White nationalists and members of alt-right groups are in Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of the University of Virginia, for what they call a "Unite the Right" rally.
I have to admit, the sight of a somewhat long line in a nighttime march of young white boys carrying tiki torches chanting "You will not replace us" does not generate warmth and good cheer. In fact, all these kids lack is a Sam Browne belt and a Nazi armband to complete their wardrobe. It's eerily reminiscent of newsreels of Nazi rallies, except that the participants in Charlottesville numbered only in the hundreds, while the Nazis managed to gather thousands. Perhaps it's only a nascent movement, but I do not wish them anything but a deserved obsolescence.
Charlottesville is a peaceful place. I haven't been there since the sixties when I attended the parties of friends in their frat houses... the same year Esquire magazine, when listing the nation's top party & drinking universities, disqualified UVA for what they called its "professional standing." There have always been racial tensions, but it never clouded Virginia's genteel institutions, though I know that racism existed, even thrived... it's just that "quality folk" generally avoided the language that would unmask them, so I'm not surprised it still exists, and it clearly finds expression in the alt-right, where the good old boys are well dressed and better groomed than their country cousins in the Klans. wedding dresses for broad shoulders
I see their motivation... fear.
They want the glory days back, a time that never was, but which looms large in their minds. They can see that America's diversity may overcome their racial majority and they could lose their stranglehold on the concept of America as "white" and Christian, as though their very existence is threatened when in fact, it's only their presumptive privilege that's in danger... as well it should be since it never was the cause nor the reason for which America was founded.
They say it's all about a statue. I say it's about history and the dominance of their race in every page thereof, as though the "others" did not exist. Oh, growing up in Virginia, for sure I could tell you of Robert E. Lee... but I had to really dig to find out anything about George Washington Carver. Mr. Lee got lots of young boys and men killed in the name of rebellion over.... what? The right to enslave human beings in the land of the free?
Where is the UVA memorial to George Washington Carver, the black scientist who probably saved the farmers of the South when the cotton economy that sustained them for hundreds of years began to fail. I don't remember seeing a monument to Carver in anywhere Virginia. Hell of an omission, that.
If our history is flawed it stems from the fact that our people ar flawed. We do not wish to change history, merely to remind everyone that no one race of men and women should ever become a class of privilege over any others.
This torchlight parade and the Nazi schtick of some hundred or so fascist white boys marching with tiiki torches and bleating out rude slogans is not going to save them from the ashbin of history. Only their character will save them. And I do hope they can find some character before it's too late, since without it, their obsolescence is right around the corner.