The Basest of the Base

There will, of course, be other Nazi-nationalist rallies peopled mostly by men, angry and white. Maybe there will be more Heather Heyers, victims of home-grown and home-nourished terrorism, victims of a redundancy: hate and Tr-mpism. Maybe more cops will die trying to manage the hostility created by gun- and shield-wielding white supremacists, terrorists who by their very behavior betray the stupidity of their centuries-old claim. Maybe Tr-mp will again try to play a sick game of avoiding placing the blame where it belongs, on the basest of his debased base—the deplorables.

Image result for violence in charlottesvilleWe can be sure there will be more turmoil because the fight in this case, as in all the others like it, is over the perceived loss of white identity, which is really the expected and inevitable loss of white cultural privilege. The perception of those losses will only intensify over time among those who fear a browning horizon, who fear a population wishing to move past the sins of our forefathers by removing monuments to stubborn ignorance, monuments to the sin of our slavery-condoning past—monuments to treason.

This latest terrorist attack was connected to a plan to relocate a statue of Robert E. Lee that stands in a park in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Back in May of this year, a vocal Tr-mp supporter named Richard Spencer appeared at a more peaceful protest of the removal and relocation and stated the case of the hopelessly hateful:

We will not be replaced from this world. Whites have a future. We have a future of power, of beauty, of expression.

It should be noted that Robert E. Lee had no real connection to the city of Charlottesville. The statue was donated to the city in 1924, at a time when white people desperately wanted to send a message to African-Americans that they were, and would remain, second-class “citizens.” This period was the high-water mark for the Ku Klux Klan. As History.com notes,

At its peak in the 1920s, Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide.

Thus, there is a nexus in some white minds between monuments to Lee and white supremacy, even if many of those white minds try to hide behind the excuse that “it’s our history,” and that “revisionists” want to alter the historical record. I know this because more than six years ago I wrote a piece titled, “Robert E. Lee And The Romance Of Rebellion.” In that short piece, which featured a lively discussion in the comment section, I wrote:

I have always wondered why it is that so many people considered Robert E. Lee a hero, this disloyal Union officer who betrayed his country, who owned slaves and led men into battle to preserve the right of white men to buy and sell black families like cattle.

I ended that post with this:

I don’t think you will find many statues of Erwin Rommel in Germany, or visit any Erwin Rommel High Schools, but in the American South, there are plenty of monuments to Robert E. Lee.

One has to wonder why that is.

Now, one has to wonder why the relocation of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a traitor to his country, is worth taking the life of a 32-year-old girl, who was in Charlottesville to protest a racist “Unite the Right” rally, and who, her mother said, “always had a very strong sense of right and wrong” and “was very caught up in what she believed to be fair.”

And one has to wonder why a man pretending to be the President of the United States, cannot condemn—by name—the movement that killed Heather Heyer, or the movement whose racist rally led to the death of two state troopers. His first instinct was to muddy the moral waters with a false equivalence between the Nazis and those who opposed them. (By tomorrow, he likely will have a more sober and civilized response, having been shamed into it by nearly every ethically sane man and woman in America.)

In truth, one doesn’t have to wonder about Tr-mp’s strange non-condemnation of white supremacy. In December of 2015, Politico published an article (“White supremacist groups see Trump bump“) that began this way:

The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Tr-mp as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Tr-mp traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s.

Not quite a year later, many white supremacists celebrated Tr-mp’s hiring Steve Bannon to be his White House Chief Strategist. Bannon is, at the very least, a white nationalist, as the University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato pointed out today on CNN, saying Tr-mp should “fire all the white nationalists on his staff, starting with Steve Bannon.”

Yesterday afternoon, after Tr-mp spoke about the tragic events in Charlottesville, a terrorism-supporting freak from the racist, anti-Semitic alt-right wrote:

Tr-mp comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us.

He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!

So he implied the antifa are haters.

There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.

He said he loves us all.

Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.

No condemnation at all.

When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.

Really, really good.

God bless him.

God? God bless him? Is this Radical Christian Terrorism? You be the judge. But before you judge, consider what that same right-wing Nazi freak wrote recently:

…whatever you think of Christianity, it was the glue that bound white people together as a single race.

And whatever you think of Christianity, the best society you can live in is a White Christian society.

That sociopath who praised Tr-mp for refusing to specifically condemn people like him is named Andrew Anglin. And he just published a piece about the victim of the terrorists in Charlottesville titled (I won’t link to it),

Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut

He said:

Despite feigned outrage by the media, most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness. A 32-year-old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value.

These are the people Tr-mp protects with his sickening silence. And if we are supposed to call those militant zealots who are very loosely connected to mainstream Muslim faith “radical Islamic terrorists”—and Tr-mp insists very loudly they are—then Andrew Anglin qualifies as a radical Christian terrorist, even if he doesn’t consider himself “especially religious.”

Whatever he is, we know he is a Tr-mp supporter. And Tr-mp knows it, too.

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  August 13, 2017

    Duane,

    I often wondered to what era in American history, the vulgarian in the White House was referring to with his slogan of “Make America Great Again”. What we saw this weekend was no less vile than the Jim Crow laws of the sixties. I assume that is the time period referred to with the dog whistles. Considering the vagina grabber’s vocabulary and character, It certainly wasn’t the eloquence or honor of our founding fathers.

    This weekend my mind recalled being an eleven-year old boy in 1967, and watching as a decorated Master Sergeant from WWII, was referred to as a “nigger” by a drunken farmer. The farmer was not as successful in his business as was the person he insulted. The farmer certainly wasn’t the better human being, but felt entitled to do so because the honorable man couldn’t even drink from the same water fountain.

    At that age, I was too afraid to speak up, but that certainly doesn’t excuse my silence during the seventies and eighties. We all have heard the jokes, slurs, and dehumanizing remarks and failed to condemn them loudly and publicly. Any white person born in the last century, has had racism institutionally instilled in their mind, and even if self-aware remain a prisoner of their sub-conscious. Becoming the erstwhile racist is extremely challenging.

    That the lunatic running the asylum has increased the numbers of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, or sub-humans public displays to levels not seen since the 1960’s is an affront to civilization. To not publicly denounce these groups and to cast blame on counter-protesters is beneath contempt. The GOP is unable to consider its own racism, and is destroying any progress made over the last 50 years.

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  2. Charlottesville is evidence that presidential leadership matters. It’s interesting to reflect on past instances when Presidents’ statements were anodyne, predictable, but they served a purpose. Now we are seeing the result of the absence of leadership, the ugliness boiling up. Ben Franklin was right, the best constitution in the world cannot substitute for having good people in charge.

    …there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered.”

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    • You are so right, Jim.

      I confess I never realized just how much our system of government depends on the personal integrity of our only nationally-elected leader (technically speaking, in Tr-mp’s case), no matter what party or ideology he represents. If he (or someday she) lacks integrity, there is little the system can do, except impeach him. And with impeachment obviously off the table, Tr-mp continues to debase our democracy and do lasting and perhaps irreparable damage to our long-term prospects of e pluribus unum.

      The fact that Tr-mp had to be dragged kicking and screaming to denouncing Nazis and white supremacists (but only after first patting himself on the back for his non-existent economic successes) tells us a lot. The fact that he wouldn’t call them terrorists or tell them he did not want their support tells us the rest.

      Duane

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  3. Brother Charles Pierce, the keeper of Esquire‘s Politics blog, was on more fire than usual in his Saturday column:

    Every Republican who ever played footsie with the militias out west owns this bloodshed.

    Every Republican who ever spoke to, or was honored by, the Council of Conservative Citizens and/or the League of the South owns this bloodshed.

    Every Republican administration that ever went out of its way to hire Pat Buchanan, and every TV executive who ever cut him a check, and every Republican who voted for him in 1992, and everyone who ever has pretended his views differed substantially from the ones in the streets this weekend, owns this bloodshed.

    Every Republican president—actually, there’s only one—who began a campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to talk about states rights, and who sent his attorney general into court to fight for tax exemptions for segregated academies, owns this bloodshed.

    Every Republican who ever played footsie with the militias out west owns this bloodshed.
    Every Republican politician who followed the late Lee Atwater into the woods in search of poisoned treasure owns this bloodshed.

    Every conservative journalist who saw this happening and who encouraged it, or ignored it, or pretended that it wasn’t happening, owns this bloodshed.

    And if Preston Brooks Anson is reading these comments: this is what I mean by saying that if you supported Nixon, or Reagan, or Bush the Younger, you supported Him, Trump whether you realize it or not. I discordially invite you to own your sh-t or get off the pot.

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    • Austin,

      Love me some Charlie Pierce. Thanks for posting that.

      It’s funny. On my walk this morning I was thinking of Pat Buchanan. I still have a donor envelope from his 1992 campaign, which I am ashamed to admit I supported (that’s just one reason why this blog was originally “A Blog of Repentance”).

      What I was thinking was how Pat Buchanan has since his Nixon days attempted to intellectualize (a marginally softer form of, arguably) what we saw this past weekend. He wasn’t the only writer or thinker on the right doing that, but he was the most prominent. It’s no surprise that he is a Tr-mp supporter today.

      When I was a crazy right-winger, it wasn’t Buchanan’s racism and anti-Semitism that appealed to me (William Buckley attacked him for the latter), but his willingness to call out establishment Republicans for, believe it or not, being too “liberal” on too many issues. As I said, I am ashamed to admit I was part of that movement. In some ways, the person I was then, a Christian dittohead to the core, seems like a stranger to me. And the fact that I moved away from that extremism gives me some faint hope for others who are, like I was, trapped into a mode of thinking that was often tied to a form of Christianity that Jesus the craftsman would not recognize (although the Jesus of Revelation might). Others just support the extremists out of tribal loyalty, which is in some ways harder to abandon.

      In any case, thanks again for passing on Charlie Pierce’s thoughts.

      Duane

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  August 16, 2017

    Duane,

    I was going to withhold comments on this one until Loomis, whoever the f…. he is, wrote ” I discordially invite you to own your sh-t or get off the pot.” So here goes.

    There were at least four groups involved in the tragedy of Charlottesville. I begin with the “normal” ones, the people that thought, let’s go see this one and MAY have had some sentiments to keep the statue in place. Not racists, people wanting slavery back, bigots, etc. Just “normal” people, watching and listening but for their own reasons felt that a statue for a long ago hero to those folks should continue to be displayed, publicly in THEIR town. Admiring Robert E. Lee, the general or even the man, is NOT a call for the return to slavery for God’s sake.

    Second was the permitted holders of the rally. I detest their “cause”, period. BUT despite such disregard for whatever they might say, there is the simple matter of peaceful, free speech, spoken by skin heads or not. Bann them and then justify to me NOT banning a BLM group with a list of slogans I could write about at length but won’t. I detest that group, along with New Black Panthers as well. Sure we can disagree on that particular point, peacefully, but that is my view and it won’t change much, against such groups on either side, but still with all groups having the right to peacefully state their views, like them or not being totally irrelevant.

    Then there was the expected student, Antifa, BLM crowd that was unpermitted but expected to show up, particularly in a “university town”. Sure some of them were “normal” people but wanted to show opposition against the expected message. Fine, let them protest, peacefully with their own signs, statements, speakers, etc. But “attack” others, no way.

    Should we now argue who, exactly, threw the first punch???? Treat it like a football game and through both of them out of the game or into jail, in my book at least!!

    Then there was “government”, the cops primarily whose job was to “protect and defend” EVERYONE, which they failed, miserably, to do.

    Why? They said they were “unprepared”. My God, did they not think that such a riot would erupt in their midst if the (generally speaking) “alt-right and radical left” went to the same city square at the same time to confront one another with extreme hatred and disdain on both sides against the other?

    As well “‘government” (The mayor) said it was ALL Trump’s fault. It was ultimately the mayor’s job to protect and serve his own community which he and the cops obviously failed to do (just like Ferguson anyone?) and then he turns around and blames someone else!!!! He should hang his own head in shame for allowing the two gangs to come within a city block of each other, whatever it might take to prevent them from exploding into the each other.

    Think of it this way, if you can. Anyone that goes to a rally of any sort with face masks, pepper spray, baseball bats or God forbid a legally or illegally carried side arm is just WRONG, nuts, you name it. THEY are just looking for a fight and someone on the other side is more than willing to accommodate them. Tribalism at its worse, from BOTH sides, damnit.

    I would only ask you and your readers to carefully consider, “what if…..” What if two groups that really hate each other want to express their views against the other group in a public demonstration, call it a “petition to the government” if you will. Do you agree that each group has a legal, first amendment right to do so, but hopefully one at a time, not at the same time?

    Whose job might it be to prevent one group from attacking the other or better yet both groups having at it simultaneously. The rule of law bears that responsibility. Well the rule of law was totally absent from both groups and the cops inadequate preparation for what was sure to happen once the two groups got close to each other.

    So my take on Charlottesville was different from yours. The alt-right AND the radical left caused chaos (which neither should have done) and the “government” was unprepared for such chaos. Death and other mayhem happened, almost and unfortunately expected in today’s divided America. There is NO good side/bad side to this tragedy. Everyone except “normal” citizens that were interested in what might happen to be said and got the hell out of the way when all hell broke lose should be held blameless. Everyone else, well despicable I say to all of them, period.

    And no I don’t try to make a moral equivalency argument, all three groups being “wrong” but one more “wrong” (or not as “bad” as) than the other. A pox on all of them in my book without trying to make excuses for any one group. I guess that is why I don’t like ANY political party either, call it “equal disdain” if you like for both of them!!! Why cannot we get back to actual admiration for both parties or sides, acknowledging each has positive things to offer but having a “preference” (only) for one side or the other. It has been a very long time since American politics worked that way, at least on the surface, which today boils with indignation (and hatred and utter disdain, vitrolic rhetoric and all just looking for a really big fight) from both sides.

    As for Trump, he just did it again. He first “wanted” (probably) to blast the radical left, but withheld fire and just said “everyone” was wrong. He then blasted the alt-right, sort of but still alluded to “others” which drove any good lefty crazy. He then went back again and blamed……….? I stopped listening to his statements BEFORE he made the first one. I just knew he was really going to piss someone off, inept as he is in such matters. Call that another tremendous, unforgivable failure of leadership, again, and again from Trump.

    Other than a nightly dose of PBS News Hour, usually, I have turned off most of the rest with a pox on all of them, right, left, brilliant, crazy, you name it. I guess I now have a new category, “Loomis-like”. Wonder if he has any relationship to “Jane’s Reaction”!!!

    Anson

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  August 17, 2017

    Duane, again,

    When I checked in here this morning I fully expected all hell to be launched against my views. Surprisingly there was no rebuttal.

    I read Elliot Denniston’s LTTE in today’s Globe as well. I responded, politely to that with my own LTTE just submitted to Carol. I pasted it herein to perhaps more clearly express where I stand, today. Here it is:

    BOTH SIDES OR ONE SIDE?

    I share Elliot Denniston’s view (Globe, August 17) that what happened in Charlottesville was “un-American” but I don’t pick sides in the matter as he did. The actions taken by both sides violated the rule of law when they clashed against one another.

    As well the “government” (police AND the Mayor) was unprepared to prevent the clash in the first place. That failure to maintain law and order must be addressed as well. Why were police so unprepared becomes an important question that I have yet to see addressed or even criticized for that matter.

    Make no mistake, the thinking of White Supremacists is terrible (or pick another word if you like). I utterly reject such thinking in every way I can imagine. I too would protest against such thinking but I would do so legally, without violence or incitement to violence. I would join the group of women, mostly white women, seen in videos that were there to pray and otherwise peacefully reject the premises of the legally permitted group’s ideas. That is about as American as one could hope for in a normal world.

    But America is not normal today. It is as divided, on many subjects, as I have ever seen in 75 years. Such a wide chasm between the two sides, call it radical left and alt-right if you will, is far wider and thus, now, more prone to violence as ever before, approaching if not at the similar divide prior to our Civil War.

    No one should ever show up at a rally, protest, mob assembly, call it what you like, wearing face masks, jack boots, helmets, carrying a club or clubs or God forbid a legally permitted or not, gun. Do so and the other side will do the same and accommodate your actions as well. Go looking for a fight and you will find one in today’s divided America.

    I also agree with Mr. Denniston that it is easy (for me at least) to make a moral equivalency argument against White Supremacy, Neo-Nazism or other words you may choose versus those that seek equality. But when those seeking equality start beating anyone with a club they have violated the rule of OUR laws and thus must be rejected for their actions as well, morally or legally, in my view.

    Politically today I also reject both sides actions, left versus right, or worse, radical left versus alt-right. A pox on both your camps I say but will never defend that view with a club. Having read and met Mr. Denniston I know the two of us could also sit down and discuss solutions, without clubs, four letter words or coming to the meeting as described above. That is American, for sure, or damn well should be so.

    Finally, as he has done countless times in only seven months as President, Trump exacerbated the situation and failed again, to lead us all as any President must do.

    Anson Burlingame

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