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Update: The T-D reports this morning that Bowling has withdrawn his permit request: “I do not want to be part of an event where people are hurt or killed.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.