Who Needs Civil War Statues When We Have Trump?

August 17, 2017

By Karen

Donald Trump’s only consistency is that whenever he expresses a reasonable thought, he’s compelled to flip it into something bonkers. He can’t help himself, and nobody seems able to stop him.

His flip-flops on the Charlottesville riots are the latest — perhaps most egregious — examples. In my previous post is video of his first two prepared statements. His ad lib in the first one blaming “many sides” set everyone’s hair on fire. Two days later he tried again and read mean things he clearly didn’t believe about the KKK and neo-Nazis.

Then the very next day, in a berserk press conference on infrastructure, Trump insisted the residents of Charlottesville deserved blame because they didn’t have a permit to repel racists who invaded their city with flaming torches. But then he added that “both” sides have some “fine people.”

Yeah, like those few good Mexicans who slip into the country along with the drug dealers and rapists.

The Washington Post has exposed Trump’s KKK tie by resurrecting how his father Fred was an active member who got arrested at a riot in Queens in 1927.

Trump may resent Charlottesville’s residents for picking on what he sees as his heritage. Any of those white supremacists could have been Dad.

At the end of that press conference, he flipped AGAIN on Charlottesville, bragging about owning a home there and claiming it’s the biggest winery in the United States.

Lies on both counts. The Trump Winery website has this disclaimer, where son Eric makes clear who’s the boss there…

“Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.”

And as of 2016, the winery qualified as the largest vineyard in Virginia by acreage, but it lagged far behind others statewide and nationally in wine production.

And now Trump has weighed in on the one piece he knows NOTHING about — Confederate statues. Unsurprisingly, he wants to keep them because he has no understanding whatsoever of what they signify. He conflated George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, founders of the country, with Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who fought to tear it in half for the preservation of slavery.

It’s increasingly clear that the only way to stop attracting Trump’s roaches to the South is to get rid of the bait. Stonewall Jackson’s great-great-grandsons wrote a great letter about his statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond.

They live here and want the statue to go. It’s a must-read.

We could use Charlottesville to take this conversation in a new direction. Rather than dwelling on Trump’s shifty positions and motivations, we should focus on making him answerable for being a racial divider — in addition to his myriad personal conflicts of interest and destructive actions on trade, climate change, and foreign relations.

Yes, I’m talking about impeachment. It’s time to start that discussion.

PS: Richmond just caught a break. The guy who applied for a permit to rally around the Lee statue on Monument Avenue on September 16 withdrew because he doesn’t want the haters to show up.

BONUS: Seth Meyers takes a closer look. #insightful #hilarious

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Lose the Confederate Flag, Keep the Statues

July 2, 2015

By Karen

I moved to Richmond, Virginia, from the North 43 years ago this month, and it only recently hit me that I’ve been here nearly one-third of the time the Civil War has been over, and I’ve been reminded of it nearly every blessed day and resented it every time.

After the Charleston shootings, words can’t describe how thrilled I was to see some Southern states begin rethinking the preservation of their blockheaded “heritage” and getting with the 21st century.

In Alabama, without asking anybody’s permission, the Republican governor ordered four Confederate flags removed from the statehouse grounds. Amazing!

In VIRGINIA, our Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, ordered Confederate flag license plate issued only to the Sons of Confederate Veterans discontinued and all such plates in use (1,600) replaced. Hallelujah!

The plates were a small gesture, yet the SCV have vowed to fight it — even after the exact case in Texas recently went to the Supreme Court and LOST. (That old, “The South shall rise again!” mentality.)

OK, the flag once stood for the Glorious Cause, but the SCV refuse to acknowledge it’s been hijacked by racists, and racism is what it stands squarely for today.

Some Southerners are wringing their hands over the flag, saying it’s a slippery slope, and what comes down next?

Richmond has a big statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, on Monument Avenue (more on that in a sec) that just got defaced twice. One guy spray-painted an “L” on it to signify “Loser” (which was pretty “Lame”). Someone else painted “Black Lives Matter.”

Monument Avenue is a beautiful tree-lined boulevard with a wide green median, lined with lavish, historic homes and dotted with impressive statues of prominent Civil War figures like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson on horseback.

It also has one odd, puny statue of black Richmond native and tennis great, Arthur Ashe, who’s posed as if lobbing a book to a bunch of sawed-off kids. Trust me, getting him on Monument Avenue caused everyone no end of angst.

Anyway, people are worried these statues will get torn down à la Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.

If that happens, are statues of slave owners George Washington and Thomas Jefferson safe?

I’d say the distinction is that the statues haven’t been embraced as racist symbols. They’re of people who played key roles in significant events in our past.

Let’s leave the statues of major historical figures alone. They don’t bother anybody, and in most cases they’re works of art that attract tourists and may be a comfort to some.

But statues and busts of relatively minor figures, like Nathan Bedford Forrest who helped start the KKK, belong in museums as curiosities.

Even though all the funerals in Charleston are over, I hope the South keeps progressing toward accepting that the United States is one country again, founded on the principle that all men are created equal — in spite our many, many lapses and some people’s lingering refusal to face it.


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