What to Notice About Charlottesville and Its Aftermath: The Good, the Bad, and the Predictable

By Persephone

Yes, it’s been more than a week since there was a White Nationalist, KKK, and Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Technically, they were there to protest the upcoming removal of a Robert E. Lee statue commemorating the Southern side of the Civil War.  The counterprotestors for this movement far outnumbered the Nazis, and one of said Nazis ran a car into the crowd of counterprotestors.  Nineteen people were injured, and one woman–Heather Heyer–died.  I should have responded immediately, but I sort of wanted to stand back and see how everyone else was reacting.  Here’s what I’ve noticed…

THE PREDICTABLE:

For some reason, the fact that Trump’s a racist has surprised people.  HOW??  When Trump first came out after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, he said that there was “blame on many sides,” clearly diverting blame from the neo-Nazis to those protesting Nazis.  Oddly enough, people freaked out over this blase attitude.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around their disbelief.  President Cheeto’s list of didn’t-mentions that day was extensive: he didn’t list the hate groups by name, he didn’t condemn the act of violence, and he didn’t even say the victim’s name.  To anyone who had been paying attention to Trump’s presidency, this should hardly have been a surprise.  He’s a coward with an incessant need for praise, and the White Nationalists were out there praising him that day.  The counter-protesters sure weren’t.  So, therefore, he wasn’t going to say anything strong against the racist bigots because they’re his peeps.  On the following Monday, he finally named them in a short 4-minute segment, condemning their actions, but he blew even that decency out of the water the following day when he backtracked at a rambling press conference.  Because, with Trump, every press conference is rambling.

THE GOOD:

The removal of multiple Confederate monuments.  While I honestly don’t care about the Confederacy statues and what they stood for, as I grew up around such things all my life in Oklahoma and the South in general, I can see why multiple special interest groups have wanted them down.  I’ve heard several conservatives ask why these statues are such a big deal all of a sudden, so I keep responding with one particular sentiment.  These statues have always been a big deal; it’s just now that city councils and states are starting to accept the removal thereof.  After all the bad publicity of the Confederacy last week, it’s hardly surprising that so many monuments are getting the fast-track to the dump.  The Confederacy was a five year period in which the South decided that maintaining the dehumanizing act of slavery was more important than their patriotism, yet we have hundreds of monuments commemorating their efforts.  Slavery lasted for hundreds of years, yet we gloss over that aspect of our history.

Charities are backing out of events scheduled at Mar-a-Lago.  I was more surprised to discover that anyone still booked Mar-a-Lago for events, but hey.  Better late than never, I guess.  I hope President Cheeto loses a lot of business.

The size of the White Nationalist movement itself.  Not only is this movement even smaller than I’d believed–there were just a few hundred people protesting in Charlottesville–but there are very few women in this movement.  It is primarily made up of white men in their 20s and 30s.  You know–the spoiled brats of society.  They’re upset that not everything has been handed to them, so it’s easier to blame the Jews (because clearly there’s so many of them around) and other races than recognize that life isn’t easy for anybody.  What makes them so special?  I would like to point out how oogy it is that several have suggested that they wouldn’t mind forming an all-white society with a polygamous family base.  That’s right, folks.  Despite their inability to get even one wife, they think they’re all entitled to two or three or more.  Icky.

Tina Fey’s idea of “sheetcaking.”  If you haven’t heard about this, you really need to watch this sequence.

How late night comedians have responded.  Many set aside the jokes and the commentary for a short time to just hash the seriousness of the situation with the right amount of quiet contemplation that’s very much needed right now.  Seth Meyers was particularly poignant.

Steve Bannon is now no longer an official member of the Trump administration.  ‘Bout time.  Although his removal from office lacked the scandalous fanfare we’ve grown used to in this administration.  It’s hard to compete with the Mooch!

On Saturday, several conservative, White Nationalist rallies were scheduled throughout the U.S.  Their numbers were small.  The numbers of the counterprotestors were not.  The pictures from Boston’s protest were quite good fun.

THE UGLY:

White Supremacists, the KKK, and Nazis exist in the United States.  They aren’t just trolls on the internet anymore.  I cannot emphasize how dangerous this is.  People I work with have mentioned sympathy for their plight, and this is unsettling.  If you sympathize for White Nationalists because you feel the elitist hippies are being too mean via twitter, then you really should sit back and take stock of your priorities.  It’s always okay to condemn Nazis.  They have nothing positive to offer anyone.  That’s the one group that should always be oppressed.

Worst of all, someone died.  There’s no glossing over that.

 

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