Byrd statue at W. Virginia Capitol
The Charlottesville riot and
August 17, 2017
There is a disturbing trend in American
politics and it is the use of racially charged agitation
(agitprop) for the purpose of nurturing other matters
not related to core Black issues or interests.
Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017 armed Ku Klux Klan,
Neo-Nazis, white supremacists on one side and left leaning
anarchists/activists on the other, clashed - each side in
opposition to the others stand on the issue of the withdraw of the statue of
Robert E. Lee, a Confederate General, from public space in the
state of North Carolina.
A woman, Heather Heyer, an
anti-Confederacy statue protester died, killed by a driver - a
declared Neo-Nazi and a white supremacist.
and his victim were white, but the result has become racial. And
the event has been turned into a cudgel to pommel President
Trump as a racist because of what he said immediately after the
In sum, this was Trump statement about the riot (the second
“Racism is evil. And those who cause
violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK,
neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are
repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans,” said Trump.
President trump in reality may or may not be a racist. But
Charlottsville has turned him into one on the lips of many.
Racism has always been a charge against only Republican
politicians. And now it has become a convenient agitprop for all
causes against Trump.
Most vocal among these groups were
some Blacks who forgot (as they always do) that they were overweening the charge of
racism of its significant Civil
And often these days, the utility of the
charge of racism has nothing to do with Blacks. Not in the short
term and not in the long term either.
The point of this
current charge of racism is that it has become the excuse of
choice after Democrats lost the presidency in November 2016 and
after the belief that the Russia Collusion charge is not
yielding the desired result.
Close in fervor with all
things by Democrats against Trump, after Charlottesville, were
statements by stalwart "Republican Never Trumpers", in this particular case Senator
It didn't take Senator Graham a minute to
express negative sentiments, based of the faux racism charge, about
Trump's speech after the Charlottesville incident.
He conveniently forgot the memorials and the statues still
standing at South Carolina; Senator Graham's own state.
For this writer, the removal
of a Confederate statue is a non-issue. It could stand as a statue of
Of course, Robert E. Lee's was a Confederate
reprobate. But his statue should be allowed to stand, this time
with an epithet that says who he was, namely, a general who
stood for the Southern states so-called right to preserve
Robert E. Lee's existence was a historical
fact. A brass plate on his statue, with the appropriate
attribute and his contributions to the pro-slavery cause would
not be considered a reflection of honor in today's political
environment. Rather, a reflection of shame on him and what he
Dismiss the above approach and you will be
facing a scene in the dystopian fiction “1984,” by
George Orwell. Destroy Lee's statue and you would be answering
this logical question: whose statue is next?
learned lady had an answer for the above.
could continue, she said. It should only be limited to assets
from the Confederate era. This approach, she argued, could spare
those statues of rare merit, even though those were slave owners
George Washington would be spared, And so would
Thomas Jefferson and a host of others from the Founding Fathers'
Clever as this approach might be, it could
only be a fine start. A limited one at best because the
Confederacy was all about fighting to maintain slave economy in
Remember, the real charge of racism is historically linked
to slavery, not religion or culture.
Thus the same
demolition logic should persist: If slavery and racism were the “cause celebre,”
of the protest at Charllottesville, then George Washington's
monument could be a fair game. He was a slave owner too.
It was the wealth from slave economy that built the South; that
supported some of the "fine", racist white families like Robert E.
Lee - long enough to give them the supremacist flair.
it was the threat of the termination of this slave economy that
caused the South to secede and the Civil War to follow. So why
should anybody who benefited from this slave economy, pre or
post Confederacy, be spared?
The result of removing
Confederate statues and all those linked to slavery would be a
complete overhaul of history. It would leave a broken landscape, one devoid of the diverse artifacts
and monuments that America has now.
Such a destruction
would be a huge price to pay aesthetically.
Intellectually, it will also
facilitate the removal of the awful deeds of some of these
virulent, racist, slave owners' acts from memory.
A monument is a
remembrance. In this case, make it negative, not invisible.
Trump condemned hate, violence and bigotry in his speech
after Charlottesville. But it was not enough. If a Democrat had
made the same speech, it wouldn't have mattered. Gore, Hillary,
Bill Clinton have escaped with worse racial ancestry,
associations and reputations.
More blacks voted for Trump
than any past Republican presidents in recent memory. He
promised a plan for Blacks; School Choice, jobs and economic
uplift. Could this promise be what is under attack?
Is the uplifting of Blacks by the non-diversity approach what
the real racists are afraid of?
Take Senator Lindsay
Graham. His home state is South Carolina, a state among those with the highest
number of Confederate memorials - at least 112
publicly-supported spaces. He has been a state and federal
government official since 1992 – won every term in office by an
average 60% vote along the way.
Here was what what was
said about the state of South Carolina after the Charlottesville disaster:
“While politicians in other states work to remove
Confederate monuments from public spaces, lawmakers in South
Carolina say there are no plans for anything similar in the
Palmetto State.,” reported The Post and Courier of Charleston,
Obviously, Senator Graham never knew how
divisive Confederate memorials could be until Trump spoke!
Hillary could call Robert Byrd her mentor and a hero. There
are more edifices build in the name of Byrd in W. Virginia than
for any other law maker in any state. His portrait still stands
in the halls of Congress.
was a known KKK leader and not a single bold move has ever been
made against his name in the halls of Congress.
Graham, it has to be noted, never made a move against Robert
Byrd's statue in W. Virginia Capitol either, or one against a single
Confederate monument in South Carolina until he met Trump!
hypocrisy should be obvious. And that hypocrisy must not be
attached to Senator Graham alone.
E. Ablorh-Odjidja, Publisher
www.ghanadot.com, Washington, DC, August 17,
Permission to publish: Please feel free to
publish or reproduce, with credits,
unedited. If posted at a website, email a
copy of the web page to email@example.com
. Or don't publish at all.