The Great Divide Just Got Wider

Today the Great Divide that exists in the United States, got even wider.  Today, in Charlottesville, Virginia, home of my alma mater, the University of Virginia, at least 3 people died and countless others were injured by a gang of thugs – white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Who, What, When, Where, Why

Charlottesville-Kessler

Jason Kessler

A ‘man’ named Jason Kessler organized a rally in Charlottesville called ‘Unite the Right’, a rally that would include white supremacists, KKK members, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee Sculpture from Emancipation Park, a public park. People on both sides of the political aisle are divided on whether confederate monuments should be removed or allowed to stay in public squares and parks, but regardless of anyone’s opinion on that, this rally was wrong.  This rally was ostensibly about protesting the removal of the statue, but in reality, this rally was about nothing so much as hate.  Hate for those of us who are not white ‘Christians’.

The cast of characters was a veritable “Who’s Who” in the field of white supremacist hate, Richard Spencer and David Duke among them.  David Duke stated that the rally was intended to fulfill the “promises of Donald Trump”.

The rally was scheduled for noon, but by 11:00 a.m. there had already been so many outbreaks of uncontrolled violence that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and ordered hundreds of people out of the downtown park. “I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe said.

Counter protestors included members of the clergy, Black Lives Matter, and prominent Princeton professor Cornel West. Men in combat gear — some wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets and carrying clubs and sticks and makeshift shields — fought each other in the downtown streets beginning on Friday night. Both sides sprayed each other with chemical irritants and plastic bottles were hurled through the air.

After police managed to clear the park, a large group of counter-protestors was moving up Fourth Street, near the mall, when a gray sports car came down the road and accelerated, mowing down several people and hurling at least two in the air. Details are not confirmed as of this writing, but it is said that the car plowed into the crowd, backed up and rammed forwards again at least once.

Charlottesville-car-bodies.jpgAt least one person was killed in this incident, and at least 19 injured.  The driver of the car was 20-year-old James Fields from Ohio.  I do not have many more details at this time, though I am certain more will be available in the coming days.  I do know that Fields was arrested on charges of second-degree murder.

Charlottesville.jpgThe reactions

Governor McAuliffe gave a press conference in the afternoon, saying “I have a message for all the white supremacists and Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you’re patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people. But my message is clear: We are stronger than you.”

“Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry.” – Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan

“The hate and bigotry witnessed in #Charlottesville does not reflect American values. I wholeheartedly oppose their actions.” – Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion… People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… …For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela, quoted by President Barack Obama

“We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets [sic] come together as one! Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!” – Donald Trump

In his later press conference, Trump said he condemned “in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence, on many sides,” repeating the last phrase twice.

Many, including this writer, felt Trump’s words were inadequate, that he should have voiced condemnation of white supremacy and its followers. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said, “The violence, chaos, and apparent loss of life in Charlottesville is not the fault of ‘many sides.’ It is racists and white supremacists. lawmakers, including members of his own party.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden criticized the president’s remarks in even stronger terms, saying, “What happened in Charlottesville is domestic terrorism. The President’s words only serve to offer cover for heinous acts.”

“I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.” – David Duke, former imperial wizard of the KKK

My take?  If the driver of the car that maliciously mowed down a crowd of people had been of Middle-Eastern descent, a Muslim, Donald Trump would have been screaming “TERRORISM!!!” at the top of his lungs, and shamelessly using this terrible tragedy to spread fear and justify his hateful Muslim ban.

I will likely address this in more depth at a later date, when more information is available, when the dust has had a chance to settle a bit, and when feelings are not so raw. In closing, I would like to share the reaction of my friend Bruce, a long time conservative republican Christian minister, and a genuine, decent human being:

“I’m a white, conservative, Christian American, and I denounce the hatred and racism demonstrated at UVA, as well as other previous expressions that I have, until this moment, been too timid to denounce. There is nothing “right” about it; it’s not Christian, nor is it conservative, and it is absolutely not American. To my Christian friends who want to “whitewash” this as simple free speech or as some kind of evidence of frustration at political correctness or the condition of our country: keep it to yourself, reread the Bible, repent, and, if necessary, unfriend me here.”

Well spoken, my friend … I am proud of you.

Tonight, our nation is more divided than it was this morning.  The causes for this will be picked apart, analyzed and reported on at great length in the coming days, but in this writer’s opinion, there is only one cause:  arrogance.  The arrogance of those who believe that somehow having pale skin, believing in the rules and rituals of the Christian doctrine, make them superior to the rest of us.

Tonight my heart breaks not only for the good people of Charlottesville, Virginia, but for each and every one of us who find ourselves living in this country that we no longer recognize.

46 thoughts on “The Great Divide Just Got Wider

    • I know, my friend. I have many words, but … none of them are helpful. It is too much. Thank you for reading, as I know you prefer more upbeat topics, so I greatly appreciate you dropping by. Hugs, dear Jacqueline!

      Like

    • Yes … while I do not visit Twitter often, my twice-daily posts are automatically posted on Twitter. I would be honoured for you to follow me: @GrannieJ Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Like

  1. Dear Jill,
    James Field’s former teacher describes him as a Nazi sympathizer. And thank goodness for folks like your friend Bruce.

    There folks who call themselves neo-Nazis, White Nationalists, White Supremacists need to crawl back into their holes to hide as they are not welcome, anywhere were there are true patriots And DDT is getting a dose of reality as he is learning how out of touch he is with his plans to make America White again..

    DDT’s wife Melania had to be the one to show the president up for his cowardice.And he still couldn’t step up to the plate to do the right thing.

    Yesterday was such a sad moment in our history.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Gronda. Yes, Bruce is a good guy … very quiet, but when we worked together, if it snowed during the work day, he always went out and scraped the snow and ice off my car for me at the end of the day … never said a word, just did it. It is people like that who are the backbone of this country, not those haters we saw in Charlottesville yesterday. They are scum and white trash. Yes, my friend, it was a sad day indeed. I think I felt it harder today than I did yesterday for some reason. I earned my bachelor’s degree at University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry Jill, I feel somehow I have let you down with my pervious words of optimism.
    This is a copy of my reply to an earlier post of Gronda:
    “This is the reply I did not want to post. These are the words I felt were unfair to put out so early in the catastrophe which is the current presidency.
    I am not surprised. The parallels with the years prior to the Civil War are starting to become pronounced. Your wonderful nation deserves a true and strong leader at this time. Instead you have ‘that’ lesser being who will now only whimper to himself that he didn’t expect this to happen.
    There are some crumbs of comfort in that the traditional republican senators and congressfolk are starting express second thoughts and it may not be too late, though I suspect it make take very firm decisions and resolve which will centre on the destruction of the networks of the Alt Right and the public humiliation of their leaders before this is over.
    Other wise I worry for your nation.
    God Bless The Ordinary Americans”
    Take care Jill, you and yours.
    May your deliverance from this unhappiness be soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My dearest Roger … You have NEVER let me down! Your words of optimism have always … ALWAYS … been much-needed and greatly appreciated! And your intuitive ability to know when I need to lighten up and laugh, and then providing that laugh, are more valuable to me than my words could ever tell you. So do NOT apologize!!! Just keep doing what you do, for I look forward to your perspective, your sardonic wit, and your friendship.

      And, as you have said before, this will simply be another page in the books of history. I know there are no simple, quick, easy answers, but I sometimes DO need to be reminded, as I think we all do, that this is a relatively new nation still suffering growing pains, and that at some point, the balance will be restored. I am almost positive it won’t happen in my lifetime, but I have hope for future generations. Now we have troubling times, we have a distinct lack of humanitarian values among the leadership and some portion of the people. But, nothing lasts forever.

      Keep on being Roger … you have never let me down, and I treasure your friendship, so just keep on being Roger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah what a wacky world Jill, I should be offering you words of encouragement!
        You are of course quite right. There will be a great deal of hard work to be done to clean away these little vermin and deluded.
        I am glad there is general underlying theme of reasonable folk from all shapes and sizes of repugnance.
        And of course at this moment when leadership is required, that fellow was found on the public stage, wanting!
        I wish every decent and ordinary American well and would say those creatures at Charlottesville are not Americans; they are not deserving of the honour. They are a disgrace to the nation.
        God Bless You folk who care and suffer for decency.
        Roger

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Roger. Want to hear something funny? I have never received a comment on Twitter before, even though my posts are published on Twitter by me, David, usually Suzanne an Gronda, but nary a comment have I seen until tonight, when I received this one: “Holy shit. You’re an idiot.” And you know what I did? I laughed … in fact I was laughing so hard I got choked and nearly required the Heimlich maneuver! The more I thought about it, the better I liked it … rather like a badge of honour, as it were. 😀 🙃 😀 🙃 We shall all survive this, dear Roger … for we have humanity!

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is a badge of honour!
            Once I provoked an islamophobe on Yahoo until all he could come out with was ‘ F- you’. To which I replied ‘Thank you sir. You have proven my point’ (bit like shooting fish in a barrel).
            I’ll have to figure out how to work that Twitter thing…I have an account, but I’ve forgotten my password. How do you attract attention on the thing (Just looking to annoy those who deserve it 😼)

            Liked by 1 person

            • I love your response to the Islamophobe!!! You always have a quick comeback!
              Ahhhh … Roger turned loose on Twitter … so much fun to be had! I am not the Twitter expert, as I stay away from it as much as possible. I have only a handful of followers and one of them is dead. You might do better to check with David Prosser, for I think he uses Twitter quite a bit. About the only thing I do is occasionally post a comment on one of Trump’s tweets just to annoy him, but in truth, he probably never even sees my comments, for on average each one of his tweets seems to get 20,000 to 30,000 responses. So … check with David … he can tell you better than I can. And let me know if you find your password and get set back up … I will follow you and enjoy seeing you stir the pot a bit! 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

                • This is a common trait we share! It is probably the mark of genius, yes? While that bouncing in the head can become annoying and frustrating at times, it keeps us interested in life. I look at some friends and wonder why they even bother to get up in the mornings, since they spend most of their days in front of the television stuffing food in their mouths. So, give the pogo stick some space to just boing boing boing, and eventually it will settle for a bit … not for long, but long enough to get your Twitter account working and send a few taunting tweets! 🐦🐦🐦

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Another thing to add to my bucket list
                    (🤔…why a ‘bucket’? Why should I list things to do on a bucket? I would have to carry a bucket around with me. It would be inconvenient. I fail to see how a bucket could be conducive to my organisational processes 😡. I could wear it on my head true? But would people take it as a statement which would be fundamentally incorrect because I do not use buckets for such purposes.In point of fact……………………….?)
                    Where was I 😕 ?😟????
                    Oh yes, the Twitter account….I think?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • The pogo stick was in high gear, wasn’t it? 😀 😀 😀
                      As for the ‘bucket list’ … I have wondered the same. So, since you asked, I went in search of … one article I found claims “In 2004, the term was used—perhaps for the first time?—in the context of things to do before one kicks the bucket (a phrase in use since at least 1785)” So, I guess you’re supposed to put notes as you think of things you want to do in your remaining years/decades, put the notes inside the bucket, then when you ‘kick’ the bucket, everything that you haven’t yet done falls out and … gets blown away by the wind? But no, don’t put the bloomin’ bucket on your head, for then all the notes will fall out … and besides, people may think you are an alien and hurt you, for you know people do not like anything or anyone alien.
                      Now return to your pogo-bouncing and I will return to my regular bouncing, for I would surely fall and break some bones on a pogo stick. 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thanks for clarifying that Jill
                      I could paint a Confederate flag on it?🤔
                      Thing is I want to have at least ten things I haven’t done before ‘I get shuffled off’. There must always be ‘things to do’😃

                      Like

  3. Jill, thanks for sharing this. Your friend Bruce sums it up well. Maybe, just maybe, this will galvanize people against this kind of domestic terrorism. And, in his words of admonition toward the President, former KKK leader David Duke got it right. These hate mongers helped elect the President, as he welcomed them into his fold. Picking Steve Bannon as an advisor is further evidence of this courtship. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Keith. I suspect this will only make the haters dig their heels in deeper, but I DO think it will bring out those who, like Bruce, have been silent, afraid or ashamed to speak out. At least it’s a start. And yes, that was the only reason I included David Duke’s quote, because it is the truth. Without the white supremacists helping Trump spread his fear of “others”, he never would have won the election and we would not be where we are today.

      Like

  4. No matter what the haters say, the good people outnumber them and are stronger. Furthermore, the U.S.A. was never a “white” country and never will be. They need to wake up and join the rest of us in the 21st Century. Their little space behind the wall of hatred they’ve built is shrinking whether they want to admit it or not. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The Charlottesville riot indicates a sad state of reality that POTUS is now showing his ‘white supremacist’ colours. This should truly alarm people, especially as it surreptitiously encourages other white supremacist groups to act with impunity in disgraceful violent protests.
    This is why Trumpster is so dangerous with the North Korean standoff. He is totally biased and off his rocker! He makes up his own propaganda which is designed specifically to make people fear something he has made up! This horrible bully needs sorting out and fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, and it DOES alarm us, but I think that it infuriates us more than alarms. At least for me that is the case. He is, as I’ve said before, a loose cannon, but it seems that he WANTS people to fear him, and we must show him, by whatever means we have at our disposal, the he is naught but a wimpy little prick and we are not afraid of him, but rather we will go over, under, behind and around him to do what is right. Okay … puff, puff … stepping down off my soapbox now …. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Trump’s Great Divide – The Militant Negro™

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s