The terrible spectacle of violence in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday, August 12, is a clear reflection of the alt-right, white supremacist, neo-nazi, Confederate Flag supporters standing together to drag America back into the dark days of Jim Crow white supremacy. With alt-right leaders like Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon situated in the West Wing of the White House in Donald Trump’s ear, it is no wonder this overt racist activity is becoming mainstream conservative Republican political agenda. The fact that this entire event arose over the impending removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is symbolic of why white supremacists, neo-nazis and the KKK were merged as one into an aggressive, armed mob.
President Trump, who has had no trouble articulating “radical Islamic terrorists”, failed miserably to acknowledge his supporters as KKK/neo-nazi white supremacist terrorists. That faction has been empowered and reorganized in support of Trump. These people are committed to the white supremacy ideology of the Confederacy as much as Dylan Roof in Charleston, S.C.
If “free speech” can be defined as individuals and organizations calling for the removal of civil rights of minorities in America, and if driving a vehicle into a crowd of people can’t be defined as a heinous terrorist crime, the President of the United States can’t bring himself to condemn his alt-right white nationalist supporters, he is has made this Republican Party strategy. His statement that “This egregious display of hatred and bigotry on many sides” utterly failed to discern the difference between the hatred and bigotry applies to the people protesting the white nationalist neo-nazi, KKK demonstration.
Anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, dedicated to limited voting rights to minorities, opposing affirmative action for minorities in college admissions, with Bannon and Gorka working closely with Trump, the Republican Party is rapidly devolving into a white man’s party dedicated to making America white again. Trump said that no American should feel unsafe yet he ignored the reality that the demonstrators in Charlottesville were accompanied by a heavily armed private militia organization.
It is no small irony that the entire event in Charlottesville arose over the Lee statue and the renaming of Robert E. Lee Park. It shouldn’t be that difficult to grasp the relationship of that Confederate symbol with the Confederate symbol that stands over the Confederate soldiers’ memorial on the grounds of our Talbot County Court House in Easton. That statue and flag represent the same Confederate cause so cherished by the Republican alt-right and the re-emboldened KKK, neo-nazis and white supremacists who fully supported Trump’s campaign. Republican-led southern state politicians have acted to remove Confederate symbols in most every former Confederate state. Why can’t Talbot County remove that Confederate symbol that stands above the memorial to Confederate soldiers?