A Scene Out Of The Past …

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King

Last weekend, a protest rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, proved once again that racism is alive and well in the U.S.  In fact, I am going to go so far as to say that in some pockets in the U.S., bigotry in its many forms is even higher now than it was during the Civil Rights Era.

What led to Saturday’s rally started back in 2015, after white supremacist Dylan Roof shot and killed nine black parishioners in a Charleston, South Carolina, church.  After the shooting, South Carolina lawmakers voted to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds. Alabama confronted the issue by taking down Confederate flags from the state Capitol, while other states ended Confederate specialty license plates. At least 60 publicly funded symbols of the Confederacy have been removed or renamed since the mass shooting in Charleston, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The removal of the monuments is not without critics who claim that the emblems and landmarks represent history and heritage, and that efforts to remove them is political correctness run amuck. Most, however, say the monuments are painful, and pay homage to slavery and racial injustice. Some states in the south are drafting state laws that would bar local governments from removing any more Confederate monuments and symbols. Other states, notably Tennessee and North Carolina already have such laws on the books.

spence-3

Richard Spencer

In February, the Charlottesville City Council voted to remove a statue of Confederate Robert E. Lee astride his horse that stands in a local municipal park which is also named after Lee. Last Saturday, 15 May, white supremacist Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist organization, led a group of more than a hundred people protesting the removal of the statue.  The protestors carried lit torches and chanted, “You will not replace us”, “Russia is our friend” and the far-right nationalist slogan “blood and soil”.  “Blood and soil”, for those who may not be aware, refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based society.  The expression has its roots in Nazi Germany.  The torches were, to many, reminiscent of the days of the Ku Klux Klan when they marched, carrying torches which they used to set fire to crosses, homes, and businesses owned by blacks.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer released the following statement:

“This event involving torches at night in Lee Park was either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that harkens back to the days of the KKK.”

Personally, I believe it was both ignorant and was designed to instill fear.  But more important, it is unacceptable that even a single person in this nation believe the ideology, if it can be called such, of the white supremacist groups led primarily by Richard Spencer, along with Steve Bannon and his band of thugs known as the ‘alt-right’.  The Charlottesville rally was only the most recent in a series of events and speeches this spring — from Berkeley, California, to Auburn, Alabama, to New Orleans and elsewhere — where the alt-right forces, including Spencer, have attempted to galvanize their power on the political stage, sometimes using “free speech” as a platform, to lure and expose young people to white nationalist beliefs and show support for President Trump.

The white supremacists, particularly the alt-right, embrace preservation of Western civilization, opposing immigration and always talking about “white identity” — a calling card for David Duke and many hardcore racists. It behooves us to realize and remember that these people do NOT represent the majority of Americans.  But they are loud, they are vocal, and they are spreading the ideals of hatred toward anybody who does not look, act, and think as they do.  Most of them claim to be “Christians”, yet I find that to be an oxymoron, since from what I am given to understand, Christianity teaches love and tolerance for ALL people, not just those whose skin is pale.

The danger, as I see it, is that we seem to be headed toward a mentality similar to that of Nazi Germany where Hitler embraced the “Aryan race”.  Until the past year or so, I always thought we were better than this.  And in fairness, most of us are, but the numbers of those who, with supreme arrogance, believe themselves to be better than others, seem to be increasing, and we need to speak out against it at every opportunity.

28 thoughts on “A Scene Out Of The Past …

  1. Dear Jill,
    And these are a major part of DDT’s ardent followers that the republican legislators are fearful of upsetting. All I can say is that when republicans lawmakers go to bed with these vipers, they will get bitten. They’ll be lucky to survive.And I won’t be crying any tears.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While I cannot fathom the possibility of holding with the white Supremicists, I must say they are right to protest the removal of statues that represent Confederate heroes. This is not because I think we ought to honor those men, but they were major historical figures — especially Robert E. Lee, who flirted briefly with the thought to accepting Lincoln’s offer to lead the Union troops. This is another attempt to alter history, to write “new history.” Whether we like it or not, our heroes were human beings with all the foibles that make us what we are — for better or worse. But those who helped write history ought to be remembered, and we ought to remember what actually happened (as much as we can) or we cut ourselves off from our past. History is not written (or carved into stone) to make us feel good, but to help us remember what happened and how we got where we are. The statues ought to remain inlace. And the protests are, after all, protected by the First Amendment. Just because we don’t like something or it makes us uncomfortable does not make it wrong.
    With this statement, however, I am in total agreement:
    “. . .it is unacceptable that even a single person in this nation believe the ideology, if it can be called such, of the white supremacist groups led primarily by Richard Spencer, along with Steve Bannon and his band of thugs known as the ‘alt-right’.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really need to read my comments more carefully! I should have said “. . .thought of accepting Lincoln’s offer.” and “The statues ought to remain in place.” My only defense is it’s bloody early in the AM!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I admit to being conflicted on the issue of the statues, confederate flags, and the like, which is why I didn’t really address the issue per se in this post. I DO agree with you that, for better or for worse, General Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and others are a part of the history of our nation, a part we need to remember lest we be tempted to repeat it. Given a choice, however, I think they would be more appropriate in a Civil War museum or some similar venue. Prominently displayed in public squares and parks makes it almost seem as if they are a matter of pride. It would be rather like having a statue of Hitler in the middle of Berlin, or Mussolini next to the Trevi Fountain. As I said, I am conflicted on this issue.

      As re protesters … of course I agree that they have the right to protest, but the torches …. no, just no. And the chants? I see them as hate speech and perhaps even inciting to riot, but again, I am conflicted on this one too. I seem to be just a tangled mess of conflict tonight, don’t I? Just goes to prove that most issues are not black and white, but rather shades of grey. Much we could debate, I suppose, about this whole thing. Sigh.

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      • I really don’t think the founders were attempting open the door to hate speech. There’s a line when speech becomes a public act and can lead directly to violence toward others. At that point it must be silenced. But I agree, this is a can of worms. There is much here to ponder.

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  3. And so continues the bitter toxicity. This poisonous ideology which breeds its own destruction. Were it not for the fact that it breeds the false justification of violence it would be laughable. Presumably none of these have ever read a full and comprehensive history of the Nazis whose blindness and embracing of racial hatred sewed their this brought their own destruction in the vastness of Russia.
    In recent decades the peoples of Serbia & Croatia paid a price when the nations were hijacked by the cultural whelps of Nazism. There will come a time when Israel will realise the warnings were there in the Old Testament and the folk will curse their current governments.
    Across the world the evil which burrows cancerous into People deluding them into the Lie of superiority masks its joyously cruel joke that those who embrace this will be consumed in the Fires of Retribution and nothing any proponent of this bastard cause might say or do can stop that
    “Blood and Soil.”……HA!…. One of the most ruthlessly efficient, highly trained and battle-hard armies of WWII could not make that stick. So what chance do a bunch of cosplay inadequates have?
    History has spoken and judged.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it continues. It makes a comeback, but did it ever really go away? Not only have they not read a history of the Nazis, but they cannot even remember the consequences of our own history only a few short years ago. “The lie of superiority” … you hit the nail on the head with that one, my friend. I live in a VERY diverse neighborhood, which I love. On my street alone, there are families from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Egypt. There are also a majority of African-Americans. Then there are a few of those “superior whites” … you want to guess who the only ones to ever cause trouble on this street have been? You got it … and yet … Oh just FORNACAZONI!!! Imagine a world where we all worked together to take care of those less fortunate, to care properly for our environment, our planet, to help each other rather than spending sleepless nights figuring ways to hurt one another. So much could be done, but instead we fight each other because of the colour of our skin????? I swear that next time I am coming back as a wolf …

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  4. Hi Jill, long time no write. And as coincidental as it sounds, I wrote a blog yesterday about an American organization I thought was as unbigoted and unracist and un-national as any American organization could be, I mean, this organization/business writes about places all over the world and under the sea. They take and publish some of the best photos ever taken in the world of nature, culture, and beauty. I mean, these people are respected all over the world for their fairness in reporting and worldwide coverage. Hell, even I respected them. Until yesterday, when they proved that the word “National” in their name actually means “American,” and the word “Geographic” actually means ONLY the mid-southern third of the continent we both live on.
    I’ll make this part quick, hoping that you will read my blog entitled DATE WITH DESTINY, MISSED. It seems that National Geographic wants anyone from anywhere to be “Chasing Genius” and send their ideas, no matter how weird they might be, to help save our planet. Oh, did I say anyone from anywhere, well, the rules tell a totally different story, because the first rule under “ELIGIBILITY” is you have to be American, from one of the 50 states of the union, unless you happen to be an American working in some other part of nowhere, since anywhere is only the USA, and every anyone has to be American. If that doesn’t speak bigotry and racism, I don’t know what does.

    Now to your little tidbit of news, I’m thinking that most of these White Supremicist and alt-Right American Nazis are probably being secretly financed by National Geographic with the money they make from pretending to care for everyone in the world, as long as the world in on American soil. The slogan you mentioned, blood and soil, certainly describes this “Save the World” contest by telling the rest of the world ONLY the USA is SMART ENOUGH to SAVE THE WORLD, and the rest of us are brainless idiots.

    Now, I know they are not speaking about people like you Jill, but how many people outside America know Jill Dennison loves everyone versus how many non-people now know the truth about National Geographic. They should change their name To National Narcissists. (Gee, the same number of S’s in that name as there are S’s in Mississippi, although one “I” short, that being ME.)

    Well, if National Narcissists is counting on the alt-Right KKK-wannabes to save the world, I guess there won’t be much of the world left to save. And Trump is ready to start a nuclear war that will end all wars, because there won’t be a human left alive on Earth to send to war, all wiped out with millions of other species who have no idea what a nuclear war is. You say your story is reminiscent of Civil Rights times, and even earlier historic events. In my lifetime we practised the right response to atomic missiles being sent over the North Pole To Russia with Love, and then From Russia with Hatred. That response was hiding under your desk at school, with your knees pulled up as tight as possible to your chest, and your head buried as well as possible in your arms which were hugging your knees to your body. Some response!

    But I love your quote from Dr. MLK Jr., about the Beginning of the END. Somehow I never heard that one before, but it is a truism that I intend to remember as long as I live, which, barring Trump pushing the Red Button, I should live forever because I will not never be silent about things that matter in this world.

    But I am still hoping you are going to move to Canada, so I can stop apologizing for what America does in your name, though not your spirit…

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