Charlottesville über alles | THE POLITICUS

Charlottesville über alles

Whoa! Look at all them white people!
Frederick Douglass
Think about this for minute: Robert E. Lee was an American traitor who waged war against his own country. President Lincoln asked him to lead the Union Army in the Spring of 1861, but Lee opted to fight for the treasonous Confederacy. He led an army of millions in a war against the United States, a war in which 624,000 human beings lost their lives. I don't know about you, but where I come from they would label someone like that as a "terrorist". Would you like it if some committee erected a statue of Osama bin Laden in your town square? He killed far less Americans on September 11, 2001 than Bobby Lee did at the Battle of Gettysburg! The Park in Charlottesville, Virginia where his soon-to-be-removed statues stands conspicuously on a pedestal no longer bears his name. It is now called "Emancipation Park". It is my opinion that they should replace the statue of Robert E. Lee with one of Abraham Lincoln - or better still - Frederick Douglass - the same Frederick Douglass that Donald Trump said was doing such "great work".

Yesterday was a day to remember - that I'm trying to forget. The capper on the day of the worst racist riot on American soil in generations was when some psychotic little bozo named James Alexander Fields plowed his automobile at full speed into a crowd of hundreds, injuring twenty-seven and killing a young woman. Given the temper of the times in which we live, I have no doubt that the fool believed he would get an instant pardon from Donald Trump. This carnage occurred all in the name of - WHAT? - "White nationalism". You see, some of the heirs of the Confederacy seriously believe that their rights are being taken away from them; they are saying that they want to "take their country back". And they view the removal of Lee's statue as a violation of their Southern heritage.



Sour puss Taney

Embarrassing as this is for me to admit, I, too, possess some of this heritage. There is a rancid branch in my family tree that contains a few people who fought for dear ol' Dixie. Worse still, one of my forebears, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, wrote the Dred Scott Decision, the most despicable and deservedly maligned supreme court decision in the history of Idiot Nation. At the moment I learned that the statue of Robert E. Lee was going to be yanked away from the formerly named Lee Park, I didn't become unglued; I didn't start jabbering about "white nationalism"; I didn't attack the first black person who came across my path with a baseball bat; I didn't shout slogans popularized by the Nazis eighty years ago - and I certainly didn't plow my jeep into a crowd of complete strangers. I merely sighed softly to myself and said out loud, "What took them so long?" I reacted very maturely. You'd have been proud of me!

FUN FACT: In June of 1963, President Kennedy reacted to the civil rights upheaval of his day with an address delivered from the Oval Office - in primetime - to the people of the United States. That speech is remembered today as one of the greatest presidential orations of this once-great country.

How did Donald Trump react to the turmoil of his time and place?

With a midday tweet.

In his statement, Trump (I can no longer bear to refer to him as "the president") said that the violence yesterday in Charlottesville came from "many sides". That's not true. While there might have been a few of the people protesting the presence of organized racists who fought back in self defense, the violence was instigated by the white supremacists (some of whom were openly donning Nazi insignia). Trump, who has never been shy about hurling invective at anyone, refused to condemn racism and hatred. He doesn't dare upset what's left of his unmovable and loyal base of supporters. I know, it would have been nice to see him become a human being and finally admit that hatred of other human beings is wrong ad had no place in the United States of America. It would have reminded me of the final scene in Chaplin's Great Dictator where the humble Jewish barber is mistaken for the feared leader and proceeds to give a speech, imploring humanity to be more merciful toward one another:

 

"Soldiers!!! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke it is written that the kingdom of God is within man - not in one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power! The power to create machines! The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful - to make this life a wonderful adventure! Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite! Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security."


Don't ever expect anything as inspiring as that to come from the mouth or mind of Donald J. Trump. Nine months ago the American people stupidly elected this unenlightened, unhinged, common pervert to the most powerful office in the world. We're getting exactly what we deserve. We deserve no better.

Yesterday I was visiting my onetime girlfriend in Cornwall, NY. As is her unfortunate habit, she was getting the latest bulletins on the carnage in Virginia from Fox Noise (She voted for Trump but I still love her).  Over an hour after the mass vehicular assault, they were still referring to the incident as a "car accident". I would imagine that most of the mass of halfwits and megalomaniacs who participated in the festivities yesterday in Charlottesville also get their news from Fox. I'm told in a few articles I've read recently that that organization is beginning to wither on the vine. If only I could believe it.

I also would like to believe that yesterday's man-made catastrophe in Charlottesville, Virginia was merely a one-time freak show that will not be repeated any time soon. I don't think that is the case. We're living in Donald Trump's America now.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

SUGGESTED VIEWING:

The Great Dictator
A film by Charles Chaplin

One of the great comedy masterpieces of the twentieth century.

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