A Stubborn Irishman’s View: Charlottesville Race Riots

I didn’t have a great childhood. I pretend it never happened.

I’ve never regarded my hometown as a sentimental location.

It does, however, withhold a particular historical significance. My dad got his PhD at the university, the campus of which happened to be designed by one of our nation’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson.

I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, a city steeped in American history. My fondest childhood memories were touring various historical sites and learning of our heritage.

Charlottesville made the international news again this weekend, culminating with a State of Emergency, where some 6,000 white supremacist protesters rioting throughout the historic downtown and university campus. At least three people have been killed, scores have been injured and
I have watched news clips illustrating hatred occur in the streets where I played as a child.

The neo-nazis, KKK, and other violent, extremist organizations came to Charlottesville, VA, to protest the planned removal of statues portraying Confederate Generals such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

I played in those parks, on the footsteps of those statues, sometimes with black friends, before the world was black and white.

Slavery is fucked.

You can’t own a person.

It’s immoral and as far as the United States is concerned, it’s unconstitutional. It is not a matter of politics or religion; it is a matter of humanity.

If you think slavery no longer exists within America you are living in denial. According to the US State Department, an estimated 60,000 victims of slavery are currently enslaved within the United States. But we act like slavery is over so we can sleep well at night. Every coin has a flip side and for as much good exists in our world, equal parts of evil lurk in dark corners, waiting to extinguish the light.

As Charlottesville has learned, darkness doesn’t prevail over darkness.

Many southerners don’t want carpetbaggers from Capitol Hill regulating what they can and can’t do in their own back yard. But when society deems a practice unacceptable, said practice is abolished.

You can’t secede from ethics.

In 1919 The Harvard Law Review published an article called “Freedom of Speech in War Time” by Zechariah Chafee Jr., where he uses the example:
Each side takes the position of the man who was arrested for swinging his arms and hitting another in the nose, and asked the judge if he did not have a right to swing his arms in a free country. “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.”

We, as a country, have been brainwashed. Our beautiful country is founded on deceit entailing lying, cheating, murdering, raping, stealing, the whole gamut. We’re all guilty of media brainwashing in one form or another. Consumerism fuels our economy and defines what’s hip.

Brainwashing is psychological degradation where free will is replaced by predetermined notions, no matter if its sex slaves, labor force slaves or fashion slaves. It’s high time we re-evaluate the concept of freedom and the liberation necessary for acquisition.

After buying his freedom from slavery, Fredrick Douglas became an esteemed writer and among other published works, wrote an essay about learning to read and write, and the privileges and responsibilities that followed.

He questioned whether it is better to regard knowledge as power or ignorance as bliss.

It is true, with the power of knowledge comes the burden and responsibility and sometimes I wish I was ignorant to the tenets of mankind. But alas, it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. The knowledge is a burden, but it’s my burden and you can’t take that away from me.

You can take my liberty, my freedom, my love, my pride, but you can’t have my knowledge.

That’s my fuel.

That’s why I know what it means to be of good will. That’s why I know that as for as much evil is among us, equal parts of goodness surround us. We have to diligently maintain our liberty in order to achieve our independence. Otherwise, you get brainwashed and full of hate, and that just isn’t productive.

Not much has changed since the civil war.

The north still thinks the south is stupid and the south still wants the north to stay out of their milkshake.

When crusaders fight for their religion, they find justice in all shades of emotions, hatred being the most complimentary towards war. Virginia is a southern state but Charlottesville is a progressive city and they are not proud of their history. They have gone to great lengths and have spent millions of tax dollars to distance themselves from their past.

Such as the Judeo-Christians prayed for salvation and then crucified Jesus, Charlottesvilians pride themselves on their prestige but have washed their hands clean of their dirty history.

I don’t like to go back there. Every time I go back it looks more like every other industrial city.

They killed their quaint.

They killed TJ.

Sure, it’s common knowledge he wasn’t the saintly hero our grade school textbooks made him out to be, but he founded this country and its government, although it took another century to abolish slavery, another century to recognize equal civil rights to all Citizens and then kind of fizzled out. But the man is a part of US history.

To quote George Orwell, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past”.

Charlottesville, you can’t sweep your dirt under the rug.

The protest was organized by a far right winged blogger named Jason Kessler.

Before the protest, he said in an interview, “This rally is partly about the removal of Confederate symbols, but also about freedom of speech and advocating for white people. This is about an anti-white climate within the Western world and we need for white people to have advocacy like other groups do”.

It seems that poor, evil, ignorant Jason has been the victim of brainwashing, too. He and his constituents are failing to grasp reason, blinded by hatred. Every family in America has an immigration story. It is a beautiful melting pot where everyone is free to escape oppression and in theory that would strengthen the nation as a multitude of diversity.

The protest began on Friday, August 11 and has continued into Saturday, August 12, including a premeditated car crash into a group of anti-racist counter-protestors, killing at least 3 and injuring 19. There have been at least 26 other injuries. The National Guard deployed tear gas into the rioting crowd. I saw footage of a white supremacist punch a woman in the face so hard the microphone picked up the sound of impact.

What was originally authorized by the federal government as a public gathering became an unlawful assembly. This has been a major setback in our cultural development.

Lady Liberty is color blind. She is intolerant towards prejudice, racism, brainwashing, oppression, and hatred.

She will revoke your right to freedom once you’ve demonstrated any of these attributes.

She is fueled by love and evil kills her. She asks that you treat others with decency and practice open mindedness. She hopes we will unite for goodness.

If there is any question of how to eliminate racism, you should go watch Morgan Freeman’s interview on 60 minutes. His philosophy of how to get rid of racism is to stop talking about it.

I’ll stop calling you a black man and I’ll ask you stop calling me a white man.

It is not about black history.

It’s about American history.