

    ….“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right?” Trump also remarked. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

    The president appeared to criticize the movement to remove Confederate statues—wondering aloud how far proponents of the removals would go. “Was George Washington a slave owner?” he asked. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? What about Thomas Jefferson?”

    Well, it’s not so easy in the South. Public sector workers received death threats when word went out they were going to remove statues in Louisiana, and they had to do so at night, with snipers on tops of buildings to protect them.

    And in some Southern states, GOP legislators have made it illegal to remove them. They actually went out of their way to write laws saying you couldn’t.

    I was cheered to hear that Baltimore got rid of their four monuments last night and into this morning. Even in Blue State Maryland, it appeared they had to work at night, too.

    =============

    Well i just mean knocking down a statue doesn’t change things. Its symbolic and maybe it feels good, but it doesnt do anything to change the policies of corporate-capitalism. Ya know.

    I wont go as far as calling it a ‘distraction’ but its close.

    And anyway, even at the symbolic level i think it would be way better to LEAVE the statue and build another plaque or something next to it, that has some accurate information about the ‘hero’ in question. Educate.

    w
    v

    #72630
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    Well, it’s not so easy in the South. Public sector workers received death threats when word went out they were going to remove statues in Louisiana, and they had to do so at night, with snipers on tops of buildings to protect them.

    And in some Southern states, GOP legislators have made it illegal to remove them. They actually went out of their way to write laws saying you couldn’t.

    I was cheered to hear that Baltimore got rid of their four monuments last night and into this morning. Even in Blue State Maryland, it appeared they had to work at night, too.

    =============

    Well i just mean knocking down a statue doesn’t change things. Its symbolic and maybe it feels good, but it doesnt do anything to change the policies of corporate-capitalism. Ya know.

    I wont go as far as calling it a ‘distraction’ but its close.

    And anyway, even at the symbolic level i think it would be way better to LEAVE the statue and build another plaque or something next to it, that has some accurate information about the ‘hero’ in question. Educate.

    w
    v

    I can see that, WV. It is certainly an issue of “symbolism.” But we see and hear a lot of people who take those symbols very personally, and they’re powerful reminders to both “sides” of a world they either want to bring back, or a world they think should never rise again.

    It’s a tough one. I’m also conflicted on the tactics of counter-protest, too. I bumped into this article on bookforum.com, a very good aggregator of web articles.

    I don’t agree with all of it, by any means, but I think the author makes some very good points — food for thought, etc. And he wrote it roughly a week before the tragedy in C’ville.

    The Left’s Supporting Role in American Hate Theater White supremacists from the KKK to the alt-right hold rallies solely to troll liberals—and they’re succeeding. It’s time for a new resistance strategy. By Bob Moser August 7, 2017

    excerpt:

    On the second Saturday in July, more than 1,000 people showed up in a small Southern city to shout down the Ku Klux Klan. That very same afternoon, up North, left-wing counter-protesters chased a band of alt-right Proud Boys out of a public park where they’d tried to rally. It’s been like that throughout this Summer of Hate, fifty years removed from the so-called Summer of Love. Wherever they’ve tried to assemble, both old and new-school white supremacists have found themselves routinely outnumbered, outshouted, out-organized, and out-brawled by the left.

    It’s been a long time—almost half a century, in fact—since liberal America has been in a proper street-fighting mood. Peaceful nonviolence and “engaging in dialogue” are approximately as relevant in 2017 as LSD and Jefferson Airplane. And in many ways that’s a glorious thing. Liberal passivity—tolerating intolerance, reasoning with insanity—has unquestionably played a role in the rise of Donald Trump and the new, increasingly dangerous form of white supremacy that he’s inspired. It’s thrilling to meet force with force when the assholes come to town. Hell, it’s thrilling just to read the headlines. “KKK rally in Charlottesville met with throng of protesters” has an undeniably gleeful ring to it, especially when you’re reading it in USA Today.

    But there’s a downside, and a dark side, to the way we’re fighting back. By confronting both the various breeds of white supremacists with fury and violence, we’re giving them better media attention and recruitment tools than the worst of the worst could ever hope to muster for themselves.

    Charlottesville is a case in point. A largely liberal university town in central Virginia, it has mounted the single most impressive show of resistance in the country. A pitched battle over removing Confederate monuments and renaming Robert E. Lee Park had been raging for years before the city council voted in February to finally rid the city of the statues and rename the park. But even when the dispute was seemingly settled, it wasn’t; the haters wouldn’t let it die. Several dozen white nationalists led by self-promoting, Hitler-saluting dandy Richard Spencer and The Daily Caller’s resident fascist contributor, Jason Kessler, organized a torch-lit procession to the park in May, while the city was holding a multicultural festival nearby—a perfect opportunity for trolling IRL.

    #72631
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Well i just mean knocking down a statue doesn’t change things. Its symbolic and maybe it feels good, but it doesnt do anything to change the policies of corporate-capitalism. Ya know.

    In broad front alliance terms, you do everything, and support it all.

    So the women in computer tech who are forcing awareness about the sociology and pay of women in tech aren’t dismantling corporate capitalism either. But to me that doesn’t mean you dismiss it.

    The reason the statues go down is the same reason they went up. They went up as tributes to the old confederate south in the era of resisting civil rights. Meaning, they were about white supremacy. It’s the same with the confederate flag. The battle flag of the army of north virginia became a symbol of “the confederacy and its noble values” in the era of resistance to civil rights. Again, white supremacy. As such they are as symbols massively offensive to many people. I ain’t gonna tell them to settle down because I have some idea of how the left “really should be.”

    I don’t want to be a purist against dismantling that because it’s not an encompassing left movement dedicated at every level to resisting corporate capitalism.

    I think alliances are always more important than purism.

    #72632
    Billy_T
    Billy_T
    Participant

    Another way to look at it, which is where I usually sit on this issue . . . 99% of time:

    Those statues have no place on public land, because they indicate a kind of tacit endorsement by the state when they do exist there. They also have two major strikes against them:

    1. They represent an attack on the United States, by what was, ironically, a “foreign power.”

    2. That foreign power was a slaveocracy. Yes, the North made massive fortunes on the slave trade too, and capitalism, which was primarily financed out of Boston and New York at the time, extended the life of slavery in America long past its likely sell-by date. But the system of the South was basically an ur-fascist state, with slavery supporting it.

    The third strike is this:

    History is always being rewritten. What was important to one generation isn’t to another. We get into major trouble when we just sleep on the past, accept it as an inevitable part of the present and the future, and don’t put our own stamp on it . . . When we don’t decide how we want our world to be in the here and now, we capitulate to evil from the get go.

    Those statues aren’t and shouldn’t be important to us now. They hold no relevance, and we should condemn them in no uncertain terms because of 1 and 2. In my view, letting them remain on public land is akin to Germany having statues and symbols of the Nazis on public land.

    Btw, Baltimore tore its four monuments down last night and this morning. I think that’s pretty awesome, especially in the wake of C’ville.

    #72639
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    Well, I would not ‘dismiss’ the anti-statue protests. Or the anti-confed-flag protests. But I am concerned that the leftist movements or whatever we wanna call them, are spending a lot of time on symbolic stuff (because its easier) rather than on ‘structural’ stuff (cause its harder to do and harder to understand).

    But i would definitely not tell an activist ‘dont’ protest about statues or whatever. Inside my head, i would be shaking my head though.

    Essentially, i am saying the left is in a sad state. I dont think enough americans ‘get it’. The big picture, ie. I’m saying there has been a great failure. A failure of the left to educate and organize. Not enough leftists ‘get’ the corporotacracy. They ‘get’ the statue-issues.

    Im not ‘blaming’ people for this state of affairs. The people are a reflection of the power of the corporotacracy.

    I’m all for alliances. Maybe things will get better. Bernie’s popularity is indeed a sign of hope. The power of the DNC and the REP Party is a sign that hope is…a long shot. We shall bash on relentlessy though, anyway, wont we 🙂

    w
    v

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 22 hours ago by wv wv.
    #72681
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    The reason the statues go down is the same reason they went up. They went up as tributes to the old confederate south in the era of resisting civil rights. Meaning, they were about white supremacy.

    Regime Change in Charlottesville
    If you understand why that Civil War statue really went up, the debate over removing it looks a lot different.

    ADAM GOODHEART

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/16/regime-change-in-charlottesville-215500

    Statues are often among the first casualties of regime change. In July 1776, a mob of patriots attacked a statue of King George III that stood in Lower Manhattan, hacking it up to melt into bullets for the Continental Army.

    In April 2003, television networks around the world showed joyous Baghdad citizens toppling a gigantic bronze Saddam Hussein, providing an iconic image of the Iraqi dictator’s fall. (The U.S. military had delivered sledgehammers, rope, a large crane, manpower, the press pool and a great deal of encouragement — a story that didn’t fully come to light until many years later.)

    Sometimes the regime change takes a little longer. That’s how we should look at images of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson being lifted through the night sky in Baltimore; of protesters stomping on a Confederate soldier statue in Durham, North Carolina; and of “alt-right” battalions storming Charlottesville to rescue a doomed Lee memorial. It should also shape how we read President Donald Trump’s defiant response to the violence in Charlottesville.

    Just like in 1776 and 2003, the regime that’s toppling right now—or at least teetering—is the same one that built the monuments. But that regime isn’t the Confederate States of America, which was already toppled pretty conclusively back at Appomattox in 1865. The statues—like countless others across the South—were erected not under the stars and bars of the Confederacy, but instead under the stars and stripes of the United States.

    The current fight is only partly about the true meaning of the Civil War and the deeds or misdeeds of men in gray coats. Those statues went up for other reasons, and the argument today is about why we, as a nation—the reunited U.S.A.—put those monuments up in our public spaces in the first place. Most important now, it’s about why we have let them stay there for so long.

    * * *

    The statues in Charlottesville and Durham were both installed in the midst of a Confederate monument-building campaign that lasted for decades and took place long after the war it commemorated. In fact, both were unveiled in the very same month: May 1924.

    That’s more than coincidental. The Civil War was still not so distant: Any black Southerner over 60 had probably been born a slave. The last veterans were in their 80s and 90s, and their passing loosed a gush of “greatest generation”-style nostalgia in both North and South. Photographs of statue dedications on Confederate Memorial Day (still an official holiday in six Southern states) show white-mustachioed men in fading uniforms, holding ceremonial trowels.

    Perhaps equally relevant, though, are period photographs of more chilling celebrations: thousands of white-hooded men marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, and burning crosses at enormous gatherings in both North and South.

    In the early 1920s, America was in the grip of a huge revival of the Ku Klux Klan. Its recruits were responding partly to the growing movement for black civil rights, which had been emboldened by the millions of African-Americans who had contributed to the U.S. victory in World War I. Many native-born whites also felt threatened by the immigrants who were once again landing in large waves at Ellis Island—and competing for jobs in the tight postwar labor market. 1924 was the year of the infamous Immigration Act, which almost shut down entry for Jews, Italians, Greeks and other “undesirable” groups, while completely excluding everyone from an “Asiatic Barred Zone.”

    The 1920s Klan was itself a kind of Civil War re-enactment. The original organization of white-robed Confederate veterans had lain dormant since the Reconstruction era, but was revived by the Hollywood epic “The Birth of a Nation.” The new Klan was far larger and more pervasive, claiming as many as 5 million members. In Charlottesville, a newspaper reported that the local chapter “numbers among its members many of our able and influential citizens, and it is here to stay.” In Durham, a local “Grand Dragon” made headlines in April 1924 when he spoke before an audience of more than a thousand people in nearby Raleigh. The Grand Dragon—who made no effort to hide his identity under a hood—also happened to be a judge on the North Carolina superior court.

    Nationally, too, the Klan was flexing its political muscle, with both of the major parties steeling themselves for controversy at their upcoming presidential nominating conventions. At the Democratic one, in New York, conservatives defeated a platform resolution condemning recent Klan violence, winning by three votes. Hundreds of triumphant delegates joined a vast crowd of hooded celebrants at a cross-burning rally known as “the Klanbake.” This is the context in which one Southern city after another erected statues to the heroes of a war that had ended 60 years earlier.

    The springtime dedications of Confederate statues in Charlottesville and Durham weren’t like those rallies: No hooded Klansmen marched. That was part of their implicit appeal. The Confederate nostalgia embodied in the statues offered a soft-serve version of racial domination, one whose public image involved girls in white dresses laying bouquets of flowers, not men in white sheets burning crosses. The hard-liners, robes off, joined the celebrations. So did the moderate, pro-business boosters of the New South, some of whom publicly condemned the Klansmen as “terrorists,” while pointing out that “only” 16 Americans were lynched in 1924, down from 57 in 1922. Dreamy images of Southern sentimentalism set plenty of hearts aflutter among white Northerners, too, and in the national press.

    What Confederate monuments offered, by framing their purpose as a familiar lionization of war heroes, was a kind of white supremacism that everyone could rally around. (In a few communities, organizers went so far as to recruit a few handpicked African-Americans to march at the back of the parade.) It also laid claim to a history that didn’t belong to the new immigrants: If the Civil War was truly America’s defining moment, what did it mean if your family hadn’t been there?

    But the monument builders’ vision wasn’t backward-looking and parochial—quite the opposite. It was to build a triumphant American future on the ideas that had been defeated in the war. At the Charlottesville statue’s dedication, one of the two keynote speakers extolled Lee as “the idol of every Southern heart—aye, of every human heart, North and South, East and West.” Gazing up at a Confederate flag that flew nearby, he hailed it as “that starry flag of the world’s heart and hope, that shall yet float in universal triumph over land and sea.” The other keynoter called Lee “an ideal of a whole land” who “symbolized the future.”

    Those two speakers weren’t Grand Dragons of the KKK: They were the presidents of Washington and Lee University and the University of Virginia. Both institutions barred African-Americans. And not only were Charlottesville’s public schools segregated in 1924, the town didn’t even have a high school for black citizens: Authorities considered a ninth-grade education sufficient.

    Monuments mark public spaces like dogs mark trees: This place is ours, they say. It is no accident that the Durham statue, like so many others in county seats across the South, was installed in front of the courthouse—a place where sentences were decreed. Such sentences weren’t always handed down by judges and juries. Throughout the long, awful saga of mass lynchings in America, mobs treated courthouse lawns as ideal places to make public statements. In front of a Texas courthouse in May 1922, a crowd of whites tied a young black man to a stake and burned him alive.

    Even Southern leaders who condemned such barbarity made it clear that they weren’t speaking up for black civil rights. After a 1919 lynching not far from Durham, the governor of North Carolina admonished citizens: “All the power and all the processes of the law are in the hands of white men, and yet this mob savagely denied to a helpless negro prisoner the right to stand before a white judge and a white jury and receive a white man’s justice.”

    That was the power structure that the monument builders expected to endure. When one of the Charlottesville speakers closed his address with an image of the statue’s enduring place among future generations—“here it shall stand during the ages at the center of their lives”—he wasn’t talking about the 1860s. He was talking about us.

    * * *

    When has America not faced a critical moment in its history of racial strife? Practically every year out of the past 400 can be tagged with one dismal milestone or another. The citizens of Baltimore installed their monuments in 1887 (blacks barred from major league baseball), 1903 (new Jim Crow laws and voting disenfranchisement across the South), 1917 (white mobs in East St. Louis kill 40 African-Americans, launching a six-year nationwide spree of race riots), 1948 (Strom Thurmond’s “Dixiecrats” leave the Democratic Party and nominate him for president).

    White dominion has hardly vanished in 21st-century America. Just look at a roster of corporate CEOs, or Trump appointees, or congressional leadership in both parties. Every year still has its dismal milestones. Yet for the past half-century or so, each year has brought happier milestones as well, most notably 2008, with the election of an African- American president.

    As the nation grows browner and browner, the fantasy of white supremacist unanimity—the dream that placed those marble Confederates across the South—seems increasingly far-fetched. The justice dispensed in American courthouses and prisons is still a long way from race-blind: When black defendants stand before white judges, as they usually do, they often receive disproportionately harsh sentences. But today, sometimes, white defendants stand before black judges, too, a scenario that would have been unthinkable in 1924.

    Trump’s presidency is a kind of rearguard action for an America that used to be; his whole campaign promised a “greater,” whiter America that looks a lot like 1924. The right-wing extremists’ chant in Charlottesville, “You will not replace us,” captures his entire political message in five words. So it should be no surprise when he reflexively defends Confederate monuments and suggests that Lee and Jackson are no different from Washington and Jefferson—ignoring the fact that two of those built the nation, and the other two fought to rip it apart.

    Nor is it so surprising that anti-racism activists, seeking to keep the momentum rolling in the face of major setbacks, should try to gain ground by toppling the surviving monuments of white supremacy.

    The statues have stayed up for so long because, like so many other features of our everyday landscape, they became so familiar that we hardly even noticed they were there. Some might say the same thing happened with white supremacy: pervasive, familiar, and—at least to many whites—invisible.

    Ironically, today’s white supremacist defense of Confederate monuments—and the president’s support—will likely hasten their demise. When neo-Nazis with torches rally around old statues, they highlight precisely the thing their sponsors in the 1920s were trying to veil with history. Suddenly those statues are no longer invisible features of the American landscape. Literally or figuratively, they’re silhouetted against a backdrop of flames.

    Less extreme nationalists who defend the statues—including Trump—are likewise doing themselves no favors. If they’re arguing for the inherent superiority of “Western civilization” and the purity of America’s democratic heritage, do they really want to take selfies alongside guys who led a massive pro-slavery insurrection against the United States, killing three quarters of a million people in the process?

    If toppling Confederate statues is indeed part of a long, super-slow-motion regime change, that’s reason for optimism, no matter what the president says. Will the removals in Baltimore, Durham and Charlottesville ultimately look like the one in Baghdad, which didn’t deliver what it promised? Or will it resemble the hacking-up of King George, which heralded a lasting, if still imperfect, revolution? Maybe it’s too soon to say. But my money’s still on 1776.

    #72721
    zn
    zn
    Moderator

    Regime Change in Charlottesville
    If you understand why that Civil War statue really went up, the debate over removing it looks a lot different.

    ==

    More on this:

    ===

    Did Confederate symbols gain prominence in the civil rights era?

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2017/aug/15/joy-reid/did-confederate-symbols-gain-prominence-civil-righ/

    A major catalyst in the run up to the deadly clashes in Charlottesville, Va., was the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

    As the nation reeled from the violence, some political analysts sought to place Confederate symbolism in a broader historical context to help explain the turmoil around the Aug. 11-12 weekend.

    “The idea of putting up (Confederate) monuments actually didn’t happen right after the Civil War. It happened during the 1960s,” MSNBC analyst Joy Reid said on NBC’s Meet The Press, Aug. 13, 2017.

    Reid went on to say that Confederate symbols were political statements aimed at African-Americans.

    American history features two periods when Confederate symbolism spiked: around the turn of the 20th century and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. As a group, most Confederate statues went up in the earlier period.

    Early 20th century: Confederate monuments multiply

    A sharp uptick in the construction of Confederate monuments took place from the late 1890s up to about 1920. That’s according to a Southern Poverty Law Center study that took a nationwide inventory of the more than 1,500 Confederate symbols in public spaces.

    This chart from the study shows the increased pace of construction around the turn of the 20th century, with blue dots signifying monuments on courthouse grounds, red dots indicating other sites (including monuments) and green dots representing schools.

    Several cross-currents explain the explosion of Confederate symbolism in this period.

    This was an era of generational change during which Civil War veterans, dying of old age, were venerated by their children and grandchildren, experts told us.

    “Organizations like the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans came into being,” said Charles S. Bullock, III, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Georgia. “Civil War veterans were honored in parades. There is a Confederate Memorial Day which pre-dates the National Memorial Day.”

    But as a victorious North fixed its gaze on a prosperous future, the American South was mired in poverty that would persist for generations. The monuments were a way to look back to an idealized past.

    “Tributes to the Confederacy — placing statues, naming streets and other public facilities — were part of the Lost Cause ideology that focused on an idyllic era of stately mansions, beautiful women and gallant Confederate officers,” Bullock said.

    But the monuments also implicitly symbolized slavery and white violence, the experts said.

    “On the surface, they were memorials to the Confederacy and their heroes,” said Karen L. Cox, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. “Yet, they were also built during a period of racial violence and strong beliefs about Anglo-Saxon (i.e. white) supremacy.”

    “The fact that they were placed on the grounds of county and state courthouses was intentional,” she added. “The message: white men are in charge.”

    The period between 1890-World War I saw whites reassert control over the South by enforcing Jim Crow laws, taking control of southern governments and systematically disenfranchising and disempowering African-Americans, said Jonathan Leib, a professor of geography and chair of the department of political science and geography at Old Dominion University.

    Racial segregation also got a major endorsement at the federal level during this era. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson which upheld the constitutionality of state laws that racially segregated public facilities that were “separate but equal.” (Nearly 60 years passed before the Court would declare such segregation “inherently unequal.”)

    “This was also a moment when the nation itself began to repair the wounds of the late war by agreeing on the inferiority of African Americans,” said Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School. “Racial segregation became the law and custom of the nation at precisely the moment when many of these monuments were built.”

    Another monument born roughly of this era, a statue of Robert E. Lee installed in Charlottesville in 1924, now figures as a present-day flashpoint.

    Civil rights era: Confederate flag gains prominence

    The second period when Confederate symbols exploded was the civil rights era.

    But it was the Confederate flag — not monuments — that gained prominence during this time, as Reid later clarified in an email to PolitiFact and in a Aug. 15 appearance on MSNBC.

    The flag became a symbol of opposition to desegregation.

    “It was the choice to fly Confederate flags, more so than the building of new statutes, on government property that became a popular show of resistance during the civil rights era,” Muhammad said. He added the decision to fly the flag was a clear sign of protest against the federal government’s growing enforcement of civil rights.

    It was during this era when the Ku Klux Klan came to embrace the Confederate flag, notes the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Reid said, “the idea of putting up (Confederate) monuments actually didn’t happen right after the Civil War. It happened during the 1960s.” She added that Confederate symbols were political statements aimed at African-Americans.

    Reid’s comment that Confederate symbols are political statements aimed at African-Americans is backed up by history, say experts.

    But she is wrong that Confederate monuments were built during the civil rights era. Roughly 75 percent were erected before then, according to a comprehensive study of Confederate symbolism. It was during the civil rights era that the Confederate flag gained prominence, which she later clarified.

    #72810
    wv
    wv
    Participant

    anderson cooper

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed.