Sunday, August 13, 2017

Charlottesville: some initial thoughts

1.) Among the reasons Richard Spencer is a loathsome creature is this: With his "make white privilege great again" schtick, he provides the perfect fodder to the leftist identity-politics jackboots so often discussed here at LITD, allowing them to say, "See, this really is a problem and the classes we establish at universities on privilege really are needed." Ditto another rally speaker, Matthew Heimbach, who called the group he formed in college Youth for Western Civilization, handing the radical Left the golden nugget of being able to say that expressions of concern for Western civilization are mere code for bigotry and supremacist sentiment.

2.) Trump's lame pronouncements in the wake of the day's horror demonstrate that he lacks the depth as a human being to grasp real gravity. Platitudes like "Americans coming together" are not only insipid, but raising the question of why the central issue was skirted. After all, it's characteristic for him to lambaste those he doesn't care for in the most acerbic terms. Thank goodness a number of Republican Senators are calling for him to use the term "white supremacist" in a statement of condemnation, but, should he heed the call this late after the fact, it will only mire us in a squabble about labels and who does and doesn't have moral courage.

3.) The fact that the purpose of the white-supremacist rally was to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue ups the cacophony level considerably. A very valid argument can be made for the statue remaining where it had been for years - namely, that this very recent move to get rid of statues and names for buildings is obviously a concerted effort that puts the public's grasp of its history in real peril.

4.) For a couple of years, a number of cultural observers have been pushing the line that our national - indeed, civilizational - situation at the present time is still quite stable compared to the 1960s. I hope that narrative is now put to rest. Our society is more precariously brittle than at any time any of us have ever seen.

5.) Re: the squabble about labels I mention in point number two, we are now so hopelessly cloaked in our symbols, badges, flags and logos, so emotionally invested in the brands we have created to encapsulate our prejudices, that candid discussion of real principles is not possible. This happens occasionally in history, and it doesn't end well.


  1. The mayor of Charlottesville, Va., says President Trump bears responsibility for the violence that erupted during a white supremacist rally there Saturday.

    “Look at the campaign he ran,” Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I mean, look at the intentional courting, both on the one hand of all these white supremacists, white nationalists — a group like that — anti-Semitic groups, and then look on the other hand the repeated failure to step up, condemn, denounce, silence, you know, put to bed all those different efforts, just like we saw yesterday. I mean, this is not hard.”

    “I’m not going to make any bones about it,” Signer told the Virginian-Pilot. “I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president.”

  2. As you know, I''m no Squirrel-Hair fan, but I thought the mayor's remarks were pretty vulgar.

  3. Some of us hate Trump way more than you do. He's got lot of things going for your ilk.